Daisy Jones & The Six reads like a “Behind The Music” documentary. It’s told in the form of an oral history and documents the meteoric rise of the eponymous rock n’ roll band as well as the events leading to their abrupt and mysterious disbandment in the late seventies. Many reviewers have noted the similarities between this fictionalized musical group and Fleetwood Mac. Being a Fleetwood Mac fan myself, the parallels did not go unnoticed: the internal romantic relationships, the egos, the in-fighting, the betrayals, and especially the drugs and alcohol. But at the heart of this “life-in-the-fast-lane” tale is the power of music. It’s power to connect, as well as, give expression to our deepest emotions.
The story begins with a teenaged Daisy Jones. She comes from a privileged background, but her parents are emotionally detached and neglectful. On a whim, she decides to check out the local music scene. Daisy’s beauty and charisma are an instant hit on the LA strip. Very quickly, she becomes the “It” girl of the 70s, and the arm-candy for various rock stars. But as time goes by, she begins to notice a pattern. The men she sleeps with, use her ideas for song lyrics, and then pass those ideas off as their own. Those songs eventually make their way onto the charts, which adds to the personal sting. So, Daisy decides to take matters into her own hands: “I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of f*cking story.”
Running parallel to this storyline, the reader is introduced to origins of a band called, The Six. The uber-talented, highly ambitious Billy Dunne is at the helm. He writes, arranges, and performs lead vocals on all of their songs. His controlling nature isn’t always appreciated by his bandmates, but it’s hard to deny the success it has produced. Outside of the music, Billy is struggling. The pressures of marriage and fatherhood weigh heavily on him, and lead to destructive choices. Eventually, he’s able to right the course, but it’s a constant battle. And the rock n’ roll scene ain’t making it any easier.
Their future as a band is promising, but The Six lack something. Something that could potentially lead them to super-stardom. Enter Daisy Jones, a bit older, with a helluva lot of buzz surrounding her and a moderately successful album under her belt. The energy between Daisy and Billy is fiery and complicated. But it’s also musical gold. What they are able to create on and off the stage provides the driving force of this epic tale.
Daisy Jones & The Six is an entertaining and energetic ride. Taylor Jenkins Reid has created an exciting story of a specific era of time and the music that shaped it. It delves into the song-writing process, the recording of an album, and the mania of touring. It also addresses big subjects like gender-politics and drug addiction. But it’s the love (good love, bad love, ugly love) that really propels this story.
Drink of choice: Daisy & The Six did so much partying, I didn’t feel the need to participate. Club soda in a flute for me, maybe throw in a raspberry.
Btw, I’m so not rock n’ roll. My idea of living dangerously, is doing 50 in a 45 zone or not returning a library book on time.