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I want my, I want my, I want my VJV.
August 14, 2009 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Central Massachusetts, sometime in early 1985. You were cranking your way through the UHF dial when you caught a glimpse of Rock and Roll. It was V66, and you were hooked.

On February 12, 1985, WVJV-TV - V66 - was born in Natick, Massachusetts. A local, over-the-air competitor to MTV, V66 was a dream come true for the cable-less masses. V66 was fairly chaotic - playing local artists (The Fools, Lizzie Bordon and the Axes, and Extreme), next to more alternative bands (the Cure, the Smiths, the Cult, and Kate Bush (interesting prehistoric ARPA post of some sort from a grateful fan in 1986!)), while also producing local versions of national songs (like a debasement of the worst song ever recorded, We Built this City, with Boston replacing SF, and an edited Money For Nothing with the V66 logo replacing MTV), as well as videos of local interest (This excrutiating alternative to the Superbowl Shuffle.

Clearly the v66 candle burned twice as bright because by late 1986 it was all over - replaced by Home Shopping. So, until the documentary is finished, all we can do is watch these station ID outtakes starring Aerosmith, Cheech and Chong, and AC/DC (warning - dumbasses))
posted by dirtdirt (22 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome post. I have fond memories of coming home from school and switching back and forth between MTV and V66 hoping to catch something good.

The day the Challenger exploded I came home from school and was watching V66 when some caller (yep, they took callers) made a joke about the astronauts forgetting to turn off the "no smoking" sign. That was an awkward moment for the VJ, whose name I can no longer remember.

They broadcast out of the Good and Plenty building, which was new at the time and notable for its pink and gray color scheme.
posted by bondcliff at 10:40 AM on August 14, 2009


Didn't have to be just Central MA-- we got it fine up in the North Shore, too. It made a good chaser between bouts of the Creature Double Feature on WLVI.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:40 AM on August 14, 2009


(Well, OK, technically, the CDF as it was was over by '83. Not that this ever stopped LVI from putting on some monster movie on slow afternoons.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:41 AM on August 14, 2009


No, I wasn't!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:43 AM on August 14, 2009


Oh, this takes me back.

Although you couldn't really get it in most of Central Massachusetts: we could only watch V66 east of Worcester (at my aunt's house in Marlborough, usually).
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:03 AM on August 14, 2009


Party on Garth.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2009


UHF channels were like counter culture portals. I miss that.
posted by davebush at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2009


Wow. I had completely forgotten V66. Thanks!
posted by quarterframer at 11:16 AM on August 14, 2009


V66! Crankin' in Concord!

I'm surprised to see that they played anything other than Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round," as I remember that playing over... and over... and over. Then maybe "Rock the Casbah," then quickly retreating back to Dead or Alive.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:18 AM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice. I remember v66, and John Garabedian.



"Massholes" tag? What are you an inbred from New Hampshire?"
posted by R. Mutt at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok, ok. The central Mass part was just thinly veiled personal history - it was me inky parents basement in Shrewsbury. I read the recent news about WBCN going under and it all came back.

I was heartbroken to not be able to find many of the actual local videos they played. Hopefully those documentary guys have better luck.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2009


Boomin' in Brookline! (God, I loved V66 - I discovered REM there, life was good).
posted by tristeza at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2009


V66 came in on the South Coast too albeit in a rather static-y way. Great memories! Great post, too.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 11:30 AM on August 14, 2009


The recent Zonkaraz reunion gigs have made me all nostalgic for the glory days of Central Mass. rock and roll.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:46 AM on August 14, 2009


Oh, wow. I loved V66 in high school and was so sad when it went away. The song I remember them playing over and over again was Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime).

"Little things remind me of you...cheap cologne and that DAMNED SONG, TOO!"
posted by xingcat at 12:18 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This makes me miss my black-and-white television with channel buttons. For those who don't know, some TVs had two channel-tuning knobs (one for VHF, one for UHF), but others had a row of buttons that were tuned by the manufacturer to the most commonly-used frequencies. If you wanted to watch Channel 4, you walked over to the television set and pressed "4." And if you wanted to watch Channel 66...well, then you were out of luck, if you were me, because your TV didn't have a button for "66."

...I don't know why that makes me miss it.
posted by cribcage at 12:54 PM on August 14, 2009


WORMTOWN ROCKS!
posted by vrakatar at 1:16 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh yeah. i much preferred V66 to MTV, because of the local feel. also, that fugly building (now a TJ Maxx corporate building) was known among some of my friends as the dipthong building, because the color scheme evoked a big old "EEEEEEEWWWWWWWW" (you have to say it with a 1980's omigod dipthong going on there).

also, that's no random fan. that's Joe Turner. (he's this guy i know)
posted by rmd1023 at 2:09 PM on August 14, 2009


also, that fugly building (now a TJ Maxx corporate building) was known among some of my friends as the dipthong building

Said building was designed, I believe, by Robert A.M. Stern? Or some other Very Big Deal in the days of post-modern architecture.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2009


I'm surprised to see that they played anything other than Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round," as I remember that playing over... and over... and over. Then maybe "Rock the Casbah," then quickly retreating back to Dead or Alive.

Yes, corpse, yes. For me, through unimaginable repetition I was able to memorize every frame of Aha's "Take on Me". Almost literally.

V66 forevah!
posted by jeremias at 6:11 PM on August 14, 2009


Long after they disappeared, you'd still see V-66 stickers on Mass Pike tollbooths.
posted by adamg at 7:34 PM on August 14, 2009


Remember watching it on the tiny screen in my girlfriend's (now my wife) 3rd floor (illegal) apartment in Newton Center in 1985. Good times.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:49 PM on August 14, 2009


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