I have always loved music, all sorts of music. From Beethoven to Beatles and a lot in between. My earliest memory of a song was hearing Buddy Holly on the radio singing ‘Raining In My Heart’ when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I grew up in an age when probably the best popular music ever was created. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, The Kinks and of course, Tom Jones.
It’s funny, because I have always thought of Tom as being of the same generation as my parents. Yet, he was born in 1940, the same year as John Lennon and Ringo Star. In fact, I never gave Sir Tom a second thought when I was growing up, all that ‘It’s Not Unusual’ and his leaping and jigging about on stage that seemed to do something for the older lady. Give me Mick Jagger anytime, he was like a real life burning Guy Fawkes with his moves.
Like Johnny Cash before him, Sir Tom is having a second lease of music success. I’m not sure how or when, and I don’t quite think he does either, but his later work has far surpassed his recordings from the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. Which brings me onto his autobiography.
Over The Top & Back is the title of his book and it’s 500 pages in length. I’m not a great reader, but I do like an autobiography or sometimes a biography especially when they’re well written and full of wondrous stories. I received the book as a birthday present from my daughter. From the moment I picked it up, I was hooked. I suppose we always see the rich and famous as they are now, the mansions, expensive cars, travelling all over the world etc, we never get to see the struggles, the walking 5 miles because they can’t afford the bus fare, or living in a basement and facing eviction.
It’s been an eye opener for me, and I love the fact that Sir Tom comes across as very appreciative of all that he has. He was certainly born with the gift of a beautiful voice and has used it wisely. When I had finished reading, I almost felt guilty for not liking his music when I was younger, but, I’m also very happy that the music he his making now is some of his finest work with the promise of more to come.