Almost 30 years ago, Serge Gainsbourg took his last breath. On March 2, 1991, at the age of 63, the singer succumbed to a new heart attack at his Paris home, in the 7th arrondissement. A necessarily unforgettable day for his loved ones, his partner, his daughters and his ex-lover, Jane Birkin. In the columns of the Sunday Journal on December 13, it is with great emotion that the singer returned to the death of the one she loved for years. “Recently Charlotte invited me to return to rue de Verneuil [where Serge Gainsbourg died, editor’s note] as part of a documentary she’s making. She was afraid that it would trigger a lot of emotions in me; in fact, no, says Jane Birkin. Upon entering, I was first amazed at the size of the kitchen, which seemed tiny to me. ” Almost thirty years on this day, she still remembers perfectly how she felt and the minutes that followed the artist’s death.
“But another sensation covered it all, which I could never forget: I see Serge again, dead in his bed. Bambou [Serge Gainsbourg’s last companion, editor’s note] is there. Charlotte and Kate cling to him, describes Jane Birkin in the columns of the Journal du dimanche. And then how her body was brought down the stairs. The ‘box’ was in the living room. ” At the time, the singer immediately wanted to make a symbolic gesture to accompany her former companion in the afterlife. “I ran home to get my stuffed monkey, Munkey, my most precious object, she says. I put it in the coffin like a comfort object, as if to accompany the a pharaoh’s journey into his other life. ” This image of Serge Gainsbourg’s lifeless body, she will never be able to leave the mind of her daughter, Charlotte. “I wanted to talk about this scene, because it is the strongest image that I have had to see and experience”, she told Elle.
Jane Birkin talks about “the greatest tragedy of [s] a lifetime”
“His passing was really a shock that I had a lot of trouble recovering from. And the real break came when I saw him dead. It was a scene that lasted for several days, that had something unreal, ”added the singer and actress. Years later, it’s another drama the family had to go through: the death of Jane Birkin’s daughter, Kate Barry. Seven years after her death, she dedicated her new album to her. “By making a record on feelings, I could not help but put the greatest tragedy of my life in it”, confided the singer on the airwaves of RTL, before adding: “To speak about her in a moment when the lack of her was very, very acute, that was what was important. And talking about the unease, in cemeteries, of doing things because you have to, while you are terrified by what is happening below. . That, I had to give it to Étienne (Daho), that he accompany me, because he co-wrote the texts. And after that we could move on to forgiveness or to ghosts, to other themes “.
Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg © ASLAN-RINDOFF