Scandals, beautiful women, great songs, France and Paris.
“Je t’aime moi non plus”, an album that made many blushing faces in the beginning of 70’s. Groans and passionate sounds of Jane B. My parents also had the record. We realized that the sounds of Jane Birkin made the adults in the room embarrassed.
5 bis Rue de Verneuil, a block of the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The house where he lived – and died – on March 2, 1991. Four grieving women sat for four days by his body in bed, before they persuaded his daughter to finally let go. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Bambou and Jacqueline (sister).
The house – still virtually untouched since 1991. The walls covered with pictures and stuff. Pictures of some of the women who sang his songs, and in most cases also shared the bed with him for a while. Like Brigitte Bardot, Anna Karina, Petula Clarke, Juliette Greco, Catherine Deneuve, Isabella Adjani, Marianne Faithful, Francoise Hardy , Vanessa Paradis and Jane Birkin.
Decadent and insolent, hated and loved, a person everyone in France has an opinion about. In recent years – alcoholic. What was charming and insolent in his younger years became lewd and repulsive. A common talk show guest in France, to the shows that needed some shocking words from an old legend, to obtain publicity and viewers.
Alcoholic and a smoker but never junkie. The daughter Catherine describes a caring father. He demanded good manners and tidiness in his home. He, who sat deep in comfy chairs in TV talk shows and threw out insults to hosts and other guests,.
25 albums (1959 to 1989), music for 40 films, directed four films and composed a number of songs for other artists (mostly women).
Thousands of people attended the funeral. Celebrities and ordinary people paid their respect to Serge Gainsbourg. President Mitterrand and Catherine Deneuve read texts and tributes. In the streets, he was hailed by those he liked best – taxi drivers and police officers – the real people.
The son of Jewish parents who fled the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917, and later hide through a long war in Nazi-occupied France. He was the artist and bohemian who got the most beautiful girls. The female stars fell for him like flies.
The house in the rue de Verneil remains shrouded in graffiti and poems from fans. Tourists do still find their way to Serge Gainsbourg’s house. He lived a fast and hard life. The kind of life that creates legends.
Serge Gainsbourg 1928 – 1991.
“I never actually had a relationship with him,” says Marianne Faithfull, who first met Serge in 1965. “But I sometimes wish I had. You could tell that anyone who slept with him would come away very satisfied indeed. Ha ha! He had a wonderful aura of quiet confidence around him, an odd mixture of shyness and arrogance.”
Marianne Faithfull – who met Serge Gainsbourg for the first time in 1965.