If you were around Elvis during his fame, you would probably feel intimidated to be critical of The King. Yet, his notoriety didn’t keep one British singer from going off on Elvis.
The Welsh singer, Sir Tom Jones, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and achieved three No.1 singles during his career that spanned six decades. He also admitted to being inspired by contemporaries of the era, including his idol: The King of Rock and Roll.
The Wales singer and Elvis Presley began their friendship when the American icon grew very fond of the young singer in Elvis’ final years. Sir Tom has openly expressed how The King inspired him. However, one story about their friendship has left fans astonished.
During an interview with Express.co.uk from 2020, Jones’ former bandmate, Vernon Hopkins, revealed the first iconic interaction between Presley and the Welsh singer. In 1965, at the height of Elvis’ career, Sir Tom got the opportunity to meet Presley for the first time. Per Hopkins, Sir Tom first felt a wave of panic wash over him. Both Jones and Elvis’ band were set to perform at the Flamingo club in Las Vegas. Before Elvis’ set, a nervous Jones took the stage as Elvis watched from the audience.
The Awkward Interaction Between Elvis Presley and Jones
“He was sitting there, smoking a cheroot [cigar] – they must have crept in after the lights had gone down, so no one really knew they were there,” Hopkins revealed.
Later in the evening, Sir Tom cheekily announced that Elvis was in the audience about halfway through his set. Apparently, Elvis was trying to keep a low profile and was annoyed he blew his cover. At that point, the crowd began applauding once they knew Elvis was in the building, and the King stood up and took a bow.
Hopkins added: “I’ll never forget what he said, he [Sir Tom] went, ‘Ah, ah, ah. Hold on, hold on, hold on everybody. Calm down, don’t forget I’m the star tonight!'”
During an interview on “Conan,” Jones clarified that Elvis later requested to meet him in Los Angeles, and the two squashed their beef. Afterward, the two titans of music formed a lasting friendship.
Chris Hutchins, Jones’ former PR manager, also explained the duo were kindred spirits. He believed Elvis bonded with the UK star because he was a “man’s man” and so he was “talking his kind of language.”