Top positive review
An absorbing picture of the rise and fall of a fictional rock band in the 1970s
Reviewed in Canada on April 30, 2019
This is the story of a fictional rock band in the 1970s, from its struggling beginning, to fame and fortune at the top of the music charts, and to its sudden dissolution. Told in the narrative style by snippets of interviews with band members, producers, a writer from Rolling Stone magazine and a photographer, it channels memories removed in time from the events. This writing style gives authenticity to the characters, their emotions, their conflicts, and their methods of creating their songs and records. The narrative style also distances us from events and the intensity of emotions so well described.
The brooding Billy Dunne and his younger brother, Graham, recruit four acquaintances to form a rock band called The Six. Billy is the lead singer and songwriter. His charismatic stage presence and their first album makes him recognizable and famous. Daisy Jones is under contract with the same record company. They find her difficult to work with and want her to record cover songs with her distinctive voice. Daisy is a spoiled rich girl who is struggling to record her own songs which she wrote, is self-absorbed and feels she is entitled to fame without the hard work that it entails. The record company insists that she make a record with Billy Dunne who resents being pushed to share his musical fame and creative process with anyone. The songs and voice that Daisy adds to the next album by The Six lands them at the top of the rock/pop charts.
The story focuses on how a music band consisting of both male and female members can develop problems involving sexual tension, cheating, affairs and jealousy. There are also inevitable problems of clashing egos among the groups’ star performers, and the growing dismay among other people in the group who feel marginalized and irrelevant in the creative process. This reminds me of bits of stories about Fleetwood Mac and The Mamas and the Papas earlier. Like many rock bands of the era, Daisy Jones and The Six live the rock and roll lifestyle of promiscuity, groupies, alcohol, drug addiction and resentments which interferes with their creativity and threaten their success. What will lead to the groups’ downfall?
The lyrics of their most memorable hit songs, which put them at the top of the 1970s charts, are included at the end of the book. I hope to hear them sung in the upcoming TV series, as I feel these fictional songs would have been big hits in the past.