Serge Gainsbourg/Biography/1965-1969

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Brigitte Bardot sings "Bubble gum", Valérie Lagrange "La guérilla" and Régine "Les petits papiers".

3 January: In the French TV show Discorama Serge performs three songs from the album GAINSBOURG PERCUSSIONS, among them "Couleur café". Again he is interviewed by Denise Glaser and says: "J'ai retourné ma veste parce que de toute façon je me suis aperçu que la doublure était en vison. Je trouve qu'il est plus acceptable de faire du rock sans prétention littéraire que de faire de la mauvaise chanson à prétention littéraire. Ça, c'est vraiment pénible."

February: A tour supporting Barbara ends in disaster. Gainsbourg is very badly accepted by the audiences. Depressed he leaves the tour after five concerts.

20 March: At the Concours Eurovision de la chanson in Napoli (Italy), watched by 150 million TV viewers, France Gall wins the contest with "Poupée de cire, poupée de son". The song becomes a success all over the world: number 1 in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Germany and well received in France. In less than three months Gainsbourg earns 350'000 Francs for his authorship.

25 September: In the episode "Des fleurs pour l'inspecteur" of the TV series Les 5 dernières minutes, Serge plays the role of Sébastien, the erroneously murdered beggar-poet.

10 December: For the first time, French TV dedicates a portrait to Serge, "Gainsbourg tel quel", in the show Central variétés. At the same time Serge and Béatrice part from each other. The divorce is pronounced in summer 1966.


France Gall sings "Baby pop" and "Les sucettes". While composing for the musical comedy Anna, Serge writes and composes also for Michèle Torr, Sacha Distel, Dalida, Isabelle Aubret, Dominique Walter and records a pretty duo with Michèle Arnaud, "Les papillons noirs".

February: Serge moves into a studio of 23 square meters at the Cité Internationale des Arts, with a view to the Ile Saint-Louis.

13 March: In the French TV show Discorama, Serge sings "Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde"; of course he is also interviewed by Denise Glaser and he tells her: "J'écris des chansons difficiles, on dit que je suis un intellectuel, j'écris des chansons faciles, on dit que je sacrifie au commercial, on ne me fiche pas la paix, on me cherche des noises!" On the "Sucettes" he made France Gall sing about: "Elles sont au gingembre mes sucettes..."
DG - "Pourquoi avez-vous retourné votre blouson?"
SG - "Ma veesste!!! Parce que je m'en sors beaucoup mieux... Je suis à un âge où il fait réussir ou alors abandonner... J'ai fait un calcul très simple, mathématique... Je prends douze titres, pour moi, sur un 33 tours de prestige, jolie pochette, des titres très élaborées, précieux. Sur ces douze titres, deux passent sur les antennes, les dix autres sont parfaitement ignorés. J'écris douze titres pour douze interprêtes différents; les douze sont un succès..."
DG - "Est-ce que vous iriez jusqu'à dire que les chansons que vous composez sont des chansons que vous aimez?"
SG - "Ah! Certainement..."

August - September: In Colombia, Serge plays a role in the movie Estouffade à la Caraïbe with Jean Seberg.

November: Some months after the divorce, Serge reconciles with Béatrice.

23 December: Serge takes part in the TV show Dim dam dom. In a sketch entitled "Noël à Vaugirard" parodying Christmas, he plays the role of Joseph while Chantal Goya plays Mary.


Serge Gainsbourg offers songs to Claude François, Stone and France Gall ("Teenie weenie boppy").

11 January: French TV broadcasts the one and only number of the radically modern French TV pop show Dents de lait, dents de loup, created by Pierre Koralnik and Jean-Pierre Spiero, for which Serge wrote the theme song. The show includes a duo by France Gall and Serge Gainsbourg singing "Les sucettes", but also the Walker Brothers, Marianne Faithfull, Sylvie Vartan, Claude François, Eddy Mitchell and Françoise Hardy.

13 January: The second channel of French TV broadcasts the musical pop comedy Anna (directed by Pierre Koralnik) with Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy and Serge Gainsbourg, who has also composed the soundtrack.

March: At the Concours Eurovision in Wien (Austria) Minouche Barelli sings "Boum badaboum", but it turns out a failure. But there are worse: among them the songs Serge writes for Dominique Walter (with the exception of "Petits boudins").

3 April: As the Marquis de Sade, Serge makes a cameo appearance (dumb) in the TV series Présence du passé, which in this sequel tells the events of summer 1792.

7 April: Jane Birkin (who hasn't yet met with Serge) gives birth to her first daughter Kate Barry.

May: Serge records four songs in London, among them "Comic strip" and "Chatterton".

26-27 May: Brigitte Bardot has asked Serge to write her the most beautiful love song he could imagine. It's hard to believe, but as Serge later told to Yves Salgues: in the night from 26 to 27 May 1967 he wrote "Harley Davidson", "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Je t'aime... moi non plus".

5-11 June: During the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordania and Syria, Serge (born a Jew) writes a patriotic song called "Le sable et le soldat".

July - August: In the Provence the movie Ce sacré grand-père is filmed with Michel Simon, Marie Dubois and Yves Lefebvre. The movie premieres in May 1968.

8 September: Recording of "Requiem pour un c.." for the soundtrack of the movie Le Pacha with Jean Gabin.

October: Serge and Béatrice part again, this time definitely, though she is pregnant with Paul, their second child. Serge meets again with Brigitte Bardot and this is the beginning of a crazy love which lasts three months during which they prepare the songs for the TV broadcast Show Bardot. Included in the program are: "Harley Davidson", "Contact", "Bonnie et Clyde", "Comic strip", etc...

End of October: At the Barclay studio Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot record the first version of "Je t'aime... moi non plus", a version which stays unreleased until 1986. In this year, 19 years after the recording, Bardot agrees to release the song, but only 20'000 copies are sold.

31 December: Serge buys a small house (the famous "hôtel particulier") located at 5bis, rue de Verneuil, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.


Serge composes songs for Françoise Hardy ("Comment te dire adieu"), Mireille Darc ("La cavaleuse"), Régine, Zizi Jeanmaire and... Dario Moreno.

1 January: TV broadcast of the legendary Show Bardot (directed by François Reichenbach and Eddy Matalon). Less than three weeks after, the love story with Brigitte Bardot is finished. She has left Paris and shoots a movie in Andalusia.

14 March: The movie Le Pacha with Jean Gabin premieres in Paris. Serge has a role in the movie and sings "Requiem pour un con". In London Serge records the EP Initials B. B.. Also he accepts to play a role in Pierre Grimblat's movie Slogan.

2 April: Serge celebrates his 40th birthday. Publisher Tchou releases a collection of Serge's texts entitled Chansons cruelles.

13 April: In the TV series Entrez dans la confidence, Jacqueline Joubert shows a portrait of Serge. Among the guests are France Gall, Anna Karina, film expert Georges Lautner and writer Georges Conchon. Serge sings "Manon", "Ces petits riens", "La javanaise", "Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde", etc...

May: Premiere of the movie Ce sacré grand-père.

20 May: During the student demonstrations in Paris, Serge first meets Jane Birkin with whom he is shooting a test sequence for the movie Slogan in the Pinewood studios in London. He behaves quite arrogant and very awkward with the young English woman who doesn't speak one word of French.

Around 15 June: Shooting for the movie Slogan starts in photographer Peter Knapp's apartment in Paris. The beginning is a catastrophe. After some days, Serge and Jane go eating tête-à-tête and fall in love. It is the beginning of 12 years of passion.

August: Serge joins Jane in Saint-Tropez where she shoots La piscine with Alain Delon and Romy Schneider.

September: Finishing of the shooting for the movie Slogan in Venezia (Italy). When they return to Paris, Serge and Jane stay in the Hôtel des Beaux-Arts, waiting for the work in the rue de Verneuil to be completed.

November: Serge and Jane record four songs in London, among them "Je t'aime... moi non plus" and "69, année érotique".


Serge Gainsbourg composes a song for Michèle Mercier, "La fille qui fait tchic ti tchic", and shoots a quite unspectacular movie with Jane Birkin: Cannabis.

29 January: In the TV show Quatre temps, moderated by the young Michel Drucker, Serge presents and interviews Jane Birkin, who sings "Jane B."

February: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg release the single "Je t'aime... moi non plus" and the album Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg.

28 March: Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin sing "69, année érotique" in the TV show Tous en scène.

April - May: Jane and Serge shoot the kitsch movie Les chemins de Katmandou (directed by André Cayatte) in Nepal.

12 July: The movie Paris n'existe pas (directed by Robert Benayoun) premieres in Paris. Serge plays an aesthete dandy, one of his better roles.

29 July: The movie Slogan (directed by Pierre Grimblat) premieres in Paris. Serge and Jane play the main roles.

August: "Je t'aime... moi non plus" is number 1 in the British charts. Some weeks later the song, considered "obscene and inaudible for minors", is censored in Italy and the catholique press ravages. The sales in France rise again and soon pass one million copies.

25 August: France-Soir writes:

Après l'interdiction de la chanson de Serge Gainsbourg Je t'aime, moi non plus à la radio-télévision italienne, L'osservatore romano, le journal du Vatican, prend violemment parti, en déclarant "que le rythme soit agréable ou non, le text en est obscène." L'osservatore va même jusqu'à citer certaines paroles: "Je vais et viens entre tes reins... Je vais et viens et je me retiens... Non, viens maintenant."

Le journal du vatican ajoute que la décision de la radio-télévision italienne est un acte d'honnêté et que le fait qu'une composition telle que la chanson de Gainsbourg soit diffusée dans les juke-boxes est la preuve du niveau d'idiotie auquel nous mène l'actuelle culture des masses...

Source: 1969.08.25 France-Soir

September: Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin are on the front cover of Rock et Folk. The same month sees "Je t'aime... moi non plus being banned in Spain.

Déjà interdit à la vente en Italie et à la radio suédoise, Je t'aime, moi non plus, la chanson de Serge Gainsbourg vient d'être qualifiée de pornographique par le ministre espagnol de l'Information et du Tourisme qui l'interdit, à son tour, à la vente sur tout le territoire ibérique.
Source: 1969.09.13 France-Soir