This Valentine’s day, seduce your special someone in true French fashion with a visit to the former residence of Serge Gainsbourg at 5 Bis Rue de Verneuil in the seventh arrondissement.
Gainsbourg is a national treasure known just as much for his sultry singing and prolific songwriting as he is for his famous love affair with Brigitte Bardot and marriage to Jane Birkin. His former home is a living tribute to both sides of his reputation, covered in street art, quotations from his music and personal messages of love.
Gainsbourg grew up an ugly duckling with the nickname Cabbage Head. Just the same, he landed ladies like Jane and Brigitte so you know he was doing something right.
He entered the music industry and quickly gained notoriety for his poetic style, experimental records and for releasing a song (Je T’aime ”¦ Moi Non Plus) that featured the sounds of Jane Birkin having an orgasm. The Catholic Church condemned it; the radio banned it; but the youth of the sexual revolution embraced it and catapulted him to international stardom.
Gainsbourg’s eccentric, artistic and amorous style is synonymous with French sexuality. Think Olivier Martinez, Carla Bruni and I’m including Johnny Depp here because he lives in Paris and fits the profile.
Visitors to the Gainsbourg home are mostly local Parisians and usually only a few at a time. That won’t be the case this Satuday, February 19 as the fan group Gainsbourg.net organizes a FlashMob there to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Gainsbourg’s death. Contact [email protected]. They say they would love to have some Americans join them. Leave a comment if you’re interested. I certainly am.