Sunday, April 03, 2016

Pay $200 To Watch Tom Jones Live In Singapore?

The experience written is a personal one of a friend who attended the show and is not sponsored by any commercial enterprise, advertising company, event or media agency. The above picture is used for this posting only. Any objection, do
write in on Comment page for immediate deletion.
Below is a direct SMS transcript and fillers from good friend LK Min. He took the time to message me immediately after the show about the Tom Jones Show in Singapore on 31st March, 2016.

Thanks Min for your contribution and glad you enjoyed the performance.

I received the ticket image on Thursday evening before midnight and three minutes later good friend Min came bursting through my What'sApp screaming, "Just came home after watching TJ." 

He continued, "He is still very good at his age. Solid two hours with no intermission."

When I asked him if he loved the performance his reply was, "Thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Worth the ticket!" It was a premier ticket and Min paid more than $200 for a seat. And with a friend to accompany him that was an exorbitant $400 for the performance.
"Wow that's expensive," I replied. "I can just watch him on You Tube and big screen at home for free."

I wanted photos and his reply came, "My friend took one or two shots," adding, "if Jones comes around again next year, still worth to catch him."  Min then asked if I fancied Jones and explained that he would have taken more pictures if he had not forgotten to bring his hand-phone.

I replied, "I prefer Engelbert Humperdinck. Jones' wild animal ways are more for the ladies."

"Did our Singapore ladies throw panties?" I added in jest, knowing very well this act of innocence would never happen in Singapore, not even in 2016.

"No, he was gentlemanly and even sang *one or two songs in tribute to Elvis. He sang a couple of gospels too. Came across as rather saintly... big contrast to his younger days of wildness and sexiness."
I wanted a description of the audience and band in the 5,050 seat theatre at the Star Performing Arts Centre.  His reply came fast and explained that he was seated,  "Six or seven away from the front. It was quite near the stage for that price. Jones sang the favourites like, Sex Bomb, Green Green Grass of Home, Never Fall In Love Again, Kiss, Delilah, It's Not Unusual and others."

According to Min, there were, "No dancing girls nor chorus. Just him alone belting out all the songs for two hours. He must have taken some fantastic Ginseng if not Viagra!"

The band section composed of, "Trombone, organ, a couple of solid guitars, a tuba and the usual drums. The hall was almost filled."

I told him Mr Jones failed Singapore fans the last time he was here. He had an unlucky bout of laryngitis before his appearance. According to a friend who attended the show, Jones sang only one song on stage and disappeared afterwards without any apology. 
                               *Tom Jones sings, Elvis Presley Blues.

S$212 for 2 hours of Tom Jones. That's $212  divided by 120 minutes. At S$1.76 per minute that's a reasoanble deal to watch a man who came from the 1960's in a time machine, all the way from Wales.

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone
It's not unusual to have fun with anyone...

1) Would you pay S$200? 
2) Do listen to the video above and if you have an opinion of Elvis Presley Blues, please write in.
                                  Tom Jones with Elvis Presley.
Extra Notes:
Tom Jones was knighted by QEII in 2006 and received numerous other awards for his music achievements. In February 2015, he received an invitation to perform at the 25th Anniversary of MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honouring Bob Dylan, alongside Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Beck, Jack White, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and others. 

Sir Tom is a living legend, one of few musical artistes whose profession began at the dawn of pop music and who continues to record and perform to this day.

*Time (The Revelator) is an album by Gillian Welch written together with David Rawlings and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Elvis Presley Blues sung by Tom Jones is one of the tracks in this music album. The song is also included in his own album Long Lost Suitcase with 12 others of his own.
             The Star Performing Arts Theatre @ Vista Green Singapore

Concert Information: LK Min.
TJ Information: Star Theatre Website
Images: A Private Collection; arch daily; Google.
Video: You Tube from Tom Jones VEVO; Mars Attack: Mr Frollo.

Tom Jones in Mars Attack: It's Not Unusual


RC said...

The truth is I don't like to pay such sky high price to watch this kind of show even though I like it.

SUNNY WEE said...

I have seen Paul Anka, Engelbert, Herman's Hermits, Johnny Tillotson n Platters. Missed out on Cliff Richard. Seen a lot of Chinese singers at the Old Palace Theatre in Katong during the 80's.

Tom Jones is another gelek king. Has a powerful voice. Jerry Fernandez has the vocal capacity to sing TJ songs.

chakap chakap said...

He has received many other awards throughout his career, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, an MTV Video Music Award in 1989, and two Brit Awards, winning Best British Male in 2000 and Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2003. From 2012 to 2015 Jones was one of the four coaches on the BBC television talent show The Voice UK.


At his show at RWS, where he walked off after one song, without a word of apology. Supposed to have a bad sore throat, etc.



Did you go? Terrible song. Couldn't listen for more than one verse. If you did you should demand your money back.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Great singer, great voice. Unique for his time; he is special even today. But still prefer Elvis and Engelbert. No femininity in Jones. He's a voracious and instinctively male animal with his roar and ferocity.

My reply to LKMin's question.

Thanks to all the early birds for replies. You guys are fantastic and so supportive.


Both LKMin and his friend saw a mellower Tom 'Atomic' Jones but nevertheless a legend. $200 for a legend? Why not?


Hi brother Andy, thanks to the reader and i must say TJ was one of my favorite acts.

1972 when i first started singing along with my band NewFaces at Pink Pussy Cat nite club at Prince Garni Hotel, i just happened to be singing SHE'S A LADY along with other songs. It was in the presence of journalist Mr. Wilfred Yeo and there are it was splashed in the local paper and not knowing i continued to add more of TJ songs till this very day.

It is all a coincidence brother Andy. Once again a word of thanks to Mr. Sunny Wee.
God Bless Us All.


Reasonable conversation.


Perhaps better than ever: TomJones. What a great tribute to Elvis Presley!


Terrible words but i guess there were good intentions here.


It makes me sad to see this because I like this era so much of the 50's to the 70's and so sad that the King has died and to see Tom Jones that old; and I'm just 17.

Linda said...

Tom Jones is a great entertainer.


Hi Andy,

Thanks for the interesting article on Tom Jones. But I am confused about one thing you wrote there: “a man who came from the 1960's in a time machine, all the way from Ireland.”

Jones is Welsh.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you my friends and readers for the comments. I did not expect such a rousing welcome for Tom Jones. He is indeed a living legend attracting so many.

And Steve, I have amended the mistake made. It's not the first time I did it. Thank you for noticing.

Victor said...

Tom Jones was one of my favourite singers when I was a teenager back in the late 1960s. Even then, I paid only $2 for a pirated cassette tape of his songs which I could play over and over again. Certainly, I wouldn't think it's worth spending >$200 to watch him sing each song only once, even if it's live and now that I can actually afford it. But that's just me.


Tom Jones is a good singer, fantastic voice, just like Elvis, they thought he was black. But I'm not his fan but I like a few songs he sings.

(Check Jimmy out. Click his name.)


Still as good as yesterday. Cannot ask for more.

ML said...

Ha, ha, ha. My family and I can have a pretty good makan with that money bro.


I believe most would come to the same conclusion.


Did you ever see the kitsch, hilarious sci fi spoof "Mars Attacks"? Mid-late 1990's. Tom Jones had a small role in it, and in one of performances his back up singers are replaced by Martians.

But that was nothing compared to what saved Earth! Someone's Grandmother loved Slim Williams' gosh awful, "Only You" song, which conveniently made the Martians' heads explode!

NB, this movie was even funnier than it should have been, since I was living in Paris at the time and mistakenly saw the version dubbed into French. Oh la la. Nearly died laughing.

TTP said...

No too expensive for me.

SU G. (Perth, Western Australia) said...

Thanks Andy. Not really a TJ fan tho I do admire his powerful vocals.

CJT said...

Not exactly a fan of Tom Jones.

SUNNY WEE said...

Your blog has been richly rewarded with more than a million visits and surely recognised as a platform for music readers to share personal views and opinion. Appreciate Mr Fernandez for his kind response.


I think if you 'dig' his style of music and singing, the price to watch him 'live' is academic and rally not an issue. It is subjective.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I appreciate the time taken by readers to write and reply to this column. The interest generated is overwhelming since money is always an issue everywhere and a hot topic.

To pay S$200 to watch a living legend in person, as mentioned, is not expensive to some but exorbitant to many.

Thank you all. It's a one day affair with nearly 30 replies.

anonymous said...

$200 is a lot of money...

RL said...

Hi Andy,

I am from ___, and I respect your views and authority on 60's music. You have a very tight-knit community over here, and it is one that I wish to reach out to for my newest event.

Happening every ___, we look to celebrate 60's music with a twist. With live DJ on the decks, we mix 60's music with lounge beats as we look to create a cozy atmosphere for dining. Is there any way that I can contact you in private, and if possible invite you down for a session, so we can gather feedback? I believe this is an untapped field in Singapore, and we will be honored to get your opinion on this.

Please drop me an email and we can take the discussion further there. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks to
Re: Melissa Diagana:

The C/W singer you described from the movie "Mars Attack" was in fact named "Slim Whitman", and the song the movie producers used to make the Martian's heads explode was "Indian Love Call", a million seller for him from 1952 that crossed over into the pop charts at the time. Slim was born Otis Dewey in 1924 and died at a Florida nursing home at the age of 90 in 2014.

As for Tom Jones, the very first memory I've had of him was a copy of his "Live In Las Vegas" album from 1969 on Parrot/London Records that my mother had. I practically wore it out until it was ready for the trash in 1974, but got a "Greatest Hits" of Tom's released in 1973 as a replacement. I still have the copy today.

While I Never seen Sir Tom in concert, I do remember his TV show from 1969, "This Is Tom Jones" first on ABC Tv (Channel 7-WXYZ, Detroit Michigan in my hometown.) and later repeats of his show on Channel-9 (CKLW Windsor, Ontario along with the famous "Big 8" radio station.) Tom to me was dynamic then as he still is on the rare chances I see him.

I prefer Elvis, and Englebert is a decent crooner (and by the way he's older than Tom-Englebert turns 80 years old this year-he was born Arnold Thomas George Dorsey in 1936 in Madris, India, while Tom was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Wales 5 years later in 1940-Tom is one month younger than my Father, who was born June 5, 1940 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Tom was born in July.)

One thing I still remember about Tom's TV show besides belting out "It's Not Unusual" and comically crashing through a prop window before singing "What's New, Pussycat was that closing ITC logo at the end of the closing credits. By the time Channel 9 started re-running the show on their schedule in 1973 (the show was cancelled by ABC in 1971), ITC started using the infamous "spinning rainbow diamonds" as their closing logo, and repeats of "Tom Jones" TV show had that logo. It was an impressive finish to a thrilling TV show. Of course, that was over 43 and 1/2 years ago, so it's been a long time since I've seen the show.

Favorite cover song off Tom's" his 1968 cover of "Danny Boy", which he borrowed from Jackie Wilson's rendition from 1965. True, Tom doesn't top Jackie on this song, but he comes awfully darn close. In concert, he would joke to the audience "This song I think is so beautiful, it should be a Welsh song... but it belongs to the Irish" (followed by a humorous groan.)

From what I understand, composer Fred Weatherly was in fact British, and the song was supposedly based during the Irish Potato Famine of the 19th Century. I could be wrong about the complete story about "Danny", but I read it in a Wikepedia article somewhere, it could also be a War song about a Father's plea for his Irish son going into the Military.

What do you think?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you RobGems from CA. for writing in response to Ms Melissa's comment.

Appreciate your interesting article about Tom Jones and the other singers. I must check out the episode you mentioned.

Do visit the blog again when you are free. Your constructive comments and insights are always appreciated.

Anonymous said...

5/2/16 Wrote:
My bad, but apparently according to Wikepedia, Tom was born Thomas John Woodward on June 7, 1940, two days after my father's birth. It seems that early record companies like Columbia/EMI (where Tom made a few later-released demos for producer Joe Meek, such as "Little Lonely One' and "Chills And Fever") and later Decca Records, where he first recorded "It's Not Unusual" in late 1964, had shaved off a few months to a few years on his actual birth date and age. On the first U.S. album on Parrot Records, the liner notes on the back incorrectly states he was born in 1944, and was nearly 22 at the time, when in fact he was really nearly 25 at the time.

On a more somber note about Tom Jones, there should be a moment of silence for his recently deceased wife of 59 years, Melinda Jones, who recently passed on at age 75. RIP, Melinda Jones (1940-2016.)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Everyone wants to remain young. That's life. But thanks for the feedback Yours is an interesting viewpoint and important piece of information.

Yes I remember Mrs Jones had passed on not too long ago after I published this posting. May she RIP.

Thank you so much for writing. Please visit the blog again.