Sir Tom Jones is an iconic singer in his own right, but for fans of the King of rock and roll Elvis Presley, many are even more excited with hearing the Sex Bomb hitmaker’s memories of him. Diving into The Voice coach’s back catalogue, one song stands out as being a particularly poignant tribute to his old friend after his death. The interesting thing to note is on the very same album, Sir Tom recorded another track called Elvis Presley Blues.
The lyrics are a heartfelt and sombre catharsis to the singer’s old friend, as the star delivered notes about him being just “a country boy that combed his hair”.
Sir Tom crooned about how he was “thinking that night about Elvis”, and the “day that he died”, and it’s a wonderful tribute to the man who shot to the height of fame in the 1950s and 60s.
The song was actually originally written by Gillian Welch, but it shows just how close Sir Tom and Elvis were over the years, and the impact the rock and roll star had on him.
And another song on the same album Long Lost Suitcase, which was recorded in 2015, was “He was a friend of mine”.
Sir Tom has regularly spoken about his memories of Elvis over the years, one interview in particular revealing a story of him and his friend in a Las Vegas bathroom.
Talking to US chat show host Conan O’Brien, Sir Tom recalled the bizarre moment he had with Elvis following a concert in sin city.
Elvis was in the middle of his late 1960s comeback tour, and regularly performed in Las Vegas.
“He was at the Hilton in Las Vegas and I was at Caesars Palace and he used to stay on,” Sir Tom said in 2015. “As we used to do a month and we used to overlap.
“So after he finished his month he would stay to watch me and he would come to the show most nights.
“This one time he had this song somebody had tried to pitch to him,” the star went on. “So he was in the wings and when I came off the stage he was like, ‘Oh I’ve got this song man,’ and I was like, ‘I’ve got to jump into the shower.’ I went into the shower and I was washing my hair and I hear…”
Sir Tom began to shake his hand, mimicking Elvis, and began singing in an impression of his friend.
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m hearing Elvis Presley in the shower now – I’m going nuts here!’” the star carried on. “So when I got the soap out of my eyes, he was over the shower door – he was right there, and I said ‘Elvis, I’ll be right there!’”
The chat show host was already in hysterics, but Sir Tom added: “I got out of the shower and I saw he’d been to the toilet in my bathroom while I was in the shower. He was wearing a North Beach leather outfit – a lot of us used to – and they weren’t lined, they were just natural leather. So he was standing there, cleaning up and looking in the mirror. So I’m naked and he’s half naked.”
“His pants are down round his ankles. So he’s standing there, singing this song to me. I’m trying to towel down and I said, ‘You know, Elvis, your pants.’ And he went, ‘Red!’ because he had a bodyguard called Red.
“So Red busts through the door thinking there’s something wrong… but Elvis says, ‘My pants, man.’”
However, Sir Tom explained he had to pull up Elvis’ trousers due to the tight leather, not just because he was “too celebrity” to pull up his own.
Published at Sun, 22 Mar 2020 12:45:00 +0000