Last Night: Tom Jones at the Warfield

Tom Jones
Saturday, Sept. 7, 2009
The Warfield

Better than: The Carlton.

My relationship with Tom Jones began with my relationship with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The joke on that show was, of course, that Carlton Banks –the nerdy, well-off, Bel-Air dwelling cousin to the very cool, backwards-hat-wearing and street-smart Will Smith– enjoyed Tom Jones. And what could be lamer than a young black man who wears pink polos and swivels his hips to “It's Not Unusual?”

The real Tom Jones, however, was far from benign. As a young entertainer, he was decried for being too dirty. Jones was unapologetically sexual, wore skin-tight pants (with far more panache then most of today's trend followers), and had raunchy lyrics. A number of Web sites will have you believe that he deflowered actress Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira) who subsequently required stitches due to the singer's generous proportions. And of course, women throw their panties at him. This too has become part of the legend and the joke, but in the end, it's also supremely dirty.
   
Panties were hurled at last night's Tom Jones performance at the Warfield, where a mostly over-30 crowd decked in three piece suits and immobile blonde hair-dos (and one beaded headdress) thrilled to the crooner's swagger and still sonorous voice. 

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