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After seeing you, I want to get back up on stage myself.’Hutchins added: ‘Off stage, Tom and Elvis enjoyed a close friendship, even exchanging rings.‘Elvis gave Tom a magnificent black sapphire (it later disappeared, along with a young lady, from his hotel bathroom), while Tom reciprocated with a tiger’s-eye ring that Elvis had admired.‘Another Presley gift was a small Bible, on the flyleaf of which he had written a message.The words certainly looked sincere, but no one was able to decipher his handwriting.’Elvis was, however, jealous of Tom Jones, often remarking on his tight trousers and saying: ‘He sticks a damn sock down his pants.’Tom tried to console Elvis over the loss of Priscilla, who had walked out on him in 1972 over his drug use and their virtually sexless post-baby marriage.Elvis later that year took Priscilla to see Tom playing at the Flamingo in Las Vegas — they flew in by private jet.The two men chatted afterwards backstage and Tom’s PR, Chris Hutchins, who was there, said Elvis told Tom how much he loved The Green, Green Grass Of Home and declared: ‘Man, that was terrific.(Two former boyfriends sold stories about their time together after the romances ended.)‘Tom is perfect because he is none of these things and he is the kind of man who will treat her as a princess, and that is the way she likes it.I think they are made for each other.’Indeed, there are striking parallels between their lives. They first met in early 1968 — a full 49 years ago — and were firm friends while Elvis was alive.Priscilla — who had married Elvis the previous year — astonished Tom by requesting his autograph.
After taking the reins of Elvis’s business affairs in the early Eighties, she’s built up a personal fortune of around £80 million, plus helped to make a further £800 million or more for daughter Lisa Marie, who is Elvis’s sole heir.
Elvis famously fell for Priscilla when he first set eyes on her — she was 14 at the time and he was 25 and posted to Germany during national service with the army. Priscilla has always said that, even though she had been living in a wing of Graceland for five years, she was still a virgin on their wedding night.
Some Elvis associates have claimed that he didn’t want to go through with the wedding but was put under pressure by her family, with her father threatening to go to the Press about their romance and have him charged under the Mann Act for taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes.
But veteran knicker-magnet Sir Tom, surely, must fit the bill. Indeed, out of all the British singers of that era, Jones was perhaps the closest to Elvis.
One of their earliest meetings was at the Ilikai Hotel in Hawaii in 1968.