How Tom Jones still keeps it ‘panty throwing’ sexy at 80

Sir Tom Jones might go down in historical past as the one knight who as soon as had panties thrown at him onstage.

But the 80-year-old Welshman who crooned such ’60s classics as “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New Pussycat?” — in addition to the 1971 hit “She’s a Lady” — isn’t finished but. In addition to preserving his coach’s chair on “The Voice UK,” he’s releasing “Surrounded by Time,” a set of covers, on Friday.

Here, the “Sexbomb” singer dishes on turning 80 in a pandemic, the reality about Prince Philip as soon as insulting him and if he still wears leather-based pants.

How has this previous 12 months and alter been for you with quarantine?

It’s been all proper as a result of I’ve been doing “The Voice UK,” in order that’s stored me busy. That’s actually saved my life, you already know, being out with folks.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones
Rick Guest

How did you rejoice turning 80 final June in the midst of lockdown?

With me, it’s a big cognac and a Cuban cigar. [Laughs.] It’s unusual as a result of in 2019 we have been doing a tour, and I believed, “Wow, wait till 2020 comes. I’m going to be turning 80. I feel great, I’ve got a great band. What could possibly stop me now?”

Did you get vaccinated but?

Oh yeah. I received my first one earlier than Christmas after which I had the second on the sixth of January. One advantage of being 80: I used to be first in line!

The cover of Tom Jones' new album "Surrounded by Time"
Tom Jones’ new album “Surrounded by Time”

So how did you go about selecting the covers on your new album?

I saved the songs for a very long time, and I didn’t document them ’trigger my spouse [of 59 years, Melinda] passed away five years ago and I wasn’t all that eager on recording. But time has gone on, and I believed, “Well, it’s time to do [an album] now.” I labored with Ethan Johns, who did my final three albums, and my son Mark co-produced it with Ethan. And it was the primary time I recorded in Wales … Every track on the album has meant one thing to me throughout my lifetime. The opening observe, as an illustration, is “I Won’t Crumble with You If You Fall.” Well, when my spouse was sick with most cancers, she knew she was dying, and she or he stated, “You can’t fall with me now. I gotta leave, but you don’t have to. You carry on.” So that track is for her.

You additionally cowl Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee.” Has Sir Tom ever met the Bard?

I’ve by no means truly met him. But the closest I’ve gotten to it was six years in the past [at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute in Dylan’s honor]. He stated, “Look, the only way I’ll be involved in this is if you can get 10 people on the show that I like singing my songs.” And I used to be one of many 10 as a result of I’d recorded a [Dylan] track known as “What Good Am I,” so I went and sang it there.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones
Rick Guest

Prince Philip simply handed, and he as soon as seemingly insulted your singing. How’d you’re feeling about that?

We have been at Buckingham Palace having cocktails earlier than we went to do that [benefit], and he came visiting to me and defined what it was all about, which I believed was very nice. He stated, “I’m sure you’ve read that I said that you must gargle with pebbles. Well, this is the way it went: I was at a small businessmen’s meeting, and they were complaining about not being subsidized by the government. So I used you as an example, in a good way, of a coal miner’s son from a little town in Wales [who] has become this huge pop star … This man’s voice is so powerful, he must gargle with pebbles.”

Do you still rock your leather-based pants, Tom?

Ah, no. An 80-year-old man in leather-based pants? I don’t assume that may minimize it.

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