Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a love story. A love story to rock and roll, about rock and roll; celebrating powerful, talented, and (at times) broken women. The prose dances around unrequited and loyal love.
Reid is no stranger to love stories. Her previous five novels hold romantic elements. It’s not the author’s first rodeo with powerful female characters, either (see The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo). Unlike Reid’s previous works, Daisy Jones and The Six is a bit…gimmicky. The novel unfolds as an oral history.
Normally, I’m not a fan of gimmicks (more like, it’s a guaranteed way to elicit a sneer). But hear me out: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sure, Daisy Jones and The Six is riddled with cliches, easily-seen twists, and blinding nostalgia; but, Taylor Jenkins Reid has bottled magic in its pages.
Girl Meets Band
Daisy Jones is a beautiful girl, of the breathtaking variety. (This is, perhaps, mentioned so frequently to be distasteful.) She is raised in an opulent, upper class existence by unloving parents.
Her beauty gives her access to scenes she is entirely too young for. Soon, she’s snorting coke and sleeping with some of rock constellation’s brightest stars. But she’s only a satellite; until releasing her own album. Daisy is a song writer, aching to perform her own work. Instead, she churns out lackluster pop songs.
Backed into a pop music corner, she’s asked to duet on the soft-rock single, “Honeycomb,” with an up-and-coming band, The Six. It becomes a runaway hit. Her and Billy Dunne (the lead singer and de facto leader of The Six) are an iconic duo: her feisty good looks and his denim-clad smolder fascinate fans.
Jones is (a bit reluctantly, where Dunne is concerned) asked to join the band. Daisy Jones and The Six covers the rise, explosion, and eventual implosion of the music and dynamics born from this unholy union.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of f**king story.
Daisy Jones and The Six: Fleetwood Mac
If you are a die-hard music fanatic, you’ll love this book. Now, I like music, but I don’t looooove it, you know? (Nothing can usurp books from the top of my obsessions.) But even a lukewarm music lover like myself recognized the real-life counterparts of these characters.
Daisy Jones and The Six is a thinly veiled dissection of Fleetwood Mac. Daisy is Stevie Nicks. Her glamour, free-spiritedness, and visible nipples practically scream Stevie. Billy Dunne is Lindsey Buckingham. But there are other aspects of The Six that mirror Fleetwood Mac, as well. Mainly, the drugs, various romantic entanglements, and internal power struggles.
Reid stated that Fleetwood Mac’s televised 1997 Reunion Tour, The Dance, inspired the “will they won’t they” story line of Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. Particularly, the looks Stevie and Lindsey exchanged performing “Landslide” and “Silver Springs.” In the afterword, Taylor writes that she listened to Rumours on repeat.
There are other 1970’s musical influences in the novel. Daisy’s best friend, Simone, is modeled after Donna Summers. Like The Allman Brothers, Billy and Graham Dunne are fatherless siblings from Pennsylvania. The Chateau Marmont (a famous Los Angeles hotel and playground for hard partying stars) is frequently name checked.
Daisy Jones and The Six: An Ode To Rock and Roll
Daisy Jones and The Six not only romanticizes 1970’s rock stars; it throws gallons upon gallons of rose-colored paint on the latter half of the decade.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is penning her own love song, weaving a chorus that hails a time before corporate driven singles. A time when bands were discovered more organically. When bands cut their teeth performing weddings, clubs, and small tours; not striving to become TikTok sensations or reality-TV contest winners.
And that’s why Daisy Jones and The Six is written as an oral history. The book perfectly emulates a Behind The Music episode. While I’ve called this method gimmicky, I also understand that it’s difficult. I write my interviews in a prose format, as opposed to “Q and A” style. I know how difficult it is to weave quotes into a cohesive story. And I’m just writing articles; Taylor Jenkins Reid crafts an entire novel.
Therefore, I forgive some plot holes and the anticlimactic ending. Daisy Jones and The Six is an impossible book to put down. I fell in love with the characters, eager to share in their successes and failures. I was happy to escape to a decadent time with compelling figures.
I used to care when men called me difficult. I really did. Then I stopped. This way is better.
Have you read Daisy Jones and The Six? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. If you haven’t, tell me all your summer reading suggestions.
P.S. Are you dying to hear these songs? It’s been picked up by Amazon Video. The show will star Riley Keough (Elvis’ granddaughter!) playing Daisy. Oh, and Reese Witherspoon is producing. It’s gonna be epic.