Sylvie Simmons - Serge Gainsbourg A fistful of Gitanes

The first full biography in English of the priapic pop genius who had "the nerve, and the chops, to make great art out of bad taste" (NEW YORK TIMES)

Singer, songwriter, filmmaker, poet, provocateur. Little more than a decade after his death in 1991, Serge Gainsbourg -once known mostly for his heavy-breathing hit "Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus"- has emerged as "his nation's most beloved pop export since Piaf" (New York Times). His musical output encompassed a staggering variety of transformations: classical, chanson, jazz, baby pop, rock, reggae, disco, and hip-hop. His lyrics were mind-boggling exercises in Franglais triple-entendres. And his personal life was marked by a singular dedication to cigarettes, alcohol, and seduction.

In this, the first biography to capture Gainsbourg in all his contradiction and gleeful outrageousness, Sylvie 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 Philippe Lerichomme- Simmons describes in crackling prose the scope of Gainsbourg's achievement and also gives a memorable picture of his complicated emotional life. Simmons's work will stand as the definitive take on a dizzying genius.

"Documenting, explaining, contextualizing (and to her credit never quite apologizing for) her notoriously lewd and perpetually unshaven subject, [Simmons's is] a fascinating tale of a complex man whose music endures and legend still grows." Time Out (U.K.)

ISBN: 0-306-81183-9

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