CulturePulp

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June 19, 2005: CulturePulp stands in awe of Welsh supercrooner Tom Jones.

 

Endnotes and Digressions:

1. Grey-tones and color for this installment by Chad Essley.

2. What really struck me about the Tom Jones show was how its sex-vibe is only slightly toned-down from Feb. 1992, when SPY Magazine wrote about him in a sidebar titled "99 Percent -- No, Make that 100 Percent -- Perspiration: Sweat Etiquette Among Vegas Royalty." Writer Lisa Birnbach summed it up as follows:

"Probably the premier living show-biz sweater is Tom Jones. When he performs at Bally’s with a five-piece rock band, the beads of man-dew (is it sweat or pure testosterone?) glisten all over. Women, the majority of his audience, know the drill. The well-prepared will come bearing flowers or other gifts (one brought a Nintendo Game Boy for Jones’ grandson the night I saw the show) as well as tarty undergarments.

“Tom ... will savor the panties, saying something like, ‘Oh, Victoria!’ -- a reference, I assumed, to Victoria’s Secret -- or 'My favorite brand!' Then he will wipe his face with the panties and hand them back to his breathless fan. She will also get a kiss on the mouth. One particularly insistent fan refused to accept her purple G-string back until she had wiped sweat from Jones’s chest too."


Now, Jones wasn't kissing any women or wiping himself with unmentionables during the June 19 concert -- Portland ain’t Vegas, and at this point, those sorts of behaviors would probably feel a bit ... Richard Dawson-ish anyway, if you know what I mean. But the decadent, vaguely orgiastic vibe was still totally intact. (And, for the record, Jones's shirt was pit-stained by his second song.) "Pure testosterone," indeed.

3. It’s worth mentioning here that Jones is touring in support of no fewer than three albums: “Tom Jones: Greatest Hits,” “Mr. Jones” (a collaboration with Wyclef Jean) and “Tom Jones And Jools Holland.” You can learn more at the singer’s official site, www.TomJones.com.



Type too small? You can download a high-rez PDF of CulturePulp 31 right here: CulturePulp031.pdf
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Mike Russell is a film writer and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. ... full profile