I recently discovered a fabulous clip of Serge Gainsbourg on a TV show with Dan the Banjo Man (Sport en fête, 17 March 1974) of all people! The band (well, duo) performed the instrumental Dan the Banjo Man whilst Serge and Michel Drucker, and some other guy I don’t know, sat at the front of the stage with their backs turned to the band. Serge somehow managed to look ever so slightly bored – I’m not sure how because this is exciting stuff. Dan the Banjo Man were really going for it, complete with full crazy face paint and jester outfits, but all Serge could do was light up a cigarette and provide a smokey atmosphere. This is something I never imagined could happen – Serge with Dan the Banjo Man!
It was only a couple of days after this that I was given a copy of a TV show that was never broadcast – a version of Tilt Magazine from 28 February 1968. The vast majority of the show seemed to be on a Bonnie & Clyde theme and Michel Drucker (yes, him again!) had Serge on the show, of course. Maybe Bardot was not available that day so Serge could hardly do Bonnie & Clyde without her; instead Les Ballets de Victor Upshaw danced to an instrumental version of the song and Serge played along on banjo – amazing!
This footage of Serge playing a stringed instrument – not the norm, you must admit – reminded me of a couple of other appearances where he played guitar and mandolin:
This is from the 2 March 1974 Top à Jacques Dutronc show – Jacques and Serge play mandolin with Le Mandoline Club de Paris.
And this is Serge using the guitar as a bass for the bass line in La bise aux hippies as performed on the Show Bardot (1 January 1968) with Bardot and Sacha Distel:
That’s a really nice glittery guitar Serge and Brigitte use in this video…
Anyway, just saying – Serge didn’t just play the piano, you know!