• Kate Clarke

Elvis, Terry and the Brando of Theatrical Tailoring

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

As you know, Terry’s beautiful clothes are grieving me.

There is one item in particular. A lovely, Scully Western jacket: fluid, inky black suede, understated detailing, theatrical, but tasteful. Every time he wore it he glowed.

And I’ll admit to a hopeless crush.

It needs to be worn by a performer and the only people I can think of who might carry it off are Marty Stuart (though perhaps it is a little understated for Marty) and Elvis Costello. I don’t have an address for either of those cats.

i'm going to send it to Michael Weston King. He has an ear for a country music idiom, the two of them shared a bill once or twice and Terry liked and respected Michael a lot. I hope he wears it sometimes. It is only a jacket…. among many…. but it feels like a start.

If I make Terry sound shallow, with his great love of styling, he wasn’t. But, he grew up poring over magazine photographs of Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran, searching for clues to their otherworldly magnetism. Clothes were one of the keys to rock & roll, weren’t they?

Terry and I wanted matching shirts like the one Elvis wore in the studio rehearsals for That’s The Way It Is. The one Presley had in two colour-ways.

And he and I both had a deep hankering after a Manuel suit.

But, you probably guessed that.

He met Manuel once.

That face. The Marlon Brando of theatrical tailoring.

Terry put his hand on Manuel’s shoulder in a bar and they shared a drink. I think Rosie Flores introduced them. She’s no stranger to a head-turning stage outfit.

I was more impressed by that very short and sweet 'Terry tale' than any other of his, I think.

I might be the shallow one.


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