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Serge Gainsbourg, homage at the Hollywood bowl

 On Sunday August 28th, the Hollywood Bowl will celebrate provocateur French songwriter and Jane Birkin’s husband Serge Gainsbourg.

As it is often the case at the Bowl, the albums ‘Histoire de Melody Nelson’ and ‘L’enfant Assassin des Mouches’, as well as other Gainsbourg’s classics, will be performed with orchestra led by Jean Claude Vannier, arranger and longtime Gainsbourg collaborator.

And who will be performing as special guests? Beck, Nika Roza Danilova (Zola Jesus), Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear), China Forbes (Pink Martini), Victoria Legrande (Beach House), Sean Lennon, Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Mike Patton! And additional special guests will be announced…. I wonder if Charlotte will show up.

Gainsbourg was a true legend, and a real troublemaker if there was one. I remember watching him on live TV setting a large French bill on fire to protest against tax increase, or daring to say he wanted to fuck Whitney Houston in her face, one of the rare occasions when Gainsbourg was not drunk on TV. I know this seems almost innocent these days, but it was the 80s! And Houston was still that pure innocent girl, not fucked up with drugs yet, or at least she was playing one.

You can watch this, known as the ‘Whitney incident’! It’s part in French, but there is enough bad English to follow what’s going on, and the show host is kind of translating what Gainsbourg is already saying in English!. 

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