Jayhawks – Big Star

I love this band…it seems I have a fondness for bands that released good to great music but never could get over that hump to mass audiences. Maybe if they would have cleared that obstacle their music would have changed…but who knows… maybe it’s a part of their appeal.

This song comes out in 1997 and was on their Sound of Lies album. At first I thought it was about the Memphis band Big Star and it is kinda…and also about The Jayhawks and loving what you have now. The album peaked at #112 in the Billboard Album Chart and #61 in the UK.

They have a Kinks tie… They recently backed Ray Davies on his albums Americana and Our Country – Americana Act II. Their 2016 album Paging Mr. Proust was produced by Peter Buck of REM.

They formed in the mid-80s in the Twin Cities .

Gary Louris when asked if the song is about the band Big Star: “Not exactly. Maybe in the back of my mind.” “You could say it about the Velvet Underground or Big Star or The Jayhawks,” “world’s unluckiest bands. They should have been bigger. But everybody in the audience started a band. Everybody that saw them started a band. The old cliché. But it’s true.”

 “I have a lot of famous friends.” “about achieving a place that you thought you wanted to be and maybe it would make you happy. It’s a typical human response. If I get there, then I’m finally going to be happy. And in reality, you probably won’t be. You should just be happy with what you have.”

Big Star

I’m flat-busted
Wild-eyed and free
I couldn’t get arrested if I tried
A has-been at a mere thirty-five

Straight, honest, forthright and true
Great expectations for someone
Doesn’t anybody know how to have fun
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Grape’s bitter
I’m no quitter
Revolutions come one by one
Seems it’s high noon and I ain’t got no gun

But it’s so hard
So hard
So hard getting by

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Fine bourbon, Cuban cigars
Rude remarks observed at the C.C. Bar
I’m perfecting the finest art of wasting hours
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

I’m gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “Jayhawks – Big Star”

    1. Oh yes…sure did and we were offerred a low contract but they would have taken all of our music publishing…that was a rip off. So we would have gotten nothing out of anyone covering our songs.
      I didn’t give up until my mid-twenties but of course worked full time jobs that didn’t help. We still play for fun.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Pretty good song and a message that would resonate with more musicians than not!
    That’s pretty amazing you were offered a contract, even if not a great one.
    I was friends with a Toronto folk-singer gal in 90s, early-00s. She put out some indie CDs and had a decent, but not huge, local following. She was sort of self-managed, at times she kind of flirted with idea of me doing that but I never did because I found it frustrating and probably wouldn’t have been friends with her long if I had. She had talent , but was obstinate about doing the type of music she wanted, playing the sets she wanted and not compromising… but was always upset she couldn’t get a major label to sign her. A dilemma many musicians feel, I’m sure. Lucky are the very few who hit it big without compromising much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea…the deal was awful…we would basically give away our money in song writing…I think they wanted the songs…that is how…well back then…they made their money. We had two songwriters in that one…me who wrote rock/pop songs and another guy who wrote Nashville type story songs…great songs.

      Personally if I had it to over again…I would have gone to England and tried.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. that makes sense, the contract… if they figure you have talent as songwriters, and they get the rights, even if you just end up creating one viable hit song – for anybody- they’ll make quite a bit . Certainly worth them offering a few thou up front and maybe offering you a week of studio time, or something like that.
        What was your sound? You obviously think it could have connected over there better than here, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I do think it would have connected better there. It was…like I said two faction of songs…Nashville songwriting with an alt twist…but not country and mine…pop/rock.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No…I do have modern ones…from just me and the other songwriter but that is it. I say modern…that would have been between 2006-2012


  2. Success in the music industry is often down to luck, good timing, as much as talent. Sometimes success requires minimum talent and maximum hype. Bit of a lottery really.

    Jayhawks hit my chart button in the 90s with their fab cover of Bad Time. Im not familiar with this track but i liked everything i heard from them…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are exactly right…it’s about being in the right place at the right time.

      I really like the song called “Blue” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It caught my eye that is for sure…it would have made sense…the Jayhawks singing about another band like the Jayhawks…great music and no publicity.

      Liked by 1 person

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