Friday, June 26, 2009

The Beehive: Bastille Day

The Beehive will be making musical history during their 2nd Annual Bastille Day Celebration on July 14 from 5pm-2am. The Beehive will once again be pushing the envelope as they present a special reunion/tribute concert to the iconic and often controversial French singer-songwriter, musician, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg.

While Gainsbourg passed away in 1991 his legacy has lived on as an icon, often referred to as one of the world’s most influential musicians, and has become part of the fabric of French-pop culture. Performed for the first time ever in North America by “Gainsbourg Etcetera" - a musical collaboration of Gainsbourg’s wife Bambou Gainsbourg, son LuLu Gainsbourg and five of Gainsbourg’s former musicians including: Gary “Mr. La Javanaise" Georgett, Mike Rathke, Tony “Thunder” Smith, John Kumnick and Stan Harrison, this event is truly musical history in the making as the group performs renditions of Gainsbourg’s works and original arrangements by LuLu Gainsbourg.

The impact that Gainsbourg had on not just French culture, or music culture, but on popular culture itself… is immeasurable. We’re honored to have been able to work with the incomparable Tony Smith, Bambou Gainsbourg, LuLu Gainsbourg and everyone involved to make this event happen. The event is truly about “La France Today” – these performers are not only world-class, but a strong representation of modern French pop culture,” Said Bertil Jean-Chronberg, General Manager of The Beehive and event organizer.

The event will be not only an all-star collaboration, but also a joint performance bringing in the contemporary French pop sensation ElodieO to the stage to both open the show and perform live with Gainsbourg Etcetera! ElodieO’s music has been described as an elegant mix of 60's Nico-esque popand 90's golden era trip-hop and down-tempo. Intermittent French Electro-Pop and Gainsbourg re-mixes will be provided by Christopher Muther Dj’ing for the event.

So as Boston becomes Paris for one night only, The Beehive will also feature casual-French inspired fare and specials via the restaurant, flowing champagne bubbles (with the most extensive champagne list in New England featured at The Beehive) and one of the most authentic and exclusive Bastille Day celebrations in the U.S.

Full dinner reservation guarantees you an “in” with no fees – otherwise, advanced tickets are only $25 or a mere $10 at the door if this event isn’t sold out. Call 617-423-0069 for more information or visit to get your tickets online!

This event is brought to you not only by The Beehive, but in-part by the in-kind sponsorship of: Kronenbourg, Absolut Vodka and The Lenox Hotel, Back Bay Boston.

About Serge Gainsbourg:
Born Lucien Ginzberg in Paris on April 2, 1928, his parents were Russian Jews who fled to France following the events of the 1917 Bolshevik uprising. After studying art and teaching, he turned to painting before working as a bar pianist on the local cabaret circuit. Soon he was tapped to join the cast of the musical Milord L'Arsoille, where he reluctantly assumed a singing role; self-conscious about his rather homely appearance, Gainsbourg initially wanted only to carve out a niche as a composer and producer, not as a performer.

Still, he made his recording debut in 1958 with the album Du Chant a la Une; while strong efforts like 1961's L'Etonnant Serge Gainsbourg and 1964's Gainsbourg Confidentiel followed, his jazz-inflected solo work performed poorly on the charts, although compositions for vocalists ranging from Petula Clark to Juliette Greco to Dionne Warwick proved much more successful. In the late '60s, he befriended the actress Brigitte Bardot, and later became her lover; with Bardot as his muse, Gainsbourg's lushly arranged music suddenly became erotic and delirious, and together, they performed a series of duets — including "Bonnie and Clyde," "Harley Davidson," and "Comic Strip" — celebrating pop culture icons.

Gainsbourg's affair with Bardot was brief, but its effects were irrevocable: after he became involved with constant companion Jane Birkin, they recorded the 1969 duet "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus," a song he originally penned for Bardot complete with steamy lyrics and explicit heavy breathing. Although banned in many corners of the globe, it reached the top of the charts throughout Europe, and grew in stature to become an underground classic later covered by performers ranging from Donna Summer to Ray Conniff.

Gainsbourg returned in 1971 with Histoire de Melody Nelson, a dark, complex song cycle which signalled his increasing alienation from modern culture: drugs, disease, suicide and misanthropy became thematic fixtures of his work, which grew more esoteric, inflammatory, and outrageous with each passing release. Although Gainsbourg never again reached the commercial success of his late-'60s peak, he remained an imposing and controversial figure throughout Europe, where he was both vilified and celebrated for his shocking behavior, which included burning 500 francs on a live television broadcast and recording a reggae version of the sacred "La Marseillaise."

Gainsbourg also created a furor with the single "Lemon Incest," a duet with his daughter, the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. In addition, he posed in drag for the cover of 1984's Love on the Beat, a collection of songs about male hustlers, and made sexual advances towards Whitney Houston on a live TV broadcast. Along with his pop music oeuvre, Gainsbourg scored a number of films, and also directed and appeared in a handful of features, most notably 1976's Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus, which starred Birkin and Andy Warhol mainstay Joe Dallesandro. He died on March 2, 1991.

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