The long-awaited English biography of the man who made the best and most sampled, concept album of all time (Histoire De Melody Nelson), invented French reggae, punk and rap, fathered actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and told Whitney Houston, on live, prime-time French TV that he wanted to fuck her.
Da Capo $16.50 (US), Helter Skelter Books £9.99 (UK).
Editions also published in Italy (Per Un Pugno Di Gitanes), France (Pour Une Poignée De Gitanes), Brazil (Um Punhado De Gitanes) and Japan (sorry, can't write in Japanese, but it really does look lovely).
“I would recommend A Fistful of Gitanes, by Sylvie Simmons (Helter Skelter), which is a highly entertaining biography of the French singer-songwriter and all-round scallywag.” - JG Ballard
“An excellent piece of writing.” - Leonard Cohen
“Gitanes is a stone masterpiece!” - Stephen Davis (author, Hammer Of The Gods)
“A wonderful introduction to one of the most overlooked songwriters of the 20th century.” - The Times
(Number 3, top music books of 2001)
“The most intriguing music-biz biography of the year.” - The Independent
“Sylvie Simmons (fluent Francophone) brings him to life and guides us through the subtleties. Her witty, finger-popping prose perfectly evokes her subject.” - MOJO
“Impeccably researched and eminently readable.” - The Gurdian
“Fascinating and superbly written, this proffers proffers insight and constant entertainment.” - Time Out
“This dizzying biog recounts the holy-fool highs and sad-bastard lows of the French cultural icon. Converts, will relish this ribald tale and newcomers will be correctly corrupted. Smoking!” - Uncut
“A riveting read.” - OK Magazine
“Exemplary, authoritative and compelling.” - Jockey Slut