Halloween is almost here, and what could be a more perfect Friday Morning Video than Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me? It has zombies, haunted paintings, dogs in masks, a dude who showers while wearing a towel and enough old-school Halloween decorations to make that one guy on your block who goes over-board every year and end up scaring the crap out of a bunch of small children super jealous. Not enough? Oh come on. This song is a classic…and just so weird in a Scooby-Doo Halloween special kind of way. At one point Rockwell sings in an affected accent that is surely meant to be Bela Lugosi. Or possibly Lou Costello. He blames his paranoia on Alfred Hitchcock*, and the IRS. What? Michael Jackson’s Thriller? A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Besides, who do you think that golden throated soulster singing to-the-front back-up on this track? Which leads me to the best part of this song. The story. I used to think that Rockwell was able to get Michael Jackson because his father was Berry Gordy, but then I read this from the song’s Wikipedia page:
At the time of the recording Rockwell was estranged from his father and living with Ray Singleton, his father’s ex-wife. Singleton served as executive producer on the project and would occasionally play some demo tracks to Berry Gordy. The elder Gordy was less than enthusiastic about Rockwell’s music until he heard the single with a familiar voice featured prominently on background vocals
Holy crap! If that story is true, I feel so bad for Rockwell. And that is why I say, “Back off with your Michael Jackson talk. It’s Rockwell’s turn to shine.”
* Rockwell included several nods to The Master. Can you spot them…before it’s too lat?! Mwa ha ha! Just kidding. Take your time.