MUSIC & SURVEILLANCE #6 Suspicion-Driven Surveillance

an interesting take on surveillance and music from Gary T. Marx

LSTS blog

Special guest MIT sociologist Gary T. Marx interrogates MUSIC & SURVEILLANCE by exploring the super-superveillance powers of distrustful singers and songwriters. 

Alittlerichard theme reflected in early rhythm and blues and rock and roll music involves the boasting of a male lover’s super-surveillance powers to discover unfaithfulness. Such songs contained an implicit threat and may be intended to deter. In contrast to songs that came later, here we see watching by an individual rather than a government or the private sector. In 1956, in ‘Slippin’ and Slidin”, Little Richard has been ‘peepin’ and hidin” to discover his baby’s jive, and as a result he ‘won’t be your fool no more‘. Bobby Vee sings that ‘the night has a thousand eyes‘ and that these eyes will see ‘if you aren’t true to me‘. If he gets ‘put down for another‘ or…

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