Tom Jones to James Bond, an eBay story

Following up my blog about me putting my toe in the water of the eBay ocean I have a little interesting story about one of the items I managed to sell.


As I mentioned, my mother was sorting out her stuff from years gone by and if I had not rescued this photograph it would have ended up in the back of the refuge lorry.



I titled the photograph ‘Tom Jones photograph, with manager Gordon Mills and composer John Barry’ thinking that it was more likely to be sold on the name of Tom Jones.


The information on the photograph stated


‘Tom Jones pictured at a West End recording studio during the recording of the theme tune of the film Thunderball. On the left is Tom’s manager Gordon Mills and on the right is John Barry who composed nearly all the Bond film theme tunes. The film was due to be released in December 1965.


Photograph dated 11th October 1965’




There was a little interest in the first few days, however, on the last day the bid moved into double figures (pounds!) and the winning bid was quite a lot more than the 99p I expected!


I had received an email from one of the bidders who lived in the USA asking whether it was okay for him to bid as long as he provided an address in the UK to post the photograph to if he was successful in the bidding.


I said that was fine and indeed he did win the bid and he sent me a message to me


Many thanks for this rare photo!”


I was intrigued why the gentleman concerned was so keen to get hold of the photograph.


He replied


“My name is Jon Burlingame and I wrote the book “The Music of James Bond,” which was published last year by Oxford. What you have is a very rare UPI photograph taken in October 1965 at the THUNDERBALL recording sessions. I am thinking of using it in the paperback edition, which will come out next year with new material.


(Thank you for saving this piece of history! Incidentally, that’s not Jones’ manager, it’s the song’s lyricist, Don Black, on the right.)”


I thought this was very interesting so I googled the book and found this review so maybe I will buy the paperback in the future to see if the photograph makes it into the updated edition.


I did reply to the author, saying that coincidently my parents and I were born in York, as was John Barry, my mother being born in the same year. In addition my father and I had something else in common with John Barry in that we all Freeman of York.


It’s a small world….


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