As the girlfriend, then wife of a lead guitarist of a rock and roll band in the late seventies, I was very interested to read Daisy Jones and The Six. The book is a chronicle about a band who reaches the dizzying heights of stardom and fame before dramatically coming apart in 1979.
The band starts as The Six in the early seventies founded by Billy and his brother Graham. They gather other musicians, Eddie, Warren, Karen and Peter to form a band and have little success at first. Like any other form of art, most bands don’t make it to stardom and fame yet are content to make music for whatever reason. There are some like the Stones and the Beatles who do and this is the story of one such band. It’s said that the author was inspired by Fleetwood Mac but it isn’t their story by any stretch of the imagination.
The Six plod along playing wherever they can get gigs with Billy writing songs hoping for a hit. Their manager introduces Daisy Jones to them suggesting that with her style, looks and talent, the band will achieve the heights of greatness they’re all looking for. Daisy herself is a girl raised in California with natural talent, incredible looks and an attitude that she’ll do things her way to counter sexism in the music industry.
There is everything in this novel as you would expect; sex, drugs and rock and roll. The highs and lows of music, fame, fortune, relationships, ambition and infidelity are all covered and the struggle with addiction was thoughtfully explored.
This is not like any other book I’ve read. Each person who has a history with the band past and present is interviewed by an anonymous journalist. They have the opportunity to have their say and the writing flies directly in the face of ‘show, don’t tell.’ It is pure ‘tell’ but is done so cleverly that you almost feel as if you are watching a documentary. Each character explains their perspective and sometimes as in real life, interestingly come up with differing views of the same event. Possibly their recollections might seem repetitive yet the differing perspectives make it satisfactory. This book will have you reaching for google to find out more until you catch yourself – it’s pure fiction.
I can see why so many have raved about this one. I was totally hooked and disappointed when it ended. And did my husband’s band have any similar history? I’m afraid that’s a story for another day.