Prime Video’s ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ adapts Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel of the same name to deliver a riveting tale of a rock band whose fall is just as meteoric as its rise. Their story begins at different points, but Daisy Jones’s path merges with that of the Six and changes the course of their lives. As the story unfolds, the audience becomes privy to the complex nature of the relationships that shape the music of the band as well as its future. Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne become the focal points of all the drama that unfolds in the show. Their chemistry and complicated love story make one wonder if these characters were conceived with any real singers in mind. Let’s find out.
Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne: Fictional Characters Inspired by Real Rock Bands
No, Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne are not real singer-songwriters. However, Reid has confirmed that she was influenced by several rock bands of the seventies, in particular, Fleetwood Mac while writing the story. The relationship between Steve Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had been one of the things that served as the foundation for the relationship between Daisy and Billy. The author revealed that she had one particular performance of Nicks and Buckingham in mind while writing the story.
Delving into their complicated past, she got a perspective on the songs they made at particular times in their career and how that differed from the way they performed them on stage, depending on their emotions at the moment. “I wanted to write a story about that, about how the lines between real life and performance can get blurred, about how singing about old wounds might keep them fresh,” Reid revealed.
While the author has accepted that Nicks was on her mind while writing the story, she stated that despite the inspiration, she wrote Daisy as a very different person than Nicks. “As a singer Daisy’s upbringing is different from Stevie’s, her image is different from Stevie’s, the things that we’re drawn to about her are different from the things we are drawn to about Stevie,” the author said. She mentioned Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Patti Smith while talking about the female artists who rose to fame during that time. “I really wanted to look at the story of a woman in a band at that time and how they were able to exist or co-exist [with the band],” Reid added.
In Daisy, Reid wanted to reflect the life of a female artist at the time, but she also didn’t want Daisy to simply be a reflection of a real-life artist of that time. She wanted Daisy to be a real person with relatable feelings and struggles rather than simply being “someone who people in the ’70s would be enchanted by”. Noting that the music industry back then was “a pretty male-dominated space”, Reid didn’t want to tell yet another story about a man. “What I wanted to do was say, if I’m writing a story about rock in the 1970s, what can I do that makes it feel like no one else has done this, or only I could do it? What is the one thing that would be unique for me? And that was centering on the women and their private lives, their families, and their hopes for their future,” Reid said.
To bring the characters alive on the screen, the actors came up with ways to embody their flaws and struggles. Riley Keough and Sam Claflin, who play Daisy and Billy, respectively, sang all of their songs. To create Daisy’s unique look in the show, the actress as well as the costume and make-up department drew references from Stevie Nicks’ style. Claflin found ways to connect with his character, despite not relating to Billy’s egotistical nature. Fatherhood became the point where the actor found an understanding of his character, adding a new layer of realism to it. Considering all this, it is clear that real-life singers have influenced the creation of Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne, but they remain unique and original in their own right.