I have received an e-mail from a man who had been to Las Vegas in May, '99 to attend Tom Jones Shows, and even met him and took a picture with him. With his permission, I would like to introduce his message and the picture in this page. If anyone else has met TJ in person or cherish memories about TJ, please e-mail to Mari.
From the left: Hiromitsu Kurisaki, Tom Jones, Machiko Morisaki, Yoshiko Ohkura
- At MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, May 5th, 1999 -
I fell in love with Tom Jones when I was 13. I've been to the U.S. to see his shows several times, not to mention that I went to all three concerts of his in Japan.
In May this year, I saw 4 shows at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, and the luckiest thing was that I could see Tom face to face and had an opportunity to take a photo with him.
I myself am engaged in the music business; as you may have guessed, I grew to choose the job because of Tom. He inspired me for the greatness of music. As I discovered this Japanese site with so many fans of Tom Jones I was overjoyed. I shall keep sending you cheers for this wonderful page to be more and more exciting.
Back to my Las Vegas trip this time. It was one of the annual events in my class.
And how did we get to see Tom?
Obviously I had no expectation of any kind since I'd heard that even for American fans it's extremely difficult to meet Tom, regardless of how many shows you attend.
But .... a miracle happened on May the 5th.
We were scheduled to see 4 shows altogether, and it was on May the 5th, after we joined the 2nd show. We decided to have something to eat in the MGM restaurant area before going back to the hotel rooms. As we were eating in the snack corner, we spotted Mr. Max Alexander eating, a comedian who played in the opening performance before Tom's show. We didn't miss the chance and greeted him and asked for a photo together. Then we saw him off with a smile, saying "Well, shall we go back to the rooms as well?".
Almost all the shops were closed, and in the quiet corridor we saw Max again, talking to someone. On the way back we thought we would just say good-night: Until we looked up at the face of the man opposite we didn't realize --- it was Tom Jones himself!!
For the last 29 years I lived my life believing that He was God, and He appeared in front of me out of the blue. I was on the verge of fainting but saw Tom leaving.
I must say I dared pluck up my courage: I had no choice to be shy in that situation.
"Excuse me", I stopped him.
I knew my English was as good as a Japanese junior-high school student, but I did my best.
"We came to see you more than a few times from Japan".
"We would go again to your show on the 7th".
I think I said things like that.
"Yeah!", "OK" ; just like his image, Tom's way of speaking was very manly.
Ms. Morisaki (left) was already in tears out of emotion.
Ms. Ohkura (right) asked for a permission for a photo with a burst of courage. Tom answered "Sure" and, to our surprise, he held our shoulders firmly in the middle. He then disappeared in a bar nearby.
You can imagine we were just speechless, standing there blankly. We gathered that Tom normally doesn't come out to the outside corridor among people at all, but on that particular day he had to attend a party at the bar, and we encountered him when he was walking that short distance for the bar.
We decided on waiting until Tom comes out again.
After 15 minutes or so, he came out of the door, and now he spotted us and waved.
In the last show for us, the first song was "Turn On Your Love Light", where they lighted up the audience.
And guess what : Tom saw us and waved again!
He was very kind, and I could feel the warmth of his heart. It was certainly the best trip in my life to Las Vegas.
Hiromitsu Kurisaki, June, '99
Kurisaki Vocal Studio
*The original message was in Japanese and translated into English by Miyuki.