Sex, Drugs, and '70s Rock ‘n’ Roll in “Daisy Jones & The Six”

There’s nothing quite like the allure and mystique of the 1970s. As someone who was not alive during this era, all I can do is imagine what it must have been like — this groovy, psychedelic, laid-back period that produced some of the best and most famous bands ranging from Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith to The Rolling Stones and Queen. Now, thanks to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new novel Daisy Jones & The Six, I was fully immersed in the world of 70s rock ‘n’ roll while getting an honest look at what the life of a musician is really like.

In the novel, Reid instantly transports the reader back to the 1970s, filling the setting with imagery from that time: bell bottoms, bangles, cars, and popular Los Angeles venues — capturing the era's ambiance (from what I’ve heard). Yet, it’s Reid’s story of a fictional rock band on the cusp of global fame that hooked me. Loosely based on Fleetwood Mac, Reid chronicles the rise of Daisy Jones & The Six in the Los Angeles music scene and explores the reason behind their split at the height of their success. 

Unlike a traditional novel, Daisy Jones & The Six is told in an interview style — written as an oral history with the narrative shifting back and forth between each character, allowing the reader insight into their feelings and perspectives. 

Reid first introduces us to Daisy Jones, a beautiful, free-spirited, hard partying girl that those around her are instantly drawn to. She’s a girl who longs to be heard, wanted, and acknowledged by her music and the men who drift in and out of her bed. Coming of age in Los Angeles, Daisy dreamed of singing at the Whiskey a Go-Go. Now, at 20 years old with a contract from Runner Records in California and a cover album under her belt, Daisy is on her way to stardom.

Meanwhile, The Six, lead by a brooding Billy Dunne, are also signed to Runner Records. The release of their first album First brought the band newfound success, but with that came Billy’s wild, drug-filled, reckless behavior on tour — resulting in a 60 day stay in a rehabilitation center. After this, Billy and the band release a dismal sophomore album. However, when a producer suggests that fellow Runner Records signee, Daisy Jones, sing with The Six, history may as well have been made right then and there as the two acts merge into one. 

Everything that follows is the stuff of legends in this riveting and unforgettable novel. It’s one that reminds us — the truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle. 

Daisy Jones & The Six is currently being adapted into an Amazon Original series starring Riley Keough as Daisy Jones. Reese Witherspoon will serve as an executive producer of the series — a release date has not been announced yet. 

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