‘Daisy Jones & The Six’: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Nostalgic, Rock ‘n’ Roll Tale Hits the Small Screen
The cast of 'Daisy Jones & The Six,' the new series adapted from Taylor Jenkins Reid's 2019 novel. Photo: Pamela Littky/Prime Video
There is a reason Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid has sold over a million copies, squatted on bestseller lists for more than two years since its 2019 publication and continues to trend on BookTok and #bookstagram. It comes down to those three insatiable things: sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.
Loosely inspired by the travails of Fleetwood Mac — and so steeped in its era that you can whiff the weed and the Opium perfume — the novel, set between 1970 and ’80, is now getting the gauzy series treatment. Coming to Amazon Prime on March 3 via Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, the show, like the book, will follow the tale of an L.A. rock band during the 1970s. A full album, Aurora, by the fictional Daisy Jones & the Six will also be released. The album will feature 11 songs, and in total, the series will reportedly showcase 24 original songs written for the show and recorded by the cast. Bang that tambourine and spread those chiffon capes!
Screening just months after the death of the band’s “Songbird” Christine McVie, and the Fleetwood Mac bandwagon that Harry Styles inspired when he befriended its front-woman, Stevie Nicks (even performing with her several times), the series makes a solid ploy for a playful ’70s revival with gen-Z. Following the ’90s nostalgia boom of recent years, it would seem like that decade’s turn.
It also promises to be a lure for the generation who lived through the era Daisy Jones depicts — the ones who remember the many messy rifts of Fleetwood Mac, the decade’s changing gender dynamics (when women filed into the workforce in droves) and the boomer boomerang that occurred when then presidential candidate Bill Clinton used their song “Don’t Stop” as his 1992 campaign anthem.
The novelist has said she listened to the iconic album Rumours over and over again while working on her book, to the point where, as she was driving in her car one day, she mused: “I just want to know if Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham slept together after Rumours.”Moreover: “Seventies rock is a fun space to tell a story in, but it is dominated by white males. I wanted to tell a story that felt authentic, but focused on the people I’m interested in writing about: women and women of colour.” (Hence the female characters who propel her book, like lead singer Daisy, and Daisy’s best friend, Simone, a disco starlet loosely based on Donna Summer, played by Nabiyah Be.)
When Reid spoke to Zoomer in 2021, she elaborated on why we are voyeurs when it comes to celebrities. “We like knowing stories about other people. We care about other people. And we are projecting onto other people … popular culture is the dominant culture. It tells us so much about ourselves, and what we value.”
An inside-pop-culture connection in the cast of the 10-part series itself? Daisy is played by Riley Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley. Joining her in this stylish tangle of love, lust and creative licence is an ensemble that includes Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse, Camila Morrone and Timothy Olyphant.
Fame, and fame’s implosion, is the narrative road the series treads, but its deep dive into the age of Jimmy Carter and Pet Rock fad is bound to get people hooked. And, of course, the one-way ticket to Laurel Canyon and the Sunset Strip. So get set: The denim flares are coming. So, too, the curtain bangs and the cowboy boots.
A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Chiffon Capes & Denim Flares’, p. 58.