Saturday, July 14, 2007

Storming, et caetera

Since it's Bastille Day, I'd thought I'd mark it with this from the greatest Frenchman of all (de Gaulle, Descartes, Voltaire, Asterix and Molliere were also rans).

Apart from being a glorious example of Gainsbourg's ability to adopt different musical styles, his excursion into Freggae managed to upset both Bob Marley (for getting Marley's missus to sing songs such as this) and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

If you thought the fuss over the Sex Pistols's God Save the Queen was ridiculous, this version of La Marseillaise led to bomb threats at venues where Gainsbourg and his Jamaican backing group were singing. (Gainsbourg's Jewish background probably annoyed them even more).

At one show, the hall was packed with FN/ex-Algerian paratroopers. Gainsbourg faced them down by appearing on stage, alone, and singing a straight version of La Marsaillaise. They had no choice but to stand. At the end, according to some accounts I've read but aren't going to spend hours looking for on the net, he gave them the finger, making sure that he showed them his very expensive Cartier watch as he did so.

Never a fellow to mince his words.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Glamourpuss said...

You can't beat a Cartier.

Puss

10:58 am  

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