EVERYONE KNOWS DAISY JONES AND THE SIX.
They sold out arenas from coast to coast.
Their music defined an era and every girl in America idolised Daisy.
But on July 12 1979, on the night of the final concert of the Aurora tour, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
This is the whole story, right from the beginning: the sun-bleached streets, the grimy bars on the Sunset Strip, knowing Daisy’s moment was coming. Relive the euphoria of success and experience the terror that nothing will ever be as good again. Take the uppers so you can keep on believing, take the downers so you can sleep, eventually. Wonder who you are without the drugs or the music or the fans or the family that prop you up. Make decisions that will forever feel tough. Find beauty where you least expect it. Most of all, love like your life depends on it and believe in whatever it is you’re fighting for.
It’s a true story, though everyone remembers the truth differently.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was published by Cornerstone Digital on March 5th 2019.
Trigger warnings; adultery, abortion, underage drinking, and drug and alcohol abuse.
After falling in love with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo I eagerly picked up Daisy Jones and the Six. I think going in my expectations were a little higher for this book than they had been when I started The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, simply just because I knew what to expect from the author. I really enjoyed Daisy Jones & the Six but not as much as Evelyn Hugo, and I think that was because of the format the story was told in. I read Daisy Jones as a Kindle edition rather than an audiobook, and I struggled to feel completely immersed in the story at times.
“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of fucking story.”
Even before she made a name for herself Daisy Jones was an icon. Her parents were never bothered with her and so she was left to her own devices, which led to her discovering the LA night scene where she was recognised for her free-spiritedness and her incredible beauty. At the same time brothers Billy and Graham form a band and start making a name for themselves. Eventually adding Pete, Eddie, Warren and Karen to the roster they become the Six.
Daisy Jones and the Six was a book all about Daisy and Billy, but for a lot of the book Daisy’s and Billy’s stories are separate. We see Daisy flying high, taking more and more pills and getting by on her beauty, feeling the buzz of the music scene. We see Billy’s rise to fame and see how quickly he become addicted to alcohol and drugs, everything you can think of, until he hits rock bottom and puts himself into rehab.
Signed to same record studio the meeting between Billy and Daisy was inevitable, and when the Six need a female vocalist on one of their tracks Daisy is one of the artists suggested. What starts off as one track becomes a tour and then becomes a joint album, and instead of the Six it’s Daisy Jones and the Six.
“We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.”
Like Evelyn Daisy was not always an easy character to like. She never got the attention she needed from her parents so she finds it elsewhere, from the men who adore her for her beauty and take credit for her ideas. Drugs are inevitable but it’s not too long before Daisy is in too deep, taking drugs to sleep and drugs to wake up and drugs to keep going. Still there was a lot I admired about Daisy, she knows what she wants out of life and she was determined to get it. She was very independent, and a lot of the time she clashed with Billy, but she never let any man walk over her.
There were a lot of incredible female characters in this book; I really liked Simone – who was Daisy’s best friend, and offered her the love and support she never got from her parents – and Karen – whose life was about the music, all she wanted was to be taken seriously as a musician and not seen as a woman first.
My favourite female character was Camila, Billy’s wife. She was put through so much during Billy’s period of addiction, and their relationship was never easy but she stuck by him. This didn’t make her a push-over though, being constantly walked over by someone who cheated on her and left her alone when she was giving birth to their daughter, but someone who was always willing to put her faith and trust in the man she loved.
“If I’ve given the impression that trust is easy – with your spouse, with your kids, with anybody you care about – if I’ve made it seem like it’s easy to do…then I’ve misspoken. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But you have nothing without it. Nothing meaningful at all. That’s why I chose to do it. Over and over and over.”
Billy has always been in control of the Six and their music, it was his talent which pushed them forwards and it’s hard for him to unleash the control over his song-writing process when working with Daisy. It’s that stubbornness that he knows best which starts to cause problems in the band though, when he pushes the other members too far only thinking about himself or only thinking about what will put on the best show.
As much as he struggles with addiction Billy managed to pull himself out of that hole for his family. He made some horrible mistakes but he loves Camila, she’s it for him. However at the same time while working with Daisy Billy finds someone who sees music the same was he does, who makes his songs and his performances better. The relationship between Daisy and Billy is all fire, they butt heads with one another more often than not, but they also help one another grow.
“It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words – the emotions, the stories, the truth – that you can let flow right out of your mouth.”
Daisy Jones & the Six is written almost like a screenplay, with an unnamed author interviewing Daisy Jones, the individual members of the Six and the other people who were a part of their lives when they rose to fame. We see the key events firsthand though their eyes, but it sometimes made the writing feel choppy when the story would swap from one characters’ voice to another every two or three sentences. I feel like this book would have been better to listen to as an audiobook, but as far as complaints go it’s a very minimal one.
One thing Taylor Jenkins Reid does incredibly well is setting the scene; her descriptions of the music scene and LA during the seventies were so well written I could see everything Reid was setting out so clearly in my head. Daisy Jones & the Six is an incredible book, as raw and moving as Evelyn Hugo but in slightly different ways, and Taylor Jenkins Reid is definitely an author now on my watch-list.
Have you read Daisy Jones and the Six, or is it still on your TBR list?
Did you read this as a physical book or an audiobook, and if you read Daisy Jones as a physical book do you think you would have enjoyed it more as an audiobook? Who was your favourite female character in this book; Daisy, Simone, Karen, or Camila?
Have you read any of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other releases, which is your favourite?