Take the best American rock documentary, add the extraordinary Daisy Jones and mix it with the highest of highs and lowest of lows and you have the standout novel, Daisy Jones & The Six. Taylor Jenkins Reid creates a completely unique novel that details the formation of fictional 70s American rock band and why their show in Chicago on 12th July 1979 was their last. It ticks all the boxes of sex, drugs and rock n roll, but the book is much more than that, exploring constant clashes of personality, the ongoing struggle of addiction, and heartbreak that playing music can’t heal.
“But the only reason people thought I had everything is because I had all the things you can see.
I had none of the things you can’t.”
The novel is entirely composed of interviews: the band members, their manager, producers, friends and family all come together to create a real depiction of ‘life in a band’ during the 70s on the Sunset Strip. You can picture the TV documentary in your head, and it’s no surprise that its set to be released as an Amazon Prime miniseries. Above all the characters are honest, the discrepancies between each person’s version of events highlighting how everyone remembers life through their own truth.
“The Chosen Ones never know they are chosen. They think everyone gets a gold carpet rolled out for them.”
But being in a band is complicated. You can be the biggest band in America or the world, topping the charts, selling out tours but when you work that closely with people and spend the majority of your time with them, tensions are unavoidable. The band is a web of intense relationships: power, jealousy, love and regret are just some of the issues Reid raises in the novel.
Daisy Jones is talented, stylish, a lyrical genius and damn right feisty. She knows herself and even when she is out of control, no one is telling her what to do.
“I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of fucking story.”
With influences from Fleetwood Mac, think of Daisy Jones as another Stevie Nicks, she is iconic. Everybody loves Daisy, everyone wants to be her, yet often Daisy doesn’t want to be herself. Trapped in a pit of substance abuse, Daisy is out of control, and the people around her can’t always save her, she needs to do that for herself.
“But at some point, you have to recognize that you have no control over anybody and you have to step back and be ready to catch them when they fall…Maybe it’s more like throwing someone you love out to sea and then praying they float on their own, knowing they might well drown and you’ll have to watch.”
If you are into music and rock documentaries (especially 70s, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty kind of vibe) then definitely give this a try. Reid gives us a different take on the novel, but the narrative runs smoothly and is incredibly engaging. You may not always like the characters (Billy really grated on me at times), and their ego’s may inflate to dizzy heights, but they are rock stars after all. One thing is for sure, I cannot wait for the miniseries so I can finally hear the music!