Once again, I’ve picked up another book that just happened to be on the Reese’s Book Club list. I’m not sure how this keeps happening. I’m always suspect of book club selections because I feel like I have different tastes than most people I talk to, so book clubs have never been a thing for me (although I am currently in a Nancy Drew Book Club on Facebook). But Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Amazon) sounded like something I would like. It’s all about a fictional band in the 1970’s that becomes a sensation.
“Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…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 and 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.
Another band getting noticed is The Six, 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 the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.”
Daisy Jones & the Six gives me all the feels. I was a child of the 1980’s, but was strongly influenced by my much older brothers and sisters who grew up in the 1970’s. Before I found the music of the 1980’s, I listened to the music of the 1970’s, like the Eagles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Pure Prairie League and all that Southern California rock. That’s where this book was set, and it was perfect.
Daisy Jones & the Six is written like an oral history of the band, with each member of the band offering their version of events as they look back on their time on the world stage. There are also interviews with those outside the group, like lead singer Billy’s wife, Camilla, or the manager, Rod, or the various rock critics. Because it’s written as an oral history and separate interviews, there’s no scenes of people sitting around the room reminiscing and arguing over whose version is correct, which is the beauty of the way the book is written. The “author” just presents one person’s memory of events, and then refutes it with another’s memory. It’s so true-to-life and well done.
The entire book of Daisy Jones & the Six is like a time machine back to the 1970’s. The clothing, the hair, the music, are all described. As I read it, I kind of felt like I was re-watching The History of the Eagles (Amazon Prime Video), which I watched a couple years ago about one of my favorite bands. Lots of hair, bad clothes, lots of drugs and alcohol, lots of sex, and lots of really great music. The only difference is that there are three central women in the book: Daisy Jones, who becomes the lead singer, Karen, who is the keyboardist, and Camilla, as mentioned before, Billy’s wife.
There were so many parts of the story that were compelling, whether it was Daisy’s descent into drug and alcohol abuse that results in a quickie marriage to an Italian prince who’s just as messed up as her, to Billy’s trip to rehab, and his subsequent struggle with sobriety as he leads the band and raises a family. Graham and Karen’s hidden relationship and their difficulties are also well-written. Eddie’s bitterness looking back on his time in the band all seem so real. The book is not all heaviness, though, there’s a lot of levity provided by drummer Warren and manager Rod.
I am so excited that Daisy Jones & the Six is being developed as an Amazon Prime series. I can’t wait to hear all the lyrics that I read. It will be like a trip down memory lane, except with new music. I hope the creators nail it; I’d hate for a bad adaptation. Even if you don’t have a visceral connection to the music of the 1970’s, you will get a better feeling for it after reading Daisy Jones & the Six.
This is the 2nd library book I’ve read this year as part of my Library Love Reading Challenge.
For more reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com
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