Daisy Jones and the Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid
If you like stories about bands in the 60s and 70s, I think you will like this novel. The author was inspired by the band Fleetwood Mac and the relationships between its members, and her character Daisy Jones closely resembles Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. In this case, I’m lucky to be old enough to remember music from this era and get the feel of these times as they relate to my less wild suburban high school teenage years.
The book is written in interview format and explains Daisy’s beginning as a drug-fueled groupie hanging out with bands in southern California and the rise of Reid’s fictional band, The Six. Daisy is soon discovered as a beautiful and talented signer and songwriter with a distinctive voice, and eventually joins them.
The interviews give the reader a wide perspective of the power struggles and jealousies between front man Billy Dunne and other members, particularly with Eddie Loving, who plays rhythm guitar. Each member battles private struggles as well. Billy fights addiction and wants to be faithful to his wife, Camilla and temptations are unending. Daisy has pockets full of pills and will take whatever it takes to numb her. Drummer Warren Jones often does his own thing, making you question his commitment. Other members, including Billy’s younger brother, Graham, want an equal say in the group’s decisions. Bassist Pete Loving, Eddie’s brother, is thinking he might want a normal life. The band’s keyboardist, Karen, wants to be noticed for her impressive talent, not her looks.
But it’s not just about the logistics of the band’s rise and these struggles. It’s mainly about the undeniable attraction between Billy and Daisy, as well as their alternating creative friction and collaboration. When everything aligns, the intensity is mesmerizing. Should Billy sacrifice his always supportive wife for Daisy? The story is cleverly told, and integrates a fictional album, complete with lyrics, into the account. The secret of who is recording all these interviews is not revealed until the finish, which ties up many other loose ends.
I think the author does a great job explaining how the band takes off and how the creative process works, from songwriting to recording, mixing, producing and marketing the final product, which in this case became one of the greatest albums of the time.
Daisy Jones and the Six is a fast read and has a little bit of everything about this period of music. I recommend it to readers who like stories about music, bands and their creative personalities.
Have you read Daisy Jones? What did you think?
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