Gilles Yepremian is known primarily as the man who met and rescued a drunken Jim Morrison in the Paris night club Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus in May 1971, just a couple of months before his death and also the man, along with Alain Ronay who took some of the famous last known photos of Jim Morrison before his death.
Gilles has been a friend of mine on Facebook since he very kindly and unexpectedly purchased a copy of some Doors songs I covered and recorded years ago and agreed to this short interview and to allow me to restore and colour one of his famous photos of Jim (below).
I am a Web Designer and Photoshop expert who is also a massive Doors fan. I used to be in a Doors tribute band called “The End” from about 1998 to 2001 and have bought the albums, the T-shirts, read the books, visited the grave and even got a Jim Morrison tattoo!
Leon: What are you up to these days and are you still collecting Doors recordings?
Gilles: Yes I still collect Doors bootlegs, books, magazines etc..
Leon: How big is your collection at this stage and what are some of the best and worst/weirdest recordings you own?
Gilles: I have thousands of CD’s, LP’s etc.. It’s difficult to say which are the best and worst, I like them all!
Leon: What kind of music do you listen to these days?
Gilles: Mostly Classic Rock (1965/1975).
Leon: Were you a big fan of the Doors before meeting Jim Morrison, were they big in Europe at the time?
Gilles: The first time I heard “Light My Fire” in 1967 my brain exploded! The Doors were not so big in France at that time.
Leon: What were your first impressions of Jim, aside from seeing him drunk!?
Gilles: Jim was a nice guy, not at all like a Rock Star. Very simple.
Leon: Did he discuss music or the Doors much?
Gilles: No, he was paranoid of The Doors. It was impossible to discuss that with him.
Leon: What were your final impressions having met him a few times. Was he as charismatic as people said?
Gilles: He was very intelligent and nice.
Leon: Did he appear to be a troubled soul?
Leon: How did you feel when he died?
Gilles: I was not in Paris at the time. I read it in the newspaper one week later. It was a very bad surprise to me.
Leon: What did you think of Pamela Courson?
Gilles: Pamela was a very shy girl.
Leon: What did you think of Oliver Stone’s movie The Doors?
Gilles: The film was good for The Doors publicity, but it was a “Hollywood” film. However, a new generation of fans knows of The Doors now because of the film.
Leon: Which book on the Doors do you think is the best you’ve read?
Gilles: “Behind Closed Doors” by Jerry Hopkins.
Leon: Do you keep in touch with another friend of Jim’s from Paris, Herve Muller still?
Gilles: No, Hervé is sick and sees nobody.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Gilles.