Back in the 1980s, Boston was a great place to be a local band. In Kenmore Square, the Rat was spawning punk rockers, in Cambridge, the Inn-Square Men's Bar was featuring creative music every night. Further out on the fringes, thousands of college students were looking for a good time, and the drinking age rules were not enforced the way they are today.

In those days, Boston radio stations -- not only college stations but commercial stations as well -- would play records by local bands. You could be a big fish in a small pond, flopping around merrily.

In the midst of all this, a local TV station blinked onto the air, on the other-worldly UHF dial. It was V-66, and it was a free version of the then-new MTV. You might have to move your antenna around to tune it in, but it was music on TV, and it was free.

The band I was in, Rods and Cones, arrived at the right time. We had had something of a local hit with our tune "Education in Love," and our guitarist, Gary France, arranged for some Emerson College film students to create a video for that track. For a long stretch of time in 1986, V-66 was broadcasting it every day of the week.

Great memories and high times. There are worse ways to misspend one's youth.

So ... V-66 is coming back, at least for one night, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010, at the House of Blues in Boston. A video documentary about V-66, called "Life on the V" will be released that month, and the hard-working people who produced that film will show the world what it was about. Rods and Cones will regroup for that one night, with yours truly on bass guitar.

Rods and Cones 1984

Other Boston bands from that era will be performing that night, including O Positive, Lizzy Borden and the Axes and a few others yet to be announced.

Well, if you live long enough, you become an oldies act. But Rods and Cones will not be sleepwalking through it. No! We're already undertaking a strict health regimen, jogging, skipping rope, punching the heavy bag. In fact, we have all secluded ourselves at a training camp in a remote part of Massachusetts, subsisting on whole grains, carrot juice and meat that we have hunted ourselves.

OK, I exaggerate. But we are going to be kicking it at that gig. More soon.


Jim Duffy June 12, 2010 @01:23 pm

Thanks, John! I remember that gig with The Call, though I couldn't remember if it was Worcester or Providence. As I recall, the Call were really good that night. And with any luck, the Cones will be performing again in the coming months. For updates, look here or look up "Rods and Cones 2010" on MySpace.

John Moore June 09, 2010 @01:43 am

I saw you guys open for The Call at a club in Worcester. I had heard "Education" on WFNX and thought you guys were fantastic live. Would have loved to hear that reunion.

Jim Duffy February 28, 2010 @11:58 pm

Thanks for coming, and thanks for the kind words!

V66 fan February 13, 2010 @07:06 pm

You guys rocked some groovy tunes--loved your sound! Missed you back in day!

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