Tom Jones' 'Sex Bomb' to go off tonight in Abu Dhabi
As the gravelly-voiced Welsh warbler Tom Jones warms up his hard-working larynx for his Yas Island performance, here are some of our favourite well-known and not-so-well-known facts about 'The Voice'.
>> He was born Thomas John Woodward on June 7, 1940 in Pontypridd, Wales. He later became known by his stage name Tom Jones, which was given to him by his long-time manager Gordon Mills because Jones was Tom’s mother’s maiden name - also after the novel by Henry Fielding.
>> ‘It’s not Unusual’ was Tom’s first number 1 hit in 1965. It owes some of its success to pirate radio, which took up the song after the BBC originally considered it too raunchy for airplay. The song, which was co-written by Les Reed and Gordon Mills, was originally offered to singer Sandie Shaw. Tom however recorded the demo of the song for Sandie and, on hearing it, she insisted he should release it.
>> The original lyric for ‘Sexbomb’ was, “I’m your sexbomb”, but was changed to “You’re my sexbomb” after Tom’s daughter-in-law and publicity officer Donna Woodward, suggested that the original lyric sounded a tad egotistical.
>> The star’s first paid gig was at the Wood Road Non-Political club in Treforest in 1958. He earned £1 (Dhs5.8) for singing six songs.
>> His early career saw him become frontman of Tommy Scott and the Senators in 1963.
>> Knickers are traditionally thrown on stage by his adoring fans when he plays. This is believed to have first happened when he was playing the famous Copacabana club in New York in 1968, though it became really popular at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, where the singer also had a few room keys lobbed at him for good measure.
>> Tom’s lap time when competing in the ‘Star in the Reasonably Priced Car’ segment on BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ was 1.52.2, just behind Sir Michael Gambon as the second fastest OAP.
>> In 1996 Tom made a cameo appearance in wacky alien invasion movie ‘Mars Attacks!’ He has also appeared in cartoon form on The Simpsons in an episode called ‘Marge Gets A Job’ in which Mr Burns treats Marge to a free concert by Tom, her favourite artist.
Tom Jones plays the du Forum in Abu Dhabi tonight. Tickets start at Dhs300.