“I know my limits. That’s why I’m beyond.”—Serge Gainsbourg.
In 1967, while growing infatuated with the French siren Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg was finally granted his first date with B.B.
Bardot, who a the time of arranging to meet Gainsbourg was enduring a difficult period of her marriage, was left unimpressed by the blundering musician. It was later said that Gainsbourg was left so intimidated by Bardot’s striking beauty that he lost the charm and charisma he’d been known for.
Furious at his poor performance, Gainsbourg left the date and immediately returned home to come up with a new plan to earn a second shot with the actress. Bardot, who was supremely disappointed after their meeting, insisted that as a way of an apology for the disastrous date he must write her the “most beautiful love song ever heard”. Undeterred by the challenge, Gainsbourg went a step further and delivered two new songs by the morning: ‘Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus’ and ‘Bonnie et Clyde’.
Having suitably impressed with his apology songs, Gainsbourg and Bardot would go on to strike up a fiercely romantic and intensely fiery love affair. Returning to the song that brought them together, the duo recorded the Bonnie and Clyde compilation album made up of 12 songs and initially released by Fontana Records in 1968.
With the couple topping all newspaper articles and television shows given the media frenzy around their relationship, Bardot invited Gainsbourg on to her Le Bardot Show to perform an unforgettable rendition of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. Donning the full costume and wielding weapons, the segment remains to this day of their most memorable.
See the clip, below.