March 2, 2006 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Serge Gainsbourg. Who died fifteen years ago, yesterday.
posted by gsb (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From the requiem:

It can’t be an accident that he recruits beautiful women to sing his simple pop songs about physical sexuality with no sentimental component, about outlaws and hipster products and disposible artifacts of pop culture. His message with this song seems to me to be that there is no difference between pop and pornography; in terms of its shallow disposibility and its empty sexual titlillation, it’s all the same. “I love you” in such a culture means nothing, or it’s opposite, or “I love myself.”
posted by gsb at 11:29 PM on March 2, 2006

A silent moment, a glass of absinthe, and an underaged girl to Mr. Gainsbourg. Slanche, Serge!
posted by ford and the prefects at 11:34 PM on March 2, 2006

There's a Gainsbourg tribute album coming out with the likes of R.E.M. and Portishead on it. That link contains Mp3s of the tracks by Franz Ferdinand (ft. Jane Birkin) and Cat Power. It also features his infamous Birkin orgasm song 'Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus'.

Shoot, if it provided the inspiration for Jennifer Charles' spectacular dam break on 'Music to Make Love to your Old Lady By', then kudos are in order.
posted by dgaicun at 12:08 AM on March 3, 2006

Shit. Ford and the prefects said it already. Allons y, mon ami.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:15 AM on March 3, 2006

The best Gainsbourg tribute albums are 'intoxicated man' and 'pink elephants', the translations done by Mick Harvey (one of the perennial 'Bad Seeds' for Nick Cave). Both are now available on emusic.

Ah, Serge, we miss your insanity. And who of course, can forget him telling Whitney Houston exactly what he thinks. (NSFW, if you need to be told).

Serge rules, still.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:17 AM on March 3, 2006

So that's the origin of 'pardon my French'.
posted by dgaicun at 12:53 AM on March 3, 2006

lumpenprole, merçi. I saw this live when I was a teenager -- awesome.

I also remember the day he burned the equivalent of a $100 bill live on TV. And the outrage surrounding the release of Lemon Incest.

I remember the Saturday he died -- at my university, students in the computer lab were crying...

I also remember when French TV was cool: Droit de Reponse, Bukovsky getting drunk live on stage during Apostrophe...
posted by NewBornHippy at 2:23 AM on March 3, 2006

Serge is, to me, like Bukowski - an almost fantastically ugly man whose mind and artistic output were so compelling that his face seemed to somehow become handsome. I know a lot of girls who've twisted their faces in disgust when they've seen pictures of Serge before they knew anything about him. The same girls, once they've heard the music .... there's almost nothing they wouldn't have done if it meant they could get a bit of that stinking-of-gitanes-and-absinthe Gainsbourg action. Same thing with Bukowski. They're both brilliant - and they give a lot of hope to us not-so-pretty boys...
posted by bunglin jones at 2:44 AM on March 3, 2006

Don't miss Serge's most outstanding record Aux Armes et Caetera! The i Threes, Sly & Robbie, banned in France, and one of the best reggae albums ever. I loved Serge before, but this is so beautiful it still makes me cry.
posted by Dantien at 3:41 AM on March 3, 2006

so sad. I remember it was a national day of mourning in France.
posted by milkwood at 3:51 AM on March 3, 2006

Don't miss Serge's most outstanding record Aux Armes et Caetera!

Yep -- now, *that* is my Marseillaise.
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:08 AM on March 3, 2006

I've said it before: There was no need for anyone else to make music after Gainsbourg and France Gall.
posted by insomnus at 4:37 AM on March 3, 2006

"La Chanson de Prévert"
what a great title!
was inspired by the famous poet Jacques Prévert.
Oh. Poor guy.

A story I found here:
...he tied up with the 18 year old France Gall.
Her first hit had been «Sacré Charlemagne», released the previous year. But when she appeared on television, lollipop in hand, singing Gainsbourg's «Les sucettes», both of their careers went through the roof. Ostensibly the song of a young girl who loves anis flavored lollipops, «Les sucettes», in realitiy it was a vulgar joke made fully evident when Gainsbourg recorded the song himself. Once the joke was explained to Ms. Gall, she never worked or spoke with Gainsbourg again!
I've read that one of his obituaries gave the cause of death as "He drank too many cigarettes."
posted by Aknaton at 6:32 AM on March 3, 2006

Merci, gsb (and lumpenprole).
posted by shoepal at 6:39 AM on March 3, 2006

"I uoont to fawkk 'er"

what a man.

posted by matteo at 7:23 AM on March 3, 2006

posted by iamck at 7:57 AM on March 3, 2006

France Gall's recording of "Lollipop" is the one really interesting moment in an anotherwise rather drab pop career.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:25 AM on March 3, 2006

All of my friends in france are in their early 20s and still listen to him like maniacs. I personally dont like him, but

posted by Sijeka at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2006

Serge, je t'adore.

posted by arcticwoman at 12:57 PM on March 3, 2006

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