‘Life on the V: The Story of V66’ crashes Coolidge Corner Theatre


Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

We tend to take our Boston music very seriously here on the pink ink-stained digital pages of Vanyaland, but long before we started strutting our online stuff, a different kind of V hyped the local scene. It was Boston music video channel called V66, and Eric Green’s documentary on the television phenomenon, Life on the V: The Story of V66, comes to The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline on Tuesday (August 7), complete with a Q&A with the director himself.

Those who were there remember it fondly, but the legacy of V66 is catching the attention of newer generations who were either too young experience it or simply not yet alive by its final broadcast in ’86.

The trailer below should give a pretty good indication of the cultural comet that was V66, but peep the documentary’s description for a fuller recap of just how it all went down.

“In the early 1980s, Massachusetts radio personality John Garabedian came up with a plan to launch a TV channel to function as music television for the Boston-based college crowd. His goal was to take the Music Video TV concept and make it live (real time) and local (catering to Boston’s interests). On February 12, 1985, V66 (on WVJV-TV channel 66) went live on the air and created an immediate sensation. V66 was in the right place at the right time to showcase Boston’s superstar acts of this era (Aerosmith, The Cars, and The J. Geils Band) as well as the new rising stars from Boston’s music scene (‘Til Tuesday, Extreme, and The Del Fuegos).”

“They played a wide variety of music genres and often times they played local unsigned bands in between international superstars. In July 1985, V66 was the only non-cable TV channel besides ABC to broadcast the historic Live Aid concert in Boston. They also broadcast live concerts and events all over the Boston area. The fans on the street, dancing at the clubs and calling in to win contests became as much a part of the channel as the music being played. In the summer of 1986, V66 was sold to the Home Shopping Network.”

“On September 21, 1986, V66 signed off the channel 66 airwaves. ‘Life On The V’ captures that moment in time, by combining archival footage with newly shot interviews told by the people who lived it. Featured interviews include former V66 employees (John Garabedian, Arnie Ginsburg, David Beadle, Roxy Myzal, Bob Rivers, David O’Leary, Ian O’Malley, and Bill Stephens), musicians (including members of The Cars, The J. Geils Band, New Edition, ‘Til Tuesday, Extreme, The Del Fuegos, Puddle of Mudd, Letters to Cleo, The Lemonheads, Dropkick Murphys and Morphine) and fans (Mike Dreese, Ernie Boch Jr.).”

Featured image via Coolidge Corner Theatre.