Talk:Serge Gainsbourg

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Regarding the trivia "The first English-language version of a Gainsbourg song was Dionne Warwick's 1965 version of "Mamadou""[edit]

I don't think that's true. As far as I have learned, Sacha Distel is the only person to have released this song. The person who added this info may have been mistaken - Dionne Warwick and Sacha Distel performed one song together at the Olympia in 1965 (released as "Dionne Warwick in Paris" - see They sang "Oh, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah".

Unfortunately, this "trivia" has propogated all over -,,,

If the information is true, some more details would be important - is a B-side of a single, was it perfomed live only, what album is it on...

Until then, I would treat this as false.

Thank you,

--Designwallah 18:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Regarding lead paragraph "top 100 ranking"[edit]

A user has submitted the following concluding sentence to the lead paragraph:

"He is ranked at number 62 in a list of the top 100 most influential musicians." Source:100人の偉大なアーティスト - No. 62

I submit that the sentence has no place in the lead, HMV Japan's top 100 ranking by x is not relevant to bio of SG, and not the type of "article source written by reliable third parties or found in publications with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" this biographical article should rely on.

What is the consensus on this sentence and this source? I'd like to see it omitted but having previously removed it but can't make any further changes to this, at the threat of action from an anonymous contributor. MURGH disc. 00:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

How about you go remove similar information from similar articles? Why is this type of information acceptable for musicians such as AC/DC, Blondie, or Jimi Hendrix, ect?

If this information should be removed, then the information for those musicians (and all other musicians with similar information) should be removed.

By the way, thank you for using the talk page. 02:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

As for your argument -- see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. And see WP:RSUE... sources not in English are greatly discouraged. Gscshoyru 02:59, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
You are over-emphasising. It does not say it is "greatly discouraged" it says that an English source is preferred, assuming that there is one. That does not mean this information is not valid, nor does it say it should be removed. You also fail to mention why similar information on similar articles is acceptable. 03:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I never said similar information in other articles is acceptable or not. You cannot assume I am aware of everything, and can remove the information from all those articles -- that's what WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS explains. Also, what you're adding is not notable, as inclusion in some random top 100 list is not notable, unless the list is notable, and I see no reason why it is (prove me wrong, if I am, as I could be). And finally, your source is not verifiable, and a better source probably does exist as from your wiki-link, HMV seems to be an English company. Finally, your accusations of vandalism and 3RR violations are unwarranted and nasty -- I have not violated the 3RR, as it takes four reverts to do so, nor have I vandalized the article. And see WP:BRD -- you're the one who should be using the talk page -- you made a change, it was reverted, so you discuss till you come to consensus -- you don't keep re-adding the information when multiple editors oppose you, especially in violation of the WP:3RR as you have done. Gscshoyru 03:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The article was a collaboration from all major record labels, and many industry professionals, from around the world. How can you say the source is not verifiable? It is provided by HMV from their own website, one of the most reputable names in the music industry. Serge Gainsbourg is often mentioned by many musicians as an influence. This information contributes to the article, and you provide no reason why it should be removed. 03:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
How can I say the source is not verifiable? It's not in English. Since the company that made it is English, an English source must exists -- one on their own site, maybe. Nor do I think that a top 100 list made by this company is notable. Any company can make a top 100 list of anything and publish it, what's so special about the company so that their knowledge is truly notable in this field? Gscshoyru 03:46, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

You mean, its not verifiable by you, because you don't understand Japanese? Honestly, your comment about HMV originally being a British company, therefor an English source must exist, and the Japanese source is insufficient, is ridiculous. HMV Japan is the largest music retailer in the world. They are in collaboration with most records labels, and provide much information in the music industry. This list has been around for over 20 years, and was last updated in 2003. Maybe you should learn more about HMV, and the importance of the company in the music industry before editing. 04:06, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

They have an English-half of their website... perhaps you should try finding it there. And I still don't see why a record company's top 100 list is notable, and I find the statement that they are the largest music retailer in the world preposterous. Back up your claims, please, with refs. Gscshoyru 04:15, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The Wikipedia does not require sources to be in written English. There is no difference if the source is written in English or Japanese, or any other language. The source clearly states Serge Gainsbourg is listed at number 62 in a list of influential musicians. I don't care if you think the statement that HMV is the largest music retailer in the world is "preposterous" because it is a fact furthermore HMV Japan is the worlds largest online music retailer. Your reasons are childish and pathetic! 05:31, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I also find it interesting that Murgh has not replied, however you are ardently active in removing this information. Fine this information will not be added again., However, previous information which has no source, and provides non-encyclopedia like statements will be removed, especially from the lead paragraph. 05:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


Isn't there any fair use picture of Gainsbourg? It shouldn't be that hard to find, no? 08:46, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


It seems there is a trouble with the references which appear with html code... Ecureuil espagnol (talk) 10:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

it wasn't html code, it was a huge bulk of text opened as reference that wasn't closed with </ref>. MURGH disc. 11:28, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

I found this a very helpful link , Vanity Fair , offers much insight and information on Serge's early life, could be a source of reference, it is interesting his sister resides in the same apartment where Serge grew up. I wonder why the html link was not allowed.

Also of interest is his relationship with daughter Charlotte in a movie Lemon Incest, my POV is it is inappropriate as Charlotte was 12 at the time, the mother Jane, skirts the issue in an interview in the Daily Mirror. Also his house is being maintained by daughter Charlotte who wants to turn into a musuem. Charlotte can be quoted on her fathers alcoholism. See references.

Possibly the article should be revamped to include his affair with Bardot, his involvement with Catherine Deneuve among others.

Is it possble to connect you tube videos to this article as the songs by serge and jane are on it? --MillyFrost (talk) 23:02, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Please expand section on film work.[edit]

Please expand section on film work. lists Gainsbourg as director of ten films and actor in 47 -- IMHO worth a little more mention than currently in article. -- (talk) 19:53, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, please reorganize. Seems weird to have a "Film adaptation(s)" category for a person. (talk) 21:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Age when married[edit]

The article states that Birkin was 19 and Gainsbourg was 36 when they married. How can this be true when they married in 1968?

M55ikael (talk) 15:00, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry but Serge Gainsbourg never married Jane Birkin, though they had one child together : actresse Charlotte Gainsbourg. (Source : Gainsbourg by Gilles Verlant, Albin Michel, 1992)Aldejerph (talk) 07:33, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The article indeed says so. That would make the year of their marriage begin 1966 since she was born December 1946 and he April 1928. But since she was married to John Barry till 1968 that is impossible. Especially since they only first met on the set of Slogan, which came out in 1969. According to Richard Brooks (May 14, 2006). "Je confess: the naked truth about Birkin". Times Online.  they were married from 1968 to 1980. Debresser (talk) 23:09, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps best to say that they married sometime and that she was much younger than he. Debresser (talk) 23:12, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Then as sources differs, maybe is it better to indicate Serge Gainsbourg was romantically involved with Jane Birkin than to state from a single article that he was marriedAldejerph (talk) 12:15, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Their marriage is mentioned in many places. Debresser (talk) 06:00, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
According to this intrerview in Time with Charlotte Gainsbourg, they were never married. Surely Gainsbourg/Birkin's child is a fair authority on this?,8599,1956411,00.html#ixzz1Va7NJr9U
You just called your partner (French actor and director Yvan Attal) "your children's father." Why haven't you married him? - I'm superstitious. We've been together nearly 19 years, we've never married and we're happy. My parents weren't married so I don't have an ideal image of marriage that I'm hoping for. I like the image of a young couple getting married — there's something jolly about them. But get married at my age? It's too late. Perry (talk) 15:03, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Then perhaps you change this in the article? Debresser (talk) 17:36, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Have just done so, hopefully that will do. Charlotte said something similar in an interview with The Guardian a few weeks ago, but they have since deleted the article. Perry (talk) 15:14, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the nice text and source. Perhaps the Guardian article can be found on Debresser (talk) 23:10, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
No problem. No luck with unfortunately. The original link for the interview was this however it now says that it was "launched in error". Perry (talk) 22:04, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Now that this mistake has finally been debunked, let's please leave it out of the article altogether. Newspaper mistakes are not worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia articles - otherwise there would be no end to it. There is no "popular belief" (how would you source that?) that they were maried anyway. Certainly not in Gainsbourg's country of birth where the pair were famous in the first place. Mezigue (talk) 08:56, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
To the contrary. This article said they were married, and said so for many years. And so do many other sources. It is important to explain clearly that this is a misconception. Debresser (talk) 12:47, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Unbelieveable! It is YOU who put that mistake back in the article after editors who know the topic better than you do and have consulted credible sources removed it. Explain your errors of judgement all you like on your own talk page but not in articles: Wikipedia is not a catalogue of errors. I am removing this clearly inappropriate passage again. Please do not edit-war and please do not threaten me like you did in your latest edit summary. Mezigue (talk) 14:48, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
You remove sourced information, relating to things millions of people think they know but are mistaken about, and you call that inappropriate. And yes, be warned that you will be reported for edit-warring and removing sourced information next time. Debresser (talk) 15:11, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
There are two quotes on the Jane Birkin talk page ( that support the claim Gainsbourg and Birkin were never married. One is from Birkin herself, the other from her agent. I have also posted a quote from their daughter, who also says they were not married, not the Guardian article that has since been deleted, but one from Time magazine. While it is generally believed in the Anglosphere that they were wed, as Mezigue says popular belief isn't fact, and seeing as there is absolutely no evidence (images, certificates, etc.) that they ever did marry, I think direct quotes from one-half of this relationship and the child they produced, is about as solid evidence as we're going to get. Perry (talk) 16:25, 5 September 2011 (UTC)


I can not respect Mezigue's point of view, who proposed to remove any mention of Gainsbourg and Birkin being married. This misconception has been mentioned by many reliable sources (see [1] for just five of them). In addition there is a reliable source, that mentions this misconception specifically as an incorrect rumor (see [2]). I think both articles (Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin) should mention this. I like the wording of this edit, but the wording I use here, coupled with the additional source, could also be used. Your opinions? Debresser (talk) 23:14, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

First of all, the point of having a discussion about it is to come to a consensus before changing it, but you have gone ahead with the change again despite opposition from other editors before restarting the discussion. This is really not a constructive approach. To the point now: the problem with your version, which you were already arguing for last June, is that it tries to strike a balance between things that are not equal in value at all. On the one hand, people who are best informed, namely their child, and Gainsbourg's approved biographer who had access to the family archives, on the other hand, profile jobs mostly in the English press, probably researched by reading other profiles. As I already explained above, if Wikipedia were to catalogue newspaper mistakes, there would be no end to it. But the current version is in my opinion particularly unacceptable because it makes it sound like a controversial issue in which Charlotte G is the minority voice, which is completely ridiculous. Mezigue (talk) 09:10, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
The specific text can be rewritten. The main point is that you can not remove sourced information from Wikipedia. Even if it is incorrect. The way to handle these situations is to say "It is claimed that X, but source such-and-such proves that notX". Please note that you already have more than one warning on your talkpage for removing sourced information. That indicates to me, that perhaps you do not understand this rule. Debresser (talk) 07:02, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
That is because you made it up: there is no such rule. You absolutely CAN remove sourced information from Wikipedia, especially if it is incorrect, but also if it is irrelevant or inappropriate, or the sources are not of sufficient quality. Common sense prevails. The warnings from my page prove if anything that you are not the only editor fond of resorting to random warnings rather than arguments. I note that you have a history of being blocked, so bringing this up is extraordinarily cheeky of you. Mezigue (talk) 08:58, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Common sense is always the basis for Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Which is why Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Due_and_undue_weight takes my point of view here. Common sense dictates that a view which is held by many, and which has been published in reliable sources not only may but even should be mentioned. Your edit-warring here, even without violating the 3-revert-rule, was in flagrant disregard of Wikipedia guidelines and your removal of sourced information borders on the irresponsible. Anyway, now that this issue has been cleared, I have no problem if you'd like to propose a rewrite of the text, preserving the notable and reliably sourced opinions that Gainsbourg and Birkin were married. Debresser (talk) 09:58, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
It makes sense to mention that they were commonly thought to be married but weren't, we have sources for that including statements by Charlotte, Jane Birkin, and Jane Birkin's agent (see our article, Jane Birkin and Talk:Jane Birkin). Fences&Windows 19:08, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

80's album info is wrong[edit]

It all needs to be re-worded in some way - Larry Fast is on Love On The Beat, but he had nothing to do with You're Under Arrest. Billy Rush is really the person who should be mentioned here, as he produced both albums.

Gainsbourg Vie Heroique[edit]

The movie "Gainsbourg Vie Heroique" should be included in the article with an external link at the bottom to the official site It is a French film in post-production, slated for a 2010 release in France, but it is, primarily, biographical in nature and so I think it should have a passing mention. I'd like to write it up, just checking beforehand to see if anyone objects to the inclusion. Kurtskitten (talk) 06:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

While the film is biographical in nature, perhaps the heading "Film Biopic" isn't the most appropriate... the director itself titled it "un conte", which translates to "legend" or "tale", and mambers of Gainsbourg's family expressed that it featured many elements that were not factual. Importemps (talk) 10:34, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree with that. So, what header would you suggest? Debresser (talk) 11:39, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Relationship with Jane Birkin (redux)[edit]

There seems to be some widespread confusion as to whether Serge Gainsbourg married Jane Birkin. A number of online sources (all in English) mention such a marriage. Some others talk of their relationship. NO source I could find in French says anything about a marriage however, and the two lived together and were mostly famous in France. Given that Gainsbourg's biographies also say nothing of a marriage, including the official and extensive one by Gilles Verlant to which all parties concerned and their families collaborated, and written with access to the family archives, I think it is safe to conclude here that the numerous articles mentioning their marriage are either poorly researched or are using it as a euphemism for a long-term relationship which produced a child. Mezigue (talk) 13:00, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Did you notice the section above that addresses this issue? In view of all the confusion about this, what we usually do on Wikipedia is mention sources from both opinions. In other words, we could say something like "Source such-and-such says they were married (reference to that source), while biography source such-and-the-other doen't mention a marriage." I'll wait for you reaction to this proposal, and if you agree, I'll make up a draft. Debresser (talk) 14:40, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
There are sources online in English, and French ones from France, that say both; some sources state married, some say they were strictly lovers. Straight from the horse's mouth, Jane Birkin said in a Vanity Fair article that they never legally married:

I guess unless someone can find legal evidence of a marriage or divorce, then Birkin's statement could be used as the main source on that point.

OttawaAC (talk) 15:52, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Contentious claim[edit]

I removed this contentious claim

"His legacy has been firmly established, and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.[1]"

from the article as the citation is in Japanese, from an HMV website. If that is the best source this rather grand claim can muster, we must tend not to believe the claim. If he really is "one of the world's most influential popular musicians", we should surely be able to find some reputable English language sources to support this. (talk) 18:43, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

General Paulus' grand daughter LOL[edit]

Germany's General Paulus never had a grand daughter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a source that can prove this (or disprove teh grandaughter claim rather)?Meatsgains (talk) 02:59, 29 October 2011 (UTC)


I am French and just watched a video of this interview. I suppressed the sentence "Ringer scolded back, "Look at you, you're just a bitter old alcoholic. I used to admire you but these days you've become a disgusting old parasite" because that's in no way what she responds. First she is being very vague and then she asserts that, when she was young, everyone around her used to describe him (Gainsbourg), as filthy, unshaven, thus hardly showing any past admiration. She never refers to him as a "parasite". I also remplaced the word "shouted" by "declared" because Gainsbourg is really not screaming at all. He is actually being closer to whispering. I didn't bother changing the source, it's probably factually right anyway and this would have been a misinterpretation. If anyone would like to check, here is a link to a video that's got English subtitles. Peace. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

You cannot use Youtube because it is not a reliable source. The newspaper citation is a reliable source however. As for "declared" or "shouted", the newspaper says "spat", so if you want to change this to "declared" I won't object. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 03:13, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm French too and I confirm that the transcription is wrong. The source is not "Youtube", it is the TV sequence itself. You can't say that a newspaper is most reliable than the primary source. These subtitles are not reliable, but what they say is (I presume the first comment gave an English-subtitled video to allow everyone to understand, not as a proof). Ringer doesn't say alcoholic nor parasite. She says Gainsbourg is dirty, stinks and that nobody understand him when he speaks. --Kappalambda (talk) 03:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


I don't see a discography section. All those unrelated factoids listed at the bottom of the article should be referenced and moved into the text. This article is a disaster. --Leahtwosaints (talk) 03:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect term[edit]

The phrase "This would become Confidentiel, which exuded a modern jazz aesthetic that pleased Gainsbourg" does not really make sense. 'Aesthetic' is to do with sights, not sounds. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

No it isn't. It refers to artistic tastes and so on. The term is perfectly correct here. Mezigue (talk) 12:31, 11 April 2014 (UTC)