Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Publication: 7th March 2019 from Hutchinson
For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.
Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.
The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.
Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.
I wanted to read this because it is absolutely of my time and the band is one completely resonates with my listening in those heady days. From the off it is clear that Jenkins Reid has got the mood and mores of the time bang to rights.
Written as a series of interviews, with remembrance being a moveable feast for those in and involved with the band, what you get is a narrative with a range of different perspectives, the sum of the parts making for a very convincing whole.
The book chronicles the love story between Daisy Jones and lead singer strutting Billy Dunne, and their relationship that developed as the band rose to fame. Leggy, gorgeous, wanting for nothing, Daisy Jones is used to getting what she wants. What she wants is Billy and the fact that Billy is married to Camilla is neither here nor there. The other members of The Six are Graham, Warren, Pete, Karen and Eddie.
Originally booked as an opening act for their tour, mostly because of her looks, but she does also have a decent smoky, slightly rasping voice, Daisy‘s appearance with The Six really clicks.
Once the two come together on stage, the band really starts to take off as the combination of the music and sexual chemistry reaches out and sprays the audience with their heady rock perfume.
Following the interviews throughout the bands progression from early small touring band in small whisky joints to their transition to a huge success, these interviews chronicle the sex, drugs, addictions, fights and hopes of all those involved.
Self-absorbed, in Daisy’s case fighting to have her creativity recognised, selfish and utterly destructive at times, this is a heartfelt evocation of band life in the late 60’s and 70’s and how egos clashing and creative differences really play out behind the scenes.
Though I enjoyed this a lot, I did find the interview format a little bit choppy and noisy and I really did wish I could hear the songs as I read them. I’m going to buy the audio book, because I’m sure that will work beautifully.
Verdict: Authentic, believable. A really evocative telling of the rise and fall of a rock band in the 70’s.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and two other novels. She lives in Los Angeles.