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. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
Daisy Jones & The Six is a book that you have definitely heard of. Regardless of whether or not it’s a genre you like you have for sure heard of it before. So have I. I bought it pretty recently and decided to finally give it a shot.
The book is written in the style of a music documentary: made up of people’s statements and a few articles as background information. The way the book was written is probably my favorite part about it. When each member explained how a certain situation went down you get to see the kind of person they are. It was truly fascinating to see the characters remembering the same situation so differently. I always say that one of my favorite parts about reading is getting to see a certain situation through someone’s eyes. To understand their perspective, their motives, what ticks them, what they fear, what they love and how all of those elements ultimately lead them to a certain decision – which isn’t right or wrong, it’s just their decision.
The way everything is portrayed makes it so easy to believe that this is a real band and a real documentary. At moments, while reading it, it felt like I was actually watching the book. It’s filled with the elements you’d expect from a rock’n’roll band in the 70’s: a bunch of drugs and a lot of sex. I loved how the author never held back on details, always being very raw about the character’s personal struggles, especially addiction. She didn’t make it seem like it was an easy problem to get over, she gave us the honest portrayal of how this can affect someone’s life and just how hard it is to find a way to heal and deal with them.
The characters are also incredible. They are so rich and multi-dimensional. Some good qualities. Some not-so-great qualities. But they certainly find a way to keep you hooked. Billy and Daisy provided A LOT of material, they got me on the edge of my seat and i could feel the kind of bumpy relationship and the crazy chemistry between them. Also they both have such strong personalities, it hooks you. But I also loved the rest of the bandmates and how much they added to the situations. And I have to say that one of my favorites was Camilla. There’s a strength to her that really pulled me towards her character. I could totally see myself idolizing someone like Daisy: so free, so eccentric and troubled and even quite selfish and because of all of that a creative genius. And I also loved Karen and her struggles with constantly being overlooked in favour of her male bandmates, and how she dealt with wanting a type of life that was different from what was “expected” of her for being a woman. I got to see different types of women dealing with different situations and how strong they are. It was really powerful.
Also there were some added elements that really improved the story as a whole, like having the band’s songs at the end of the book, which added so much to the atmosphere. I just really want to listen to them. And also, at a certain point we are presented to the interviewer and for me that was a really nice surprise, added quite a freshness to the story.
The way I knew this was a great book is the fact that it’s not my usual jam, in the sense that it’s not something I would find myself reaching for. And yet it was fascinating. So incredibly gripping. Whenever I would sit down to read it I would find myself flying through the pages and then being surprised with how much I’d read. It was a truly unforgettable story.
The story felt so real that I am still having a hard time believing it’s fiction.