It was a bit surprising and satisfying to have validated my suspicions that Clapton has long been obsessed with finding the right Look. As soon as he’s learning his pentatonic scale he’s seeking the perfect trousers. When Yardbirds’ manager Giorgio Gomelsky wants to dress the band in suits, he wisely, according to Eric, assigns the Look-obsessed lead guitarist the chore of designing the band’s suits. Later in the book, while Clapton is living through his coke-fueled ’80s and following rehab years, he spends as much time talking about the thrill of meeting Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace – and wearing their threads – as he does fondling one of his 1000+ guitars.
I loved both Giorgio Armani and Gianni, but at that moment in time, in my opinion, Gianni was the rock ‘n roll tailor.
As early as his Yardbirds’ years, however, he’s conflicted about the issue of some snazzy shirts that the band is farmed out to advertise:
We had our photograph taken wearing white business shirts while a jingle announced “Raelbrook Toplin, the shirt you don’t iron!” Even then, I remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable about promoting something that had nothing to do with the music, but these were the days in which musicians still had little say in what went on in their careers, and did what their managers told them.