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WLIR documentary to make its TV debut on Showtime

Duran Duran at the WLIR studio on Fulton

Duran Duran at the WLIR studio on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead in 1980. Credit: WLIR

A documentary on the influential Hempstead radio station WLIR, “New Wave: Dare to be Different,” will have its TV debut next month. The movie, a festival hit, will air March 30 at 8 p.m. on Showtime.

Directed by Plainview native Ellen Goldfarb, the film chronicles how the now-defunct but fondly remembered station helped define the sound of the 1980s and introduced a generation to such musical acts as Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Blondie and The Fixx. Members of those bands, along with Long Beach rocker Joan Jett and the station’s former program director, Northport’s Denis McNamara, are interviewed in the film.

Under its original title, “Dare to be Different,” the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and then held a sold-out, three-night run at the Gold Coast Film Festival.

“It’s been a labor of love,” Goldfarb told Newsday’s Glenn Gamboa in 2017. She originally got the idea for the documentary from seeing all the Facebook groups dedicated to WLIR and the music from the era. “In my life, the music and the DJs helped me. It gave me a place to escape to. It brought peace and harmony in my life.”

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