Singer and 1970's, bulging crotched, heartthrob, Tom Jones recently appeared near my home at an outdoor theater. When I first saw the signs posted promoting the event about one month earlier I did a double take. Tom Jones? He's still out there? I hope he isn't thrusting his pelvis in and out like he used to or he'll get hip dysplasia.
I know you are waiting for me to say I attended the concert but I didn't and I'm sorry to disappoint you. Not having first-hand knowledge no longer prevents people commenting on politics, child-rearing, voting, relationships, international politics, the space program, healthcare reform, economics, macs versus pc's, whether "natural" on a food label has to mean natural, and whether cheese food can rightfully be considered food, so I will not let it stop me either.
I received a promotional brochure from the Levitt Pavillion, the facility hosting the Tom Jones concert. The photo of Tom on the cover made him look like he had been Photoshopped using the Bizarro world filter, or he was the lone survivor of an explosion in a Botox factory. He's technically, Sir Tom, today, having been knighted by the Queen of England years ago. Being knighted in contemporary Britain has nothing to do with make a great contribution to British society, it's strictly about how much money you have earned, and how much commerce you've generated for the British economy. Considering the expansion of American box stores around the globe, we may see a Sir Sam Walton, or Sir Colonel Sanders, posthumously, of course. According to the brochure, Tom Jones has earned over 365 million dollars in his lifetime in a career spanning more than five decades. In the cover photo, Sir Tom was trim, and fit. This makes all of us men approaching Seniorville jealous. We sit around at the dog park dismissing his accomplishment, attributing his body to the "plastic surgery all of those celebrities have." Tom's hair is that kinky, curly, type, and hasn't held up well. He seems to have plenty of it but that's part of the problem. The promotional photo showed him belting out a note, face scrunched, hands clenched, perspiration running down his photoshopped cheeks. In his youth, that was sexy, primal, and appealing. In his seventies it makes Tom look like he's having a colonoscopy - awake.
Women were mad for Tom Jones. They would toss their hotel room keys and panties on the stage, ask him to autograph their breasts, and try to sneak onto the floor of the Vegas hotel in which he was staying. Women would give him their scarves so he could wipe sweat from his brow and return it to them. Because of the advanced age of his fans today I'm tempted to make jokes about how his fans would now throw the keys to their room at the home on the stage, or ask him to autograph their Depends. I could speculate how his fans would love to find out the location of Tom's hotel room, but they can't even remember the location of their own. I could, but that would be cheap.
The music of our youth always transports us back to what now appears a carefree period in our lives. I'm sure Tom Jones continues to perform because plenty of people still wish to see him and visit their youth for ninety minutes. He was always hard-working, a completely committed performer, had a killer back up band, and I'll bet he still gives it his all. The only question I have is, Tom, how can you still sing the lyrics to She's a Lady? "She always knows her place, she's got style, she's got grace, she's a winner." "Well she knows what I'm about, She can take what I dish out, and that's not easy." I guess some memories are better than others.