December 13, 2013


New book: Jane & Serge. A Family Album. If your vibe is 1960s French Pop and the London fashion scene, check out this new deluxe book from Taschen that documents the relationship between Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. The celebrated couple made quite a splash with their release of Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus in 1969. The song reached number one in the UK, but was banned in a number of countries for its erotic content (see video below!). The B-side was another classic from their sexual revolution, 69 Annee ErotiqueThe official release date for A Family Album is Dec 15th, but I've already spotted advance copies from October in independent bookstores. Details below.

Jane & Serge. A Family Album from Amazon: "The highly public love affair of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. The moment Jane and Serge met on a movie set in 1968, sparks flew. They would spend the next 12 years together, a passionate union that produced the controversial duet "Je t’aime... moi non plus" (whose explicit lyrics and orgasmic moans caused so much fuss that the Vatican declared it offensive) and, in 1971, the legendary album Melody Nelson as well as a daughter, Charlotte, who has become a successful actress in her own right. From the earliest days of Jane and Serge's romance until their split in 1980, Jane’s brother Andrew Birkin was a frequent presence in their lives; an avid photographer, he snapped thousands of candid family photos during those years. Birkin’s pictures—very few of which have ever been published—offer a rare view of daily life for the couple, bringing us back to a place and time we have long idolized. Though more than 30 years have passed since the two parted ways, and over two decades since Serge parted from this world, the passion for Jane and Serge has endured. This treasure trove is sure to fan the flames of its undying embers." 

Transport yourself back in time with Serge and Jane at the Eiffel Tower as they film their pop hit, Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus. Gainsbourg recorded the song in 1967 with Brigitte Bardot, but it wasn't released until the 1980s. The 1969 version below captured the heat of his relationship with Birkin.

More from Amazon about the new book: "Designed by M/M (Paris), the photo album comes in a clear plastic cover with the following goodies tucked inside: Text booklet featuring an introduction by Jane Birkin and Andrew Birkin’s memoir of Jane and Serge, illustrated by Birkin family childhood photos, Softcover contact sheet booklet, Fold-out poster, 5 photo prints, Sticker sheet, Embroidered patch." Taschen page here

In related news, Bikin's only daughter with James Bond composer John Barry sadly passed away yesterday in Paris. Bikin was married to Barry from 1965-1968 before becoming Gainsbourg's partner from 1968-1980. 

The spirit of Jane and Serge has been channeled in recent years by Sean Lennon and his partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The Pop couple has recorded Serge covers, performed at the Gainsbourg tribute concert in Hollywood in 2011, and even appeared in an erotic S&M photographic spread based on Jane and Serge- a new level of Bondage for Spy Vibe! Below: vintage fashion (with kinky boots).

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewPete Seeger nominated for Grammy,  Kraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanThe Prisoner and Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato and Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive


  1. This is a superb post-- interesting, informative, broad, well-researched, and something I previously knew nothing about, even the Sean Lennon connection. Who knew the influence of this pretty power couple?

  2. Thanks, my friend! Yes, these guys were so interesting and influential. I wish I could find the Lennon photos. I passed them up in a foreign fashion magazine once. There's a cool bio-pic about Serge called Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (disc on Netflix).