Books, Adaptations and Rock ‘n’ Roll: What You Need to Know About ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

The book’s TV adaptation, produced by Reese Witherspoon, stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin as musical partners Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. The show, of the same name, will premiere on Prime Video March 3.  

Cue the guitars and dim the lights — Taylor Jenkins Reid’s New York Times Best Selling novel “Daisy Jones & The Six” is hitting the big screens. 

The book’s TV adaptation, produced by Reese Witherspoon, stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin as musical partners Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. The show, of the same name, will premiere on Prime Video March 3.  

Through her sixth book, Reid has cemented herself as one of today’s most prominent writers. In a mock oral history of a ‘70s rock band, the novel takes place from 1965 to present, and is split into twelve sections. The storytellers of this history range from current and former members of the band to friends, family and industry elites. 

Titular character Daisy Jones hails from a wealthy family in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. The first section of the novel showcases Daisy as a fearless character with fiery red hair, willing to do what it takes to make it big.

“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse,” Daisy said. “I am not a muse. I am somebody. End of fucking story.”

With only a few pages to introduce her, the novel benefits from her short introduction, leaving the reader longing for more information about Daisy. 

The following section, “The Rise of The Six,” follows brothers Billy and Graham Dunne, the creation of their band with fellow members Karen, Eddie, Warren and Pete to the eventual contract with Runner Records. While this section of the book was necessary in painting the overall arc of the band, the lengthy introduction of characters — some of whom made short-lived appearances — was often unnecessary. 

Meanwhile, “it” girl Daisy is beginning her own career in the music industry. Filled with a passion for songwriting, Daisy eventually secures her own deal with Runner Records and begins her solo career. 

Her solo sections of the novel are few and shorter than the male leads despite being the main character. Though there are feminist undertones, a larger emphasis on the female characters would have left Reid with a near perfect novel. 

One of the few characters of color, disco star and Daisy’s best friend Simone Jackson is often pushed aside with simple dialogue. Simone had potential to be a prominent character within the story but was only used as support for the main character, especially later in the novel when Daisy’s drug addiction becomes life-threatening. Simone, played by Nabiyah Be, is set to appear in all 10 episodes of the series, according to IMDb

During the section “The Rise of The Six,” the band releases their debut album, the process of which is skimmed over. During a tour of 30 cities, Billy takes a turn for the worse struggling with his drug addiction. 

With a child on the way, Billy’s wife Camila gives him two options — be present at the birth of their daughter or check himself into rehab. Billy, scared of being an inadequate father like his own, checks himself into rehab. This section of the novel is in its purest form, showcasing the characters at their most vulnerable while strengthening readers’ connection to them.

“I think you have to have faith in people before they earn it,” Camila said while deciding what she wants for her family. “Otherwise it’s not faith, right?”

Back in the studio, The Six begins to record their sophomore album “SevenEightNine.” When finished, Runner Records CEO Rich Palentino points out that the album might not have a number one hit. 

Desperate to put the band on the charts, producer Teddy Price suggests Billy sings a duet with Daisy, whose raspy voice and golden reputation are a magnet for public attention. Billy, initially apprehensive about the idea, eventually gives in and allows Daisy’s vocals on the track “Honeycomb.” The song has been adapted into the upcoming Prime Video series.

As “Honeycomb” makes its way up the charts, The Six hit the road for another round of headlining tours. Spotting Daisy in the crowd one night, The Six invite her onstage to sing, leaving concertgoers wild with excitement. In one of the novel’s pivotal scenes, Runner Records adds Daisy as an opener for the rest of The Six’s shows, cuing the book’s romantic undertones. 

After the show, tensions build between members when the label wants to combine Daisy and The Six’s careers. After a series of debates and challenges to Billy’s authority, the group is renamed and introduced as Daisy Jones & The Six. 

With the creation of the new group, Reid manipulates relationships between characters. The women within the novel tend to create stronger platonic bonds with each other, only connecting to the male leads romantically. Camila, Daisy and Karen create a sense of companionship as the only women in the novels cast of mostly men. 

While writing their new album “Aurora,”  the band agrees to let Daisy and Karen have their own song. 

“Just Daisy singing and me on the keys,” Karen said of the record. “That’s it. Just two bitches playing rock ‘n’ roll.”

Though the sections, “Aurora” and The Aurora World Tour take on the bulk of the band’s story, putting readers in the palm of Reid’s hand. Relationships tether on a very thin line, with character dynamics becoming increasingly vulnerable and tense. 

With tensions high in the previous two sections, the story concludes in Chicago, gripping readers until the very last page. Broken love connections and devastating disagreements cause Daisy Jones & The Six to be seen together for the last time at Chicago Stadium — the end of a band doomed from the start. 

A complex and layered novel filled with elegant prose, “Daisy Jones & The Six” is a memorable story that leaves readers melancholic. Anticipation remains high among the devoted fanbase as this novel transitions the page-to-screen adaptation. 

The book is available now and the TV series will be available for streaming March 3 on Prime Video.

featured image courtesy of Prime Studios

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