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Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young & TOM JONES?

CSNY painted by Guy Peellaert in ‘Rock Dreams’
Although Neil Young apparently hated doing TV shows—one of the main reasons he supposedly left the Buffalo Springfield in 1967 was not wanting to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson—by 1969 Young had given a bit on this front, as he agreed to appear along with David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills on the This is Tom Jones TV show. CSNY did a short “You Don’t Have To Cry” and then the Welsh belter joined them, as was the custom on his program.

From Jimmy McDonough’s Young bio, Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography:

September 6 also brought a surreal appearance on the This Is Tom Jones variety show, featuring Jones himself bellowing lead vocal on Crosby’s “Long Time Gone.”

“It was highly rated, sold a lotta records, but in retrospect it was embarrassing, just a bad call’, said Elliot Roberts. ‘Neil went, ‘The Tom Jones show! What possessed you? It’s that shit.’ He always used to say ‘that shit’. Crosby had this weed of doom… Neil never forgave me for that. He ripped me about it for a very, very long time. Years.’”


Given that nearly five decades have passed since this was taped, it’s actually pretty amazing. Nothing to be ashamed of, certainly. Tom Jones and his show might’ve been seen as somewhat “square” by the rockstar standards of CSNY—Nash would’ve been acquainted with the Welsh singer from his days in the Hollies, no doubt—but the man’s mighty lungs inspire the rest of them to keep up, it must be said. I love how (an obviously manic) Stephen Stills rises to the occasion with his, er, intense vocal contribution near the end. Bassist Greg Reeves might’ve only been fifteen years old when this was shot—look at how skinny he was—and that’s Dallas Taylor on drums. You’ll note how the expression on Young’s face goes from one of disdain/‘What am I doing here?” to “This fucking rocks” about halfway through. The goofy expression on Croz’s mug needs no further explanation.
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Steve McQueen and Charles Manson’s ‘Death List’

Steve McQueen was one of several Hollywood celebrities placed on a “Death List” allegedly compiled by Charles Manson. The other names were Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones.

On August 9th, 1969, members of Manson’s “Family” carried out the brutal murder of Sharon Tate and 4 of her friends.

McQueen had briefly dated Tate, and had planned to visit the actress the night of her death.

In December 1969, Manson and the killers had been arrested.

When McQueen heard he might be targeted by Manson’s followers, he started carrying a gun. In October 1970, a still cautious McQueen wrote to his lawyer to find out if any “Family” members were still active, and to have his gun license renewed.


October 17, 1970

Mr. Edward Rubin
Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp
6380 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90048

Dear Eddie:

As you know, I have been selected by the Manson Group to be marked for death, along with Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones. In some ways I find it humorous, and in other ways frighteningly tragic. It may be nothing, but I must consider it may be true both for the protection of myself and my family.

At the first possible time, if you could pull some strings and find out unofficially from one of the higher-ups in Police whether, again unofficially, all of the Manson Group has been rounded up and/or do they feel that we may be in some danger.

Secondly, if you would call Palm Springs and have my gun permit renewed, it was only for a year, and I should like to have it renewed for longer as it is the only sense of self-protection for my family and myself, and I certainly think I have good reason.

Please don’t let too much water go under the bridge before this is done, and I’m waiting for an immediate reply.

My best,

(Signed, ‘Steve’)

Steve McQueen


cc: William Maher

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Steve McQueen’s 1964 Driving License

The True Story of the Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust

With thanks to Simon Wells, via Letters of Note

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘This Is Tom Jones’: His first TV show with Peter Sellers, Richard Pryor and The Moody Blues

It was always the voice. He may have sold it short by appearing in over-produced TV shows, or playing seasons in Vegas, or becoming a caricature of a tanned medallion man, but none of it really mattered when you heard the voice—and Tom Jones has one hell of a singing voice.

When Jones’ star was on the rise on the late-1960s, he was offered his own TV show, This Is Tom Jones, which ran for 65 episodes between 1969 and 1971. It was an instant and massive success on both sides of the Atlantic, and led to the singer receiving 2 Golden Globe Nominations. It also saw Jones perform with an incredible array of stars ranging from Dusty Springfield, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Cass Elliot,  Burt Bacharach, George Carlin, Terry-Thomas, Sandi Shaw, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Lulu, Nancy Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin, amongst many others.

This is the first episode of This Is Tom Jones, which aired on February 7th, 1969. Jones sang several of his hits, and mixed with an incredible range of talent including a suave-looking Peter Sellers (who changed the script, tried out his Welsh accent and appeared in a skit written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman); a very youthful Richard Pryor in one of his first TV appearances (who looks almost teenage and has yet to find the anger that made his comedy dangerous); The Moody Blues (who reminded me of a holiday resort band); and a beautiful Mary Hopkin, singing “Those Were The Days”.

This Is Tom Jones has dated somewhat, and the sets and dance routines may look positively camp, but the quality of the performances, and the power of Tom Jones’ voice make this a special treat.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Raise Your Hand!’: FANTASTIC Tom Jones & Janis Joplin duet, 1969
12:40 pm


Tom Jones
Janis Joplin

Two great tastes that taste great together, here’s an inspired musical pairing of two of pop’s most famous “belters,” Tom Jones and Janis Joplin, performing “Raise You Hand” in 1969 on the This is Tom Jones TV series.

Crazy good stuff on display here. Crazy good.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy birthday Tom Jones!
04:06 am

Pop Culture

Tom Jones
Sandra Bernhard

Happy birthday Tom Jones. 72 years old and unstoppable.

This clip is from Sandra Bernhard’s 1992 comedy special Sandra After Dark, which affectionately parodied Hugh Hefner’s similarly titled TV show. Jones and Bernhard cover EMF’s “Unbelievable” and the whole sexy mess IS unbelievable. Jones doesn’t miss a beat as Bernhard does just about everything but suck his coes bach as Lypsinka and Roseanne Barr bob their heads vicariously.

Tom Jones was, is, and will always be, one cool motherfucker!

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Tom Jones sings Leonard Cohen’s ‘Tower Of Song’
03:17 pm


Leonard Cohen
Tom Jones
Tower Of Song

Tom Jones performs Leonard Cohen’s “Tower Of Song’ on the Jools Holland show - May 11, 2012.

Jones may not quite get the humor in the lyrics, but there’s no denying the man IS a tower of song. A monumental voice. And the guy is still built like a brick shithouse.

“Tower Of Song” appears on Jones’ new album Spirit In The Room which comes out on June 5 in the United Kingdom. This is the second new album release I’ve wanted to purchase that hasn’t been made available in the USA other than on expensive imports. The other is Richard Hawley’s Standing At The Edge Of The Sky. You can’t even buy em as MP3s. And Spotify won’t let you listen to Hawley’s album if you live in the USA. What’s with that? This is bad business for the artists and encourages illegal downloading. The music industry just doesn’t learn. The death wish continues. The only place to hear some of these new albums is on YouTube…and that may not last for much longer.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Competing James Bond themes: Tom Jones vs. Johnny Cash’s ‘Thunderball’
12:26 pm


Johnny Cash
James Bond
Tom Jones

It’s the Man in Black vs. the bombastic Welsh crooner…

I like the Johnny Cash version, it’s cool, but more for a James Bond film that might take place in Texas than underwater. It’s pretty obvious why they didn’t use this one!

And here’s a smoking live version from the 1960s by the one and only Tom Jones….

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘U Can’t Kiss This’: Tom Jones, Prince, MC Hammer and Rick James
01:02 am

Pop Culture

Tom Jones
Rick James
MC Hammer

Mashup of the week. U Can’t Kiss This.

Thanks, Al­pha1999.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Raquel Welch in campy 70’s TV variety show (with space dancers)

Raquel Welch photographed by Terry O’Neill. Available at the SF Art Exchange.
Raquel! was a multimillion dollar 1970 TV variety special starring Raquel Welch, Tom Jones, John Wayne and Bob Hope. It’s a camp time capsule full of Bob Mackie dresses, Paco Rabanne spacesuits and Bob Hope singing Rocky Raccoon wearing a Davey Crockett hat. It was shot all over the world, in Paris, London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, the Big Sur coast and elsewhere. 

A treat for the eyes (in every way) it was. For the ears, not so much. Welch sings a number of pop standards of the day, often with dancers in fully choreographed production numbers. There’s often a thematic disconnect of the material to the visuals, such as when Welch croons California Dreamin’ with the Eiffel Tower behind her. This contributes greatly to the “offness” of the proceedings. One reviewer compared Raquel! to “a community college production of Barbarella.” A highlight is Tom Jones lip-syncing I Who Have Nothing as he gazes longingly at the jaw-dropping sex bomb in front of him.

This first came out on VHS in the early 90s and I used to give it frequently as a gift. I gave one copy to Pizzicato Five’s Maki Nomiya and she later told me that she had a dinner party in Tokyo when she screened it for a group of friends and it went down a treat. That’s how this it should be viewed, in a group, with at least 2 or 3 drag queens in the mix, and a lil’ herbal “entertainment insurance.” It’s a guaranteed recipe for party success! It’s out on DVD now.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment