Headlining in Vegas

by Kathy Holmes

We saw Tom Jones Saturday night at the MGM in Las Vegas as a celebration of the upcoming release of my romance novel, The Tom Jones Club, and I'm still flying so high, I can't seem to think about anything else. And while I know I just wrote about Tom Jones in my post last month, I can't tell you enough how fabulous it is to see a headliner in Las Vegas - especially Tom Jones. As I mentioned before, I saw Tom in Vegas 12 years ago, so I was wondering if I'd be disappointed in him now - after all, he just turned 70. :)

He was even better, if you can believe it. Twelve years later he has an even wider repertoire/appeal and he's really drawing them in - from 20-somethings to 80-somethings. The two girls dancing in the aisles didn't look a day older than 21. And they were loving him. His voice is absolutely amazing - and he's still going strong.

His voice is a gift from God, but some credit for the revival of his career goes to his son, who's helped him stay relevant with younger crowds and updated music. The same can be said for Tony Bennett and his son - Tony's voice and his career are both going strong and he's 84. (I'm writing this post on Monday on the anniversary of Elvis' death and I can't help but feel sad that he wasn't able to do the same; that, in fact, his career was cut so short.)

I recognized a few ladies from the "Tom Jones Club" and there were a few panty-throwers, but I think that was mostly a symbolic effort than actually hoping for something more. lol! There were several mother and daughter duos, and one mother and daughter strolled in wearing black t-shirts with "Tom Jones" written in gold glitter on the front. And there were obviously groups of women who knew each other, table hopping and chatting before the show (just like in my novel.)

But there were also couples and one family with kids.  So, there were probably almost as many men as women shouting, clapping, screaming, and singing along with Tom. He appeals to both sexes. In fact, I recently ran into a ex-coworker of mine from San Francisco, and he told me he'd been to see Tom 10 times.

This is when I'm thrilled to live in Las Vegas - I love the opportunity to get to these fabulous shows so easily. I've seen performers when I've lived in other cities, but there's something about Las Vegas that's special. Over the years I've seen performers such as Frank Sinatra, Engelbert Humperdink, Wayne Newton, Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Charo, Cher, Elvis, James Darrin, Ann-Margret, Tony Orlando, Jim Nabors, Neil Sedaka, and Tom Jones, of course, and the best performances were in Las Vegas because of the intimacy of the theater.

While Sir Tom has the reputation as a ladies' man, with hot, gyrating sex appeal, he's getting rave reviews for his new gospel album, Praise & Blame. Just to contrast the two, I'll leave you a clip from his "new" recording the last time we saw him 12 years ago, You Can Leave Your Hat On, from The Full Monty, and a clip of What Good Am I? from his brand new Praise & Blame gospel album.

The Tom Jones Club will be released November 2010 by Siren Bookstrand. You can find out more on my web site at www.kathyholmes.net.


  1. Wowee! Love Tom Jones. How very cool! It's amazing how some folks just get better and better. Your example of Tony Bennett was on the spot. Frankly, Tony looked better the older he got. Tom's looking pretty damn good too. *wink*

    Sad about Elvis and I was just thinking of John Lennon the other day. Watching Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton in recent videos and sadly wishing Lennon could have been around to jump in with some blues. Heck, I watched a cool video with Yoko and various musicians, including her son, and thought, DAMN, would that have been too cool or what? Playing music with his son and wife.

    Sorry to get all maudlin, but you made a good point there. *wink*

    LOVE the post, Kathy. You captured the excitement and I could really *see* the crowds. Thanks for the videos too! Hope to show them to hubby tonight. *grin*


  2. Thanks, Chiron! So true about John Lennon, too. Only now do I truly appreciate his mastery, talent, and poetry - I was too young back then to appreciate more than "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - lol! We need more John Lennons in the world. As for Eric Clapton, well, I have him to thank for helping me single-handedly edit/produce 80 tech manuals one software release back in the 90s - lol!

    Also, a HuffPo columnist wrote about Tom Jones - apparently she was there the night before we were so the concert was slightly different - but she really captured the flavor of what I was trying to express in this post. The link is here:


  3. Tom Jones... I'm glad that "The Full Monty" used him for "You Can Leave Your Hat On" although he may be too sexy for that song.

    One of these days I'm going to see Tony Bennett live. This is something I had wanted to do since I was 14 and saw him singing in the neighborhood bar, only through the door since I was too young (this was during a rather low point in his career). I didn't know who he was but I knew he was a famous singer.

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  5. Funny how Tom Jones seems to bring out the weirdoes - lol!

    Cories, Tony was on my list, too, and we just saw him last year with his daughter - wonderful show!

  6. Every year my brother went to a ball tournament where they played the player's 'theme' song when he would go up to bat. I'll never forget the year my brother chose Tom Jones singing "What's New Pussycat".

  7. Kelly - that's hilarious - love it!

  8. Kathy - you lucky gal! Although I did see Tom Jones in concert many years ago - it was fun! And er - um were you one of those "panty throwers" by chance? Hmm?... *grin* Good luck with the new book!

  9. JJ - just saw your comment. And, no, I'm not a panty-thrower - lol! I'm the matron screaming and shouting with hubby. :)


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