Tom Jones snubbed Elvis Presley during first meeting: ‘I’m the star tonight!’

The Sexbomb singer, 80, received his first break in the Sixties when he was requested to fill in as the singer for a Welsh band. Soon after, Tom Jones and The Squires reached primary with their single It’s Not Unusual. That success led to the group touring the US, the place The Voice star first met his idol Elvis.

The ensemble spent two months throughout the pond, the place they carried out in New York, Florida, Los Angeles after which Las Vegas, the place that they had a month’s residency. 

His former bandmate Vernon Hopkins, now 80, and residing in Swansea, recalled “every part was going very well” at the time. 

They offered out live shows and once they made it to Las Vegas, generally known as “Sin City”, had been performing two exhibits an evening.

During a break between units, Mr Hopkins went to the on line casino lobby to “cross the time, placing a couple of cash in” the slot machines.

Suddenly he recalled wanting round and noticing a crimson carpet had been laid by the entrance.

Mr Hopkins mentioned: “For some purpose, I simply regarded round, I do not know why… and it was Elvis strolling alongside along with his entourage.

“He kind of handed by and gave me a depraved wink as a result of he might see that I used to be shocked and off he went.

“So I couldn’t imagine it you realize, I believed I used to be imagining the factor.”

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Mr Hopkins was “fully shocked” as he raced backstage to Sir Tom’s dressing room and “burst in” to inform him the information.

In a 2015 interview for Right Recording, he mentioned: “Usually you kind of give a knock in there, as a result of you realize what he’s as much as. 

“But I simply burst in and mentioned, ‘You’re not going to imagine this! Elvis is right here! Elvis is in the constructing!’

“He was there doing his make-up or no matter, and [Sir Tom] mentioned, ‘Whatever, get out of it.’”

After Sir Tom realised his bandmate wasn’t mendacity, he “jumped out of his seat as if a wasp had hit him in the bum” and commenced to “panic”.

Ahead of their subsequent efficiency, the singer warned The Squires “to do a great job” and Mr Hopkins defined that each one of them “had been on pins”.

They opened with Sam Cooke’s 1964 music Ain’t That Good News and keen to identify Elvis, Mr Hopkins’ eyes scoured the crowd. 

He recalled: “Because of the mild you couldn’t see very far…

“I’m attempting to be nonchalant, taking part in away there, however inside we had been all edgy.”

A few numbers into the set, Mr Hopkins observed Elvis was sitting in entrance of them, smoking a cheroot at a big round desk.

He quipped: “They had been on this desk – like, you couldn’t see the forest via the bushes, that kind of factor.

“They [must have] crept in after the lights had gone down, so nobody actually knew they had been there.”

Half-way via the set, Sir Tom knowledgeable the crowd that Elvis was watching and gave him flattering reward. 

Mr Hopkins recalled: “So he mentioned, ‘Look, we’ve right here a gentleman who I’ve admired’ – phrases to that impact – ‘for a very long time.

“‘Who impressed me with music, etcetera, etcetera, and he’s right here tonight’, then he mentioned ‘Elvis Presley’ and every part was bursting in there.”

He described the screaming and shouting “almost took the roof off”.

Seconds later, a highlight “teased” the viewers by scanning round the room for some time earlier than illuminating Elvis. 

Mr Hopkins described how “it was mayhem” and felt like “one thing out of a movie” when the mild landed on the Hound Dog star.

He recalled: “So he stood up, it was like a dream and was unimaginable. 

“Elvis was bowing and it simply went on and on and on, for minute after minute.”

Mr Hopkins recalled the band “ready” for no less than three minutes, whereas the crowd cheered and clapped and Elvis bowed, earlier than Sir Tom intervened.

He mentioned: “Anyway, Tom regarded throughout at me and was getting a bit edgy then as a result of we needed to get on with the show.”

Mr Hopkins scratched his neck and gestured to Sir Tom that he ought to “minimize it” – however was shocked how the singer interrupted the crowd.

He mentioned: “I’ll always remember this, he went, ‘Ah, ah, ah, maintain on, maintain on, maintain on all people, maintain on, settle down!”

Through laughter, Mr Hopkins recalled Sir Tom’s put all the way down to the US megastar.

He recalled the singer saying: “Don’t overlook, I’m the star tonight!”

Sir Tom Jones stars in The Voice, which airs at 8.30pm Saturday on ITV.

Vernon Hopkins’ 2018 memoir Just Help Yourself: Tom Jones, The Senators and The Road To Stardom, was revealed by Seren and is on the market here

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