Gary Louris: Rick Rubin owns Jayhawks

The A.V. Club talks to Gary Louris about his new album, Vagabonds, and about trying to release the 1986 Jayhawks debut that’s never even been issued on CD:

Well, we did have the rights to the first record, but we sold it to Lost Highway with the idea they were going to put it out, and then it got stuck. So we should have hung onto it, at least for that part of it. But of course, the Jayhawks name is kind of stuck. Anything that’s released with the Jayhawks name is technically still under contract to Rick Rubin, so it’s not like we can just go start putting out Jayhawks records. We would still be begotten to our contract.

I’ve heard the album on vinyl (thanks, Vit!), and it’s good. Very, very Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Louris talks about his struggle to get it released:

Every two months, I get on my management, they get on the label to try to get something hammered out, and it always comes back. It’s stuck in some kind of mire. For a while, it was stuck in Rick Rubin’s hands, and when it’s in Rick’s world, it kind of disappears until he turns his eyes on it, and then he’s all there. But he’s got Linkin Park and whoever else, the Chili Peppers, and 20 other things he’s doing. But then he signed off on it, and he said “Okay, Lost Highway can have it and put it out,” and then there was some kind of legal problem with Universal/Island/Def Jam lawyers. Now we’re trying to get somebody else to put it out. I’ve promised for many years, “It’s coming out this year,” and it hasn’t. I’m still trying, but for some reason it’s an uphill battle.

So I guess we can deduce that the upcoming Gary Louris/Mark Olson album will not bear the Jayhawks brand…

One thought on “Gary Louris: Rick Rubin owns Jayhawks”

  1. what a hassle. though, i have to admit i’m looking forward to them together on the road this year. don’t see a chicago show, but i’m hoping for one.

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