Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday... I'm Drownin' Here!

Whew. I am in the shit this week, my friends. The book I'm inking is on double secret probation deadline, I'm trying to jam on two writing projects, and I've got last minute stuff to do in support of our school district's bond issue.

So, I won't be able to do the art post thing for awhile. I don't have the time or energy right now. I don't want to post an amazing piece and say, "Hey... isn't that amazing?!" I really want to be able to comment a little on what makes the work special to me.

Until I get a little more above water, I'm going to try to just check in from time to time and share whatever. The blog will be more conventional, but at least I'll be staying in touch.

First up on this streak of random posts is some musing about the great Tom Jones. I got (thanks again, Netflix) the first dvd of "This is Tom Jones", which was his variety show in the late '60s. The wife and I were checking it out the other day, and it's pretty great. In the first episode, Tom sings quite a bit, flirts with hot chicks, and hosts talents like Richard Pryor and Peter Sellers. Not bad.

Unfortunately, most of the singing on the show is lip-synced. At the end of the episode, though, you get Tom just cutting loose on a couple of numbers. Holy shit, is that dude fantastic. In the first episode, he sings "Goin' to Kansas City", and "Danny Boy". The latter wasn't too special, but he really tears up Kansas City. I've always said that Tom is one of the few singers who need almost nothing in the material to make you interested. Of course, Sinatra rules that court, but Tom holds his own. He can take a complete turd of a song and make it worth hearing. His phrasing, his tone, and his energy always shine through.

You know I adore Tom Jones. Only he and my kids get to smile down at me when I sit at my drafting table. I have a signed photo hanging right there, offering skeptical encouragement (courtesy, I believe, of my pal Jason Caskey).

That's all for now. I'm shot. I'll check in again with other random bullshit soon.



Aaron Gillespie said...

I have a "live in Las Vegas" record that has him covering "Hey Jude" "Yesterday" and Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle"

It's pretty fantastic.

Mad Ernie said...

I remember watching his variety show when it first aired (I'm guessing early 1970's). He was/is a wild cat. I even liked his version of Prince's KISS in the late 80's (remember that video?) and that says something (although how do you top the original?)