TBD on Ning

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.

Views: 28

Tags: comedian, comedy, concerts, humor, music, singer, theater


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Comment by Getagroove on July 15, 2009 at 12:22am
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check out his show one day.
Comment by Getagroove on July 14, 2009 at 8:38am
@Michel: Never mind the chest hair; what about "down below." Eventually we all wind up looking like Phil Donahue at a nude beach.
Comment by Getagroove on July 14, 2009 at 8:36am
@Cardan: Thanks for reading the whole piece before commenting on my post. I am a comedian, after all, so a joking and sarcasm, and social commentary are part of anything I do, but it's all in good fun. I always loved the way Tom Jones sang, going all the way back to "It's Not Unusual." He had lots of soul. As he morphed into a megastar and did the overt sexual moves for the ladies I became less of a fan. I would turn on the show toward the end to catch him sing some kick-ass, funky song, with that great band behind him. He used to single out his guitarist, Jim...something; I can't remember his last name. Jim was great too. He strummed the funkiest rhythms and ripped of great solos as well. Whoa, whoa, whoa...
Comment by Getagroove on July 13, 2009 at 1:37pm
@Grace Linda: I'm sure he loves the attention but as a dancer you must also understand the intense desire to perform because it's such an integral part of your DNA. When money is no longer an issue, and you've been famous for as long as Tom, the need to sing, dance, get laughs, whatever is driven by something so much deeper. It's kind of liberating, in a way, you care much more about the quality of the work then the attention. It's also great to feel so relaxed and in command on a stage instead of having the nerves that plague performers earlier in their lives.
Comment by Getagroove on July 13, 2009 at 1:30pm
@JMcAul: That's exactly the same way I get in trouble, cracking wise to perfect strangers. I thought Michael Flatley of Riverdance was gay? No? If not, he should be.
Comment by Grace Linda on July 13, 2009 at 9:32am
More Power To TOM. I hope he milks it dry. I doubt he needs the money. He must just love the attention.
Comment by JMcAul on July 13, 2009 at 12:51am
All I really remember about him (besides recognizing his music) was that women would supposedly toss their bras onstage when he was performing. Now whether this was just his publicity or not, I don't know.

Years later (decades, actually) I heard another performer's stage appeal to women being compared to Tom's. It was Michael Flatley of Riverdance fame. When I bought tickets to Flatley's "lord of the Dance" show, I told the ticketmaster attendant I wanted to be close enought to the stage that I could throw my bra onto it if I wanted to. He looked quite startled! My (then 6 year old) daughter was with me that day.

The night of the show, we found our seats and were waiting for the lights to go down. My daughter kept glancing around anxiously; obviously something was on her mind and I thought it was just the newness of being in a huge auditorium with lots of people.

Finally, she leaned over to me and very seriously whispered in my ear "Mom, I don't think you're supposed to throw your bra here". I just busted out laughing as I remembered my comments on the day I had bought the tickets - I had completely forgotten saying it but she was convinced I was planning on doing it! I had to reassure her very carefully that I wasn't planning on removing anything other than my coat for the performance!
Comment by Getagroove on July 12, 2009 at 10:22pm
Do you sing, Delilah in the shower, complete with the "flickering shadows of love on the blinds?"
Comment by Caroline Gutierrez Abreu on July 12, 2009 at 5:47pm
What's new, Pussycat? Whoa.



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