A Short Interview with Gilles Yepremian, Friend of Jim Morrison

About Gilles:

gillesyeGilles 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).

Jim Morrison in Colour

About Me:

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!

Questions

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?

Gilles: Yes.

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.

Leon

Jack L The 27 Club Review

I’m not a CD buyer anymore really but I’m a big Jack L fan and fan of a lot of the ‘27 club‘ – the club of rockers that died at the age of 27 and the music of which Jack covers on this album. My favourite 27 clubber is Jim Morrison so I had to hear Jack singing the Doors covers if nothing else and of all the artists Jack covers on this album, he’s chosen more Doors songs then any other artist (at least jointly!) which is cool! I have heard Jack and Jim mentioned in the same breath on many occasions and while he can’t scream like Morrison, he was made to sing Doors songs.

Jack L Club 27

This album might finally be the one that moves Jack Lukeman onto a higher level of popularity than he’s had so far in his career. I’ve always put his lack of international success down to the simple fact that his songs are not exactly ‘pop’ and have a fairly dark edge, after all it can’t be for lack of talent. Through all the gigs I’ve seen Jack at from a boat in Leitrim to the Olympia, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sing a bum note!

Some of the songs covered are not written by 27 clubbers themselves but covers they done which is slightly at odds with the marketing for this album but I guess the songs might have been made famous by their illustrious coverers. First off, the Doors songs. Wasn’t too impressed with “Touch Me” or “Alabama Song” the latter of which I would have thought suited Jack down to the ground but “The Crystal Ship” is class. It’s one of my favourite Doors songs anyway so that helped.

With “Love in Vain” by Robert Johnson, Jack playfully turns off the mic as I’ve seen him do in a few gigs to try recreate the old style sound of Johnson’s recordings. Works well..

For me, Jack L is best when he’s singing slow ballads so the slower songs on the album are standout for me but here’s a few of my favourites:

  • Purple Haze – Probably the best song on the album, great ‘slow’ version with lovely electric piano. Reminds me of AIR,
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit – Up there with Purple Haze, great to hear such a different version of the song,
  • Paint It Black – Dark feel with lovely strings,
  • The Crystal Ship – Lovely tune anyway! Some great Piano too,
  • The Killing Moon – Lovely arrangement and strings,
  • Love is a Losing Game – Moving version for obvious reasons.
 Conclusion:
I think I would have preferred an over produced studio version of the songs rather than a live take. Not huge on listening to live music on a CD, only live music when I’m actually there. Having said that it’s great to hear Ireland’s best singer let loose on some of the best songs ever written/recorded. Worth a purchase and listen.
Listen to some demos here.
Buy the album here.

Track List (Track – Band/27 Club member):

  1. Paint It BlackThe Rolling Stones/Brian Jones
  2. Touch MeThe Doors/Jim Morrison
  3. The Killing MoonEcho and the Bunnymen/Pete de Freitas
  4. Purple HazeJimi Hendrix
  5. Voodoo ChildJimi Hendrix
  6. Goin’ Up The CountryCanned Heat/Alan Wilson
  7. Mercedes BenzJanis Joplin
  8. Motorcycle EmptinessManic Street Preachers/Richey Edwards
  9. Smells Like Teen SpiritNirvana/Curt Cobain
  10. Ruby TuesdayThe Rolling Stones/Brian Jones
  11. Up On The RoofThe Drifters/Rudy Lewis
  12. The Crystal Ship – The Doors/Jim Morrison
  13. LithiumNirvana/Curt Cobain
  14. Love Is A Losing GameAmy Winehouse
  15. Keep Dancing – Jack L (This song is Jack’s own ‘dedication’ to the dead)
  16. Thirteen – Big Star/Chris Bell
  17. Jumpin’ Jack FlashThe Rolling Stones/Brian Jones
  18. Love In VainRobert Johnson
  19. Alabama SongThe Doors/Jim Morrison
Leon