When I posted the video on Friday I had no idea it was Brigitte Bardot’s 80th birthday on Sunday. Though she’s mad as a box of frogs these days, she’s still the iconic queen of all the pouty, gap-toothed, French-movie sirens that have reduced so many of us to helpless blobs of jelly over the years.
Serge Gainsbourg’s most famously naughty song was originally written for Bardot, but stories of apparent heavy petting between the two of them while recording it caused a scandal before it had even come out. Brigitte was married to another man at the time — those French! — who was, not surprisingly, none too thrilled by this so she asked Serge not to release their version. It didn’t come out until the 1980s and I think is sexier than the version he did with Jane Birkin.
There were several early Brigitte Bardot films on the telly here the other night and from what I saw they weren’t very good (with the exception of Contempt). But I guess when you have Bardot to look at the film being any good is an irrelevant detail.
Once upon a time, two little boys in France named Guy and Thomas saw this on the television and decided that when they grew up they too would be pop stars wearing space helmets. But when they told their friends of their dream all they said was “Don’t be daft, punks!”
All the recent hoo-hah over the 50th anniversary of the release of “Love Me Do” made me wonder with dread how many similar celebrations we’re in for over the next few years and how utterly sick we’ll be of it by the time they get to the 50th anniversary of “Let It Be.”
While it didn’t cause quite so much commentary, this week (Tuesday in fact) marked the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of this song on French television (during election coverage apparently) which made it a huge hit and Francoise a big star. I think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you?