60 Minutes, 99 Red Balloons

Published: 2006-03-27
Even if you're a big fan of Nena's 1984 hit "99 Red Balloons" (or the German version "99 Luftballons") you're probably sick of the tune by now if you were watching VH1 Classic in the US this weekend.

On March 26 from 2pm (EST) till 3pm that's all that played on the American specialty music channel, over and over (and over) again.

The Nena marathon was for the final hour of the station's "Pay to Play for Hurricane Katrina Relief" fundraiser. According to the Associated Press, "Viewers could request one video to be played on VH1 Classic for every $25 donation. For a $35 000 donation, they could select an hour's worth of music from the 1960's through the early 1990's".

One viewer apparently decided that the channel just couldn't have enough of the 1984 protest song that so they requested to have it played continuously for an entire hour.

The tune, sung in both English and German, is the story of 99 balloons floating into the sky, triggering an apocalyptic overreaction by the military.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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