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Why is Daisy Jones & the Six the Vivid Representation of the 70’s?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The 1970’s were known for bell bottoms and the development of disco, but they were also an incredibly epic period for rock music; which had really taken off in the 1960’s, but increased in popularity in the 1970’s. The genre expanded over time, using a wide range of inspirations to create new and intriguing sounds. The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and Pink Floyd, for example, were at the pinnacle of their worldwide fame, especially in the United States. 

Author Taylor Jenkins Reid successfully recreated the atmosphere of living in the 70’s through her book Daisy Jones and the Six; a book that tells the story of a band formed in the most iconic age of Rock n’ Roll: the 1970’s. 

Daisy Jones and The Six Summary: 

The story depicts the life of Daisy, a gorgeous young adolescent who lives with parents that are unconcerned about her actions. She comes and goes as she pleases, becomes a regular at nightclubs, begins to participate in the sex, drug, and Rock n’ Roll groupie scene. Her beauty exposes her  to these experiences  she is entirely too young for. Soon, she is snorting coke and sleeping with some of rock constellations brightest stars. Daisy is brave and unapologetic, which is how she manages to captivate everyone with her carefree attitude. Daisy is uninterested in school and simply wants to write songs.  Since she has a unique and captivating voice, she dreams to create her own music. Unfortunately, she fails nearly every time she attempts to excel in a male-dominated field like music. She receives a record deal, but the executives tell her that her songs aren’t good enough. Daisy, however, refuses to give up despite being repeatedly rejected, and because she is strong-willed, she refuses to perform any work as she will not sing other people’s songs.

The six, on the other hand, are a band on the rise, gaining more and more popularity with each event and performance. Billy, their lead singer, is the one who writes their songs and is the group’s undisputed leader. 

Daisy and The Six meet through their mutual agent, and when Billy writes a song that he believes would sound better with a female voice, their manager offers Daisy for the part. They realize Daisy will be a fantastic fit for the band after their first tour together, and they decide to make her a permanent member, changing their name to Daisy Jones And The Six.

SPOILERS!!!!

Billy and Daisy quickly begin writing songs for their debut album. Daisy, on the other hand, is disliked by Billy because he believes she is a harmful influence on him: a recovering addict. Daisy’s addiction grows greater as the band’s success increases, and it soon begins to affect the rest of the band. Daisy and Billy fall in love despite their squabbling, but their love is forbidden since he is married to Camila, his first love and mother of his children. At one point,  Daisy kisses Billy  and their relationship becomes tense. Daisy, unable to endure the heartache of her unrequited love, becomes more involved in drugs and partying, which ultimately leads to the band’s breakup. Daisy quits from the band to go to rehab, and the rest of the group splits up.

For much of the novel, the plot is recounted as a documentary of the band years after their breakup, expressing their biggest fears and loves. “This book serves as the first and only time members of the band have commented on their history together.” In a monologue mix tape, the mystery author has collected the voices of The Six, Daisy, their manager, music critics, and others.

“It is what I have always loved about music,” Daisy says. “Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words — the emotions, and the stories, the truth — that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know?” 

Daisy Jones and The Six: A love story to Rock n’ Roll?: 

Reid was inspired by a variety of great rock bands for this book, but the main template for Daisy Jones & the Six is Fleetwood Mac, a rock n’ roll band from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The book captures the ups and downs of a Rock N’ Roll band in the making. There’s the band’s creative friction, the inevitable slip into narcotics, and the singer who goes missing while pricey studio time ticks away. 

The topic of substance misuse is possibly the most sensitive and truthful in the rock n roll world. Substance addiction defines the lives of countless performers across all genres, before concerts, during events, and while recording songs. Drug and alcohol misuse has plagued the music industry for decades, from popping pills and snorting cocaine to smoking marijuana and binge drinking. Unfortunately, substance abuse has become synonymous with rock n’ roll music, and many excellent bands and musicians’ careers have been ruined as a result.

 In the book, Billy and Daisy’s addiction and substance abuse were inextricably linked to their connection and music, and were ultimately the primary cause of their band’s demise. This is an example of how many legendary bands, including Gun N’ Roses and The Everly Brothers, have split as a result of a member’s drug and alcohol addiction. Substance abuse, on the other hand, was a big topic in the 1970’s. The stimulant cocaine and the depression Quaaludes became the club drugs of choice in the 1970’s disco movement. Quaaludes were so popular at discos that they were dubbed “disco biscuits.”

With this story, Reid clearly tried to emphasize not just the perks of being a rock n’ roll band in the 1970’s, but also the detrimental and painful impacts of being a new band on the expanding popularity of drugs and alcohol. In general, it presents an overly rosy view of substance addiction and the road to fame. 

Daisy Jones and Feminism:

The book features a strong female protagonist who is both a warrior and a feminist. Daisy is broken, but she is also powerful and beautiful, as Reid demonstrates. Daisy was always certain of herself and what she wanted. Her passion is what defines her. She knows who she is and refuses to conform to society’s expectations of what a woman should be. She walks on stage barefoot and in crop tops because that’s how she wants to dress, what makes her feel comfortable, and she doesn’t give a damn what other people think. That’s why she didn’t settle for crumbs or rely on other people’s talent when she initially started in the music industry. She didn’t want to be a muse for other people’s music; instead, she wanted to be her own muse and inspiration. It is why she recognized her unique talent and fought until she found a space where she could write her own songs and captivate audiences with her voice. She isn’t perfect, and she never acts as if she is. Her flaws and passion combine to create a compelling character that readers can’t help but adore.

“I am not a muse.

           I am the somebody.

           End of fucking story.”

– Daisy Jones 

Daisy is not the only feminist character in the novel, despite being the female protagonist. Karen Sirko, the band’s keyboardist, is also an inspiration to all the female readers of the book. Since she was a child, Karen has aspired to be a rock star. She has no desire to settle down, or to have a husband or children. She admits that this kind of life is not possible for her because of her desire and determination to succeed. Karen is well aware of her abilities as a keyboardist, as well as the fact that she is a woman in a male-dominated field. She does not want to be sexualized because of her gender; she wants to be recognized for her abilities. Karen, in contrast to Daisy’s crop tops, performs in turtlenecks, rejecting traditional ideals of what it means to be feminine and attractive in favor of being herself. She says that she felt like she had to suppress her sexuality and sexiness, so that she could get ahead. At one point in the book, Karen even admits she feels both impressed and repelled by Daisy’s way of carrying herself in the music industry.

“I had this really great mini-dress… I didn’t wear it. Because I knew they’d see a girl. And I wanted them to see a keyboardist.” — Karen,

Last but not least, we have the character of Camila, Billy’s wife and mother of his children. Throughout the narrative, Camila’s self-assurance is her defining quality. Camila Dunne is a woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants out of life, and she will not allow anyone to stand in her way. She is a wife and mother in a rockstar world, but she understands that she does not need to be famous to find worth and strength; she finds it in her family. 

She stands by her husband in the face of his addiction and battles for him and her family against drugs and his extramarital affairs. She does not watch from the sidelines; she takes action and achieves her objectives. Camilla decides that her priority is her family, and she goes to great lengths to ensure that Billy grows into the man she desires. She molds him into his best self. 

Camilla’s most feminist move comes when she discovers Billy is in love with Daisy. She never saw Daisy as a rival but instead she saw her as a woman. A woman who was in endless pain and in need of extreme help and also pushed Daisy to become the woman she knew she could be. 

Daisy Jones and the Six: A novel for life: 

Daisy Jones And The Six demonstrate that the 1970’s were about more than Rock n’ Roll music, disco, and parties. The 1970’s were a time of widespread substance abuse and women’s rights were just beginning to be recognized. It exposes the darker side of fame, when the pressure becomes overwhelming and women must struggle for every inch of recognition. 

This book is just stunningly written, transporting readers to the most legendary era of rock and roll, making the elder generation nostalgic for those days while allowing the new generation to experience what it was like to live in the 1970’s. 

If Taylor Jenkins Reid was a singer this book undoubtedly would be her hit song. 

Adriana Quiles is freshmen at the University of Puerto Rico Recinto de Rio Piedras. She's very passionate about female empowerment and feels that Her Campus is her ideal outlet to talk about topics that matter to her and to all women.
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