Tom Jones recalls comical encounter with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas: ‘We became that close’

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Tom Jones has fond memories of spending time with The King in Sin City.

“I was staying in Caesar’s Palace, and he was at the Hilton, and somebody had sent him a song he thought would be good for me so he came over,” the Welsh music star told People magazine on Friday about Elvis Presley.

“When I came off the stage, he was there in my hotel room,” the singer continued. “He said, ‘Tom, I got this song, man.’ And I said, ‘Well, Elvis, I got to get in the shower’ – I had been sweating!”

The 80-year-old shared that as soon as he hopped in the shower, he started hearing Presley “singing” to him.

 Elvis Presley (R) and Tom Jones pose for a portrait with Elvis’ wife Priscilla Beaulieu Presley on April 7, 1968, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“I thought, ‘My God, I’m going nuts. I can hear Elvis singing,’” Jones chuckled. “So I opened my eyes, and he’s leaning over the door singing this song to me. I said, ‘Jesus Christ!’ And he said, ‘The song, man, the song.’ I still don’t know what the song was because it was a big shower, and there was a lot of echo in there. But we became that close.”

According to Jones, Presley’s then-wife Priscilla was shocked when he told her the story.

“She said, ‘I can’t believe that Elvis would be in the bathroom with you at the same time – he never was with me!’” said Jones. “I said, ‘Well, he was with me, Priscilla. He was. I was naked, and he was half-naked’ – because he had gone to the toilet and had to get his leather pants up. They were North Beach leather, which were hard to get up.”

Jones alleged that the pants were so difficult to get up that Presley had to call his bodyguard Red for assistance.

Elvis Presley with bodyguard Red West 
(Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images)

“Red looked up at me and he said, ‘If you told somebody this, they wouldn’t believe you,’” Jones told the outlet. “I said, ‘Well, I’m going to tell them.’ Elvis Presley was a one-off, believe me. He was fantastic.”

According to the outlet, Jones and Presley first met in 1965 on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles. Prior to their meeting, Jones had made a name for himself singing covers of Presley’s songs in pubs throughout Wales. It wouldn’t be until early 1965 when he became a star with the single “It’s Not Unusual.”

“He started walking toward me singing my song ‘With These Hands,’” said Jones about their very first meeting. “I thought, ‘My God if the boys back home could see me now.’”

Jones said he and Presley bonded over gospel music.

Tom Jones sang cover songs by Elvis Presley before he became a star.
(Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images )

“He was born in the Southern states and was influenced by Black gospel singers there,” said Jones. “He couldn’t understand how I had so much gospel in me, because that’s what he related to. You see, Elvis Presley was really a gospel singer. And he heard that in me, and in Vegas, we would be up at night singing gospel songs. I would mostly listen because he knew more gospel songs than I did. We definitely had a closeness.”

According to the outlet, the two stars remained close friends until Presley’s death in 1977 at age 42. Jones still stays in touch with Priscilla, who divorced Presley in 1972. 

The outlet noted that for years, rumors have insisted that Jones and Priscilla were a couple, especially after his wife of 59 years, Linda, passed away in 2016 at age 75. However, Jones stressed that he and Priscilla, 75, are just friends.

“We’re not dating, but we do go out to dinner,” said Jones. “A friend of mine, Jeff Franklin, is a TV producer, and he’s got a big house up in LA. We’ll go up there and have sing-a-longs and things like that. She’s up there a lot, and so, we talk, and she’s a very dear friend of mine, Priscilla. I mean, I met her in the ‘60s, and she’s been a friend of mine ever since. But there is nothing romantic, no.”

Singer Tom Jones and his wife Linda.
(Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Jones also clarified that after losing Linda, he “couldn’t” get married again because “there’s no history with anybody else.” The couple married in 1957 when they were both 16 and Linda was eight months pregnant with their son Mark.

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