By Sophia Sakellariou, Production Editor
The rock and roll scene of Los Angeles in the 70’s is an era most can only dream of reliving. However, author Taylor Jenkins Reid allows us to walk the sunset strip with the rebels and groupies that defined the time in Daisy Jones & The Six, as told in an interview style with the story unfolding through the words of the band members themselves. The warmth of the California sun, the sounds of wailing guitars and beating drums, and the smell of booze on a dreamy rockstars lips are brought to life in this page-turner as Reid opens the reader’s eyes to the ups and downs that defined what it meant to be a rockstar.
With large doe eyes like Twiggy and a powerful raspy voice like Janis Joplin, young Daisy Jones is exposed to the life of a rockstar at a young age. Entering the scene as a groupie, she spends her days sleeping and nights partying on the sunset strip. The men that come in and out of her life steadily realize her power as a muse– her quirky habits (drinking champagne and coffee for breakfast which she coins the term Up Down for) and poetic one-liners, become inspiration for their own songwriting careers that take off running. Daisy slowly learns that she wants to be more than a muse, she wants to be the star.
As Daisy is finding her way, Billy and Graham Dunne are brothers who form the band The Six, the name coming from the fact that there are six band members. Their early career is marked by all of the excitement of a band climbing to the top of the charts– sold-out gigs, a record deal and a cross country tour that is one endless party. However, Billy quickly falls victim to the endless party and this rockstar goes to rehab before he ends up dying like one.
The band’s producer partners them up with Daisy Jones, thinking she is the voice they need to propel the band to the top of the charts. At this point in her career, Daisy’s days are marked by pills and booze at all hours of the day. This is a challenge to Billy as he is doing his best to be sober for his family so he vehemently opposes the merger, but his opinion is of the minority.
Billy and Daisy are appointed the task of writing the songs for their next album. They butt heads from the onset, but realize they have few creative differences once they let their guards down. In the end they produce an album full of songs that both tears at one’s heartstrings for lost love and rage for the things people so badly want but can’t have. The lines are blurred between whether those things out of reach for Billy are the drugs and drinks that littered his past life or, Daisy herself– the wide eyed beauty who seems to know him better than he knows himself, but who’s substance abuse taunts his troubled past.
The novel is a rollercoaster ride of the highs and lows of fame, love and finding one’s self in the haze of it all. It will leave you with a desire to drive out west with bangles on your wrist and Fleetwood Mac on the radio, searching for the lost American dream of rock and roll in the desert sands.
A screen adaptation of the novel is in the works, under the guise of executive producer Reese Witherspoon, as a limited musical series with original songs from the book. The release date is not yet known.