Title: Daisy Jones and The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Publication: 2019
Major Characters: Warren Raymond, Billy Dunne, Daisy Jones, Simone Jackson, Graham Dunne, Camila Dunne, Eddie Loving, Karen Karen, Teddy Price
Theme: The evolution of their artistic maturity, drugs and debauchery.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones and The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones and The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
Book Review: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is about a band from the seventies who had a fleeting moment of intense fame, but ironically exploded apart in orgasmic demise. Their music was of such a superb quality that it resonated throughout the decades, despite the band’s short duration. They made the cover of Rolling Stone, rode on two giant tour buses (to separate hostile factions), and won Grammys. The surviving band members are interviewed decades later for this book.
My favorite characters in the book were Billy and Camila Dunne. They were inspiring. Billy was the leader of “The Six” band because of his talent at writing, his magnetic on stage persona, and his prowess at the mixing console. When it was time to make a new album, everyone looked to Billy for guidance. But Billy’s mastery in the studio sometimes limited the musical experimentation and growth of other band members, causing resentment.
In addition, Billy was struggling with alcohol addiction. But when he fell in love with his future wife Camila, she was the kind of woman who made him want to be a better man.
“Men often think they deserve a sticker for treating women like people.”
Daisy Jones was a teenager in the sixties who was free-spirited and beautiful and gravitated to the Sunset Strip. She would manage to slip into rock shows like at the famed Whisky-a-Go Go, sleep with rock dudes and eventually get noticed as a gifted singer herself.
Fate brought The Six and Daisy Jones together on stage and the connection between Billy and Daisy was sizzling. When they sang together, and pointedly at each other…it was as if no one else was in the room. Billy had what he thought was a finished album of songs already written, but Daisy fought mightily (thrusting lyric-filled songbook at him) to co-mingle their writing talents. The result was the iconic album “Aurora”.
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid reveals simmering conflicts within the band. While Billy was trying to remain strong against his alcohol addiction, Daisy was off the rails with both an alcohol and drug addiction.
There was a secret romance between two band members, and a forbidden attraction between two others. One band member felt stifled artistically; another was very laissez-faire about the whole thing and thought about leaving to be with his girlfriend. The story unfolds very organically to arrive at why the band suddenly broke up at the height of their fame.
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was extremely well-written and believable as if you were reading about a real band. The format in this book is very interesting, the majority told in an interview format. At first I was skeptical (I don’t know why) but by the end I was impressed that this story was told so well in that way. It’s an amazing writing accomplishment.