“Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The SixI was having a very bad week, so the publication date of Daisy Jones & The Six came along at precisely the right time. I needed an escape, and this book delivered. My only wish is that it could have gone on for another 50 or 100 pages.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, one of my favorite books of 2017. In that novel, Reid constructed an alternate history of the movie business around her fictional characters; here, she does the same for the music industry of the 1970s. Daisy Jones is a charismatic Hollywood wild child who joins forces with a Pittsburgh rock band called The Six, not entirely dissimilar to the way Stevie Nicks became a member of Fleetwood Mac after they’d already released a few LPs. The powerhouse duo of Jones and The Six frontman Billy Dunne takes the band to new levels of superstardom; then, in 1979, they abruptly called it quits. This book—which takes the form of an oral history—tells the story of their rise to fame and why they broke up at the height of their success.

The oral history format is interesting and unusual (I don’t think I’ve ever read another novel that exclusively uses this type of conversational style), allowing us to get sometimes-differing perspectives of the same events. Sex, drugs, rock and roll—it’s all here, and depicted so convincingly that I had to remind myself that I couldn’t actually log into a music app and listen to Daisy & The Six’s hit album Aurora.

The only thing I didn’t entirely buy is that in the final pages, where we find out what everyone’s been up to since 1979, there’s no mention of any manager or promoter trying to reunite The Six. They were huge—surely somebody would have backed up a truck full of money to try to get the band back together one more time? A group that leaves the scene at the peak moment of fame and never tries to cash in on their glory days in the decades to come… well, I guess there’s a reason this book is a work of fiction.

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