From "Inside Scoop" from www.tomjonesinternational.com:
A Baptism By Fire and An Offering At the Alter
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
New York is a wonderfully diverse city/sate. If you’ve not been there, I highly recommend making the trip as soon as possible. Just recently NYC was voted (by what authority I’ve no idea) the friendliest city in the United States.
Could this be true? Doesn’t bode well for cities with more charming names like Paradise Valley, Warm Springs or Sleepy Hollow. To fully understand the New Yorker, one would probably have to be a New Yorker… or a New Jerseyite. The two “cultures” are inextricably intertwined, joined at the hip. There’s that word “hip” again. I guess I still have some residual TOP funk-shakin’-junk in my trunk! Speaking of hip shakin’, our man Tom Jones held a downtown Tuesday -go-to-meeting revival just across the water way from the Big Apple.
At the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood New Jersey last night. Mr. Jones performed his musical brand of Baptism By Fire. Congregations from differing burrows joined together to raise the roof in a sanctuary which could barely contain the masses, let alone the choir (i.e. the band). Barely past the first few hymns there were already obedient followers standing in the aisles wanting to approach (rush) the stage. They were gently kept at bay (for the most part) by a uniformed security grandpa, a hired elder, an insider in the Church of Jones. This action lessened their enthusiasm. NOT! The excited female flock remained in line as if waiting for a baptism, which had already begun.
Once again Tom Jones was very much on fire! They spoke using their tongues and offered their bodies as sacrificial vessels in a mass effort to reach the promised land.
Like a rose petal falling from the burning bush, it was a single red pair of lace panties landing near Sir Tom’s feet that caused the congregation to gasp and reel! The Baptism had begun! Holy water (perspiration) fell from the sleeves of the musical deity blessing those in the front row. These sacrificial beads mostly landed on stage and in the mote surrounding Mr. Jones. The mote was a rather formidable open orchestra pit. Surely it was the pit of hell for followers who pined to lay at the feet of and worship the musical messiah. Tuesday night services were in full swing. Panty offerings were hitting the stage from all areas. One VERY large bra was launched and landed at Tom’s feet. It had indeed reached the promised land! It was pure and white. It was a virgin bra, never worn with price tag still affixed.
Jones the Sovereign, retrieved the large lovely undergarment. He lifted it high into the air so that all could bare witness to this seductive symbol of sacrifice. Speaking of baring witness, one very exuberant faire maiden made her way up the aisle to the edge of the mote. She waited dutifully, then at the right moment (while Mr. Jones was looking her way) she lifted her top to reveal her natural, sun tanned beauties. They wriggled and jiggled to the pounding intoxicating rhythms. The Jones looked. He ackknowledged that it was good. Sometime these offerings must be made when “The Voice” is in command. When one is compelled, she must act.
Mr. Jones placed the giant mammary minder at the alter (OK on his water table). Exciting was this night! With maidens still in waiting, Mr. Jones ended his show, acknowledging his flock, his band, then he ascending to the nirvana that is his private luxury tour coach, his little slice of heaven on the highway. And just as he had come before, he will come again. Do you believe New Jersey? For it to be true you’ve got to. Say it with me: “I believe” (now you)… There, now let go, let Tom!
May I say that, although somewhat majestic and definitely aged, the Bergen Center was perhaps not the best choice of venues. The stage was much too small to properly display Mr. Jones’ mighty 11-piece ensemble. This mini-theater kept us from fully enjoying the band behind the man. Backup singer Anthony Reynolds and Trombonist Mike Turnbull, who are the bookends of the band if you will, were all but lost to the audience, except for those sitting directly in the middle pews.
However, Mr. Jones and the entire band came through loudly and clearly from the intimidating rows of speaker boxes cascading down either side of the stage. Tom Jones is clearly enjoying the second coming of his career, and boy is he able! His love for what he does translates to his audiences. That is why if you haven’t yet found Tom Jones, you should seek him. It is also why once you let him into your heart (and your iPod), he’ll always be there for you.
Keeping up with the Jones is a challenge and yet a labor of love that this writer enjoys. Just say a prayer and maybe, just maybe Tom Jones will be there. In the book of Jones, the 9th song of the set (maybe it’s the 10th or 12th song) he says: “What am I living for, if not for you.” Now go forth, up and down the eastern seaboard, and spread the word. He is here!