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|In addition to the slightly anemic, but ever-so-lovable, light, post-new wave stuff like The Thompson Twins' Hold Me Now, Sade's Your Love Is King and anything by the 40's retro-trio Matt Bianco, they played a good amount of loud, hard music, most of which, at the time, I grew frustrated with. This was the station that played Iron Maiden in the company of Spandau Ballet! Videos I didn't know (TV Party by Black Flag, Rock and Roll Crazy Night by Loudness), or ones I hated (Party at Ground Zero by Fishbone) annoyed me, but luckily gave me time to make a quick phone call, run to the bathroom to pop a zit or replenish my then-melted, but-not-fully-eaten bowl of ice cream .
My initial fascination did last a long while, but eventually I started to long for something more. I don't know. Was it clear reception? I remember petitioning for more frequent trips to visit Grandma in Long Island City because she lived right across the East River from the Empire State Building and I would spend the hours that we were there in her bedroom, eating pickled herring, drinking 7-Up and glued to the television set.
In between flipping back and forth from Sleeper to Mahogany (both of which alternate in my mind as the only two Channel 11 Sunday Afternoon Movies that they aired in the 80's), I'd watch Hell in Paradise by Yoko Ono and The Stand by the Alarm on a picture perfect 10" television. But those times were few and far between.
Once my parents gave in to the peer pressure of the neighbors and sprung for cable, I felt like I lost a friend and often found myself unplugging the unnecessarily complex coaxial cables that connected the television to the VCR to the cable box to the wall, to reconnect my antiquated rabbit ears in order to catch a glimpse of a U68 classic. The whole routine became too complicated and amid accusations from my father about wasting the money that he paid for cable, I stopped tampering with the wires, and the best channel ever on TV and the odd mix of videos that it repeatedly played dissipated into the airwaves.