Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful Of Gitanes

In this, the first English biography to capture Gainsbourg in all his contradiction and gleeful outrageousness, Simmons tells the fascinating story of the Gallic star Drawing on hours of new interviews with his intimates among them Jane Birkin, Sly Robbie, Marianne Faithfull, and celebrated producer Philippe Lerichomme Simmons describes in crackling prose the scopeIn this, the first English biography to capture Gainsbourg in all his contradiction and gleeful outrageousness, Simmons tells the fascinating story of the Gallic star Drawing on hours of new interviews with his intimates among them Jane Birkin, Sly Robbie, Marianne Faithfull, and celebrated producer Philippe Lerichomme Simmons describes in crackling prose the scope of Gainsbourg s achievement while doing full justice to his complicated emotional life Simmons s work will stand as the definitive take on a dizzying genius.
Serge Gainsbourg A Fistful Of Gitanes In this the first English biography to capture Gainsbourg in all his contradiction and gleeful outrageousness Simmons tells the fascinating story of the Gallic star Drawing on hours of new interview

  • Title: Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful Of Gitanes
  • Author: Sylvie Simmons
  • ISBN: 9780306811838
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful Of Gitanes”

    1. Stumbled upon this in a filing cabinet just now. I inhaled this bookt back in 2008, took its wayward magic into my lungs and held it. Historically I haven't read much about performers. Perhaps I stoned form the novelty of it all. Serge's televised encounter w/ the late Whitney Houston was astonishing as was his less than cereberal time in Yugoslavia. Beyond such, Gainsbourg was an unflinching artist, one compensating for his own insecurites and baggage. He stormed across borders and perforated g [...]

    2. This is a great portrait of the brilliant Serge Gainsbourg, who elevated filth to the level of cosmopolitan art with his music. The book could have been twice as long and I wouldn't have been bored; I guess I'm just fascinated by lecherous Europeans. My favorite passage describes how a young Serge, who was dating Salvador Dali's assistant at the time, broke into Dali's place and fucked her in his all-black living room: he "left the apartment witha future wife on his arma small black-and-white pi [...]

    3. The greatest French composer of the twentieth-century not named Olivier Messiaen! Warning: anyone immune to the charms of French culture should probably leave right now. This is a short biography, but one fully packed with information about Serge and his music. Letting you know everything of worth about the man, Simmons does a great job with extraordinary material and leaves no stone unturned. I daresay that anyone who hasn't heard a note of the man's music could still walk away having been ente [...]

    4. Is this the best I'm going to get for an English-language bio of S.G.? I really hope notThis one is fine -- hits all the major moments of his life and career, and seems to have at least the tacit approval of Jane Birkin -- but its like a 30-minute History Channel doc context, no depth, and no lyrics translated. Solid but I want more.

    5. At the moment the best biography in English on the great songwriter and pop artist Serge Gainsbourg. Sylvie Simmons did a really nice job in telling his essence and story. In 2009 my press TamTam Books is going to be putting out a 600 page bio on this fascinating figure. Written by Gilles Verlant, "Gainsbourg" is really going to be something.

    6. It was nice to read the backstory of ol' Serge. I've ben listening to his records for years but he'd sort of become this mythical poet/barfly/gentleman and so I needed to really find out the basic story. It's not a bad read if you love the records.

    7. Reading about his personal history helps understanding the man's work. But shining a light on his human imperfections makes Serge less of a god. The biography demystifies him a bit and I now feel guilty for looking behind the curtain. Fortunately it is a quick read.Annoyed note to Simmons: "reins" in Je t'aime moi non plus does not mean kidneys, but - in this context - hips

    8. Some great artists are not merely superior craftsmen, but so unique, they stand aside from all their contemporaries. Serge Gainsbourg was one such artist.I noticed this book got some bad reviews - mainly from French and international Gainsbourg afficionados - to whom most of the content will be common knowledge.But as a relative newcomer, I was pleasantly surprised by this short and easily-read biography. It was unfortunately written after Gainsbourg's death - the author never met him - and it i [...]

    9. The best music biography I've read in a decade and best book I've read in many months. It helps that the subject matter is intensely interesting.I picked up this book when I was doing a project of putting together all the original tracks of the songs covered in 4AD's "This Mortal Coil" releases. How I missed Gainsbourg given his lifetime output, esp. the 1970s and 80s up until his death in 1991 I have no idea. He's a fascinating character: think Leonard Cohen doing gypsy music meets jazz, funk, [...]

    10. Quintessentially and adorably Serge. Rereleased on kindle.The man, his demons and his darlings and many stops between.So you say that you like Lenny Cohen but have never heard of Sergeyou ARE lacking.If you have no intention of checking him outtant pis disregard for you grows.As a plugnd and sometime Bad Seed Mick Harvey is about to release the third in a series of serge songs in English. The first two being Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants and there is the film Gainsbourgally you have no excu [...]

    11. A very readable and well-written book on such an important person in the life of a country I lived in for eight years yet never really knew. I felt this book brought him to life for me, explained why he was important, why I should get to know his music, and more importantly his words, better and I will try to do so over the coming year. I have already started to listen to him. This book has made my life better, at the end of the day the only judgement of whether a book is worthwhile or not. So f [...]

    12. Only giving it 4 stars because the enigma that Gainsbourg was made it an exciting read. For such a celebrated personality, it is quite amusing that such a brief biography in the English language exists. I think one needs a lot many more pages to encapsulate his life in detail. I wish the book was more visceral and went further in detail with the man's soul. Falling in love with his music is an added bonus. Otherwise purely on the merit of the writing I'd give it a 2 star rating.

    13. An entertaining, yet unfulfilling biography of Gainsbourg. I like a little more of an attempt at unbiased writing with these and Simmons was too much of a super fan to make this happen. It was pretty informative though. Serge was your typical egotistical songwriting master with a pretty big penchant for self-destructive tendencies. I mean, multiple bottles of wine, 60 cigarettes, and one meal per day? Ouch.j

    14. So far I've learned:Serge Gainsbourg only smoke Gitanes.He was a twin.Cute girls on the bus will talk to you when they see you reading this.Jane Birkin commenting on the cover of "Ballad de Melody Nelson" - "I'm holding my monkey- which I buried with Serge because he always wanted it- in front of my jeans." Serge Gainsbourg coveting a stuffed monkey!!!!! jesus wept and so did I.

    15. Interesting overview of someone whom I knew little about. It's fairly short and to the point. A good book for someone who doesn't want an exhaustive biography - or someone whose French isn't good enough to get through a 700+ page bio in French of Gainsbourg. It inspired me to listen to his music and work on my French. A fascinating character.

    16. Three stars only because it's the only one we have in English. She did her homework, but there's really no insight into Gainsbourg's work process or where his songs came from. No real illustration of his recording sessions. The best parts derive from the openess that Jane Birkin gave her in her interviews.

    17. Gainsbourg var snillingur og það er gaman að lesa þessa bók. Er þó frekar þunn og ekki mikið kjöt á beinunum. Vantar meiri djúsí sögur og díteila. Dálítið í kynningarstíl, verið að kynna meistarann fyrir enskumælandi. Maður fær örugglega ekkert kjöt fyrr en maður lærir frönsku og fær sér innanlandsbók.

    18. Ha, this book was great. Everything you ever heard is confirmed. An amazing life. The book is written lightly and it flies by. His all black rooms and him having sex in salvador dali's house were highlights.

    19. LOVE Serge. I love that I learned a new word in French reading this: "pudique." Don't be confused, it doesn't exactly mean demure-modest: there's no word in English for it. Serge is so distinctly his own thing, it has to be admired. Read this in two sittings! He treated his women so beautifully.

    20. Wonderful and concise overview of Serge Gainsbourg's life with many direct interviews with people who knew him intimately such as Jane Birkin. Lots of photos of him, his albums, posters for his movies, etc. Quick read of a fascinating individual.

    21. My favorite pop/rock biography. It was refreshing to read this and not feel as though I was merely trudging through an 150 page article out of *Spin.* I think the subject probably aided Sylvie Simmons in the effort, but kudos to her, regardless.

    22. When I picked this book out of the cluttered mess of Jude's room, I knew next to nothing of Serge, except for "Je T'Aime, Moi Non Plus" and "Bonny and Clyde". Now, through this chain-smoking nuerotic ladies-man, I feel closer to the French pysche. Plus it made me want to smoke Gitanes.

    23. Facinating biography of singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourgwho died as a national hero in France but was and still is almost totally unknown in the rest of the world

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