House of Serge Gainsbourg
Walls draped in black, cramped rooms, trinkets and charms everywhere, Serge Gainsbourg lived with his family in a semblance of a mess. This mixture of musical instruments, collectors’ items, including police badges given by the peacekeepers when they took the musician home, was actually very well organized.
Friend of the family, Tony Frank testified to this on France Culture: “I would take a small object, I would look at it and then I would put it back in a random place. And as soon as my back was turned, Serge would put it back in its place”.
The same Tony Frank signed the covers of several albums of Serge Gainsbourg, including Histoire de Melody Nelson. If this artwork reveals Jane Birkin hiding her nudity by means of a stuffed animal on a blue background, the inside photo, with Serge Gainsbourg posing in front of a brick wall, was taken at 5 bis rue de Verneuil.
When he starts the session, the photographer takes about 120 or 130 shots. “For me, the mystery remains, because out of all these pictures, this is practically the only one in which Serge is not looking at the lens, the only one in profile where he is looking down,” recalls Tony Frank.
Thus, the cover of Melody Nelson finds part of its origins in the rue de Verneuil. Where Serge Gainsbourg composed many of his songs, in this somewhat cramped living room where a grand piano, an upright piano and another electronic one were side by side. It is with his family that he preferred to realize his compositions. It is also at 5 bis rue de Verneuil that, on March 2nd 1991, the musician took his leave. A symbolic place for an exceptional artist.
This record is marked by the number 7. Seven songs, two tracks of more than seven minutes, 27 minutes and 57 seconds of songs in total and Melody Nelson dies in the crash of a of a Boeing 707.
Maison de Serge Gainsbourg
These former stables were transformed into a private mansion in the early 1960s.
A small Parisian haven of peace, the house at 5 bis rue de Verneuil was originally a former stable. After the redevelopment, Serge Gainsbourg moved there in 1968. Now covered in graffiti, the “Gainsbourg house” has a website and an Instagram account, offering immersions in the artist’s home.
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Cult! music: 100 mythical music places [French Edition]
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By Damien Duarte
Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !