Amazon Prime’s ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ is a drama series that follows the story of the titular band, charting its rise and fall. Despite being at the peak of their career, the band’s sudden breaking up leaves everyone baffled. No one knows why they quit the thing that had only started to get good. Twenty years later, the band members sit down for an interview that reveals the true nature of their relationships and the personal demons they had to battle.
Created by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the story takes the form of a documentary where interviews with band members and archival footage of the band and other people associated with them are used. Hence, the narrative’s realistic nature and the characters’ struggles make one wonder if the writers took inspiration from actual incidents to create the show. Let’s find out!
Daisy Jones and the Six is Based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Book
No, ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ is not based on a real story. It is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The author wanted to explore a story set in Los Angeles in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Considering it “a great time for rock,” she wanted to explore the deeper aspects of the equations that work in a band and how it affects the music they make. Reid looked towards the likes of The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and David Crosby to get a sense of the bands and singers of those times. However, the one that influenced her the most was Fleetwood Mac.
The seed for the story that would eventually become ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ germinated in Reid’s mind when she was thirteen. She came across a reunion show of Fleetwood Mac on TV titled ‘The Dance.’ She noticed Stevie Nicks’ expressions while singing ‘Landslide’ and Lindsey Buckingham’s reaction to her. Even though she was completely unaware of the band’s history at the time, it didn’t take long to see that there was something between them.
Later, Reid discovered that Nicks and Buckingham had been together but had broken up. This led her to think about the complicated nature of love for artists, especially singers working together. “How it looked so much like two people in love. And yet, we’ll never truly know what lived between them. 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 wrote in Hello Sunshine blog while talking about the source of her inspiration.
In addition to Fleetwood Mac, the breaking up of the musician duo, The Civil Wars also pushed the idea of the underlying dynamics in a band. With four Grammys over two albums, the duo’s decision to end their collaboration shocked the fans, and the reasons for this weren’t made clear. This intrigued Reid, and she wondered if she could do her “own version of The Civil Wars.” “They wrote these incredibly romantic and intimate songs, and they would perform them so beautifully and so intensely. They’re both married to other people, and one night they just break up [the group],” Reid said, reflecting on the sudden turn of events that inspired her to write Billy and Daisy’s story.
Once she knew what she wanted to write, Reid started pouring through documentaries and interviews of the rock bands of that era to understand their music and the music sense of that time. Out of these, ‘Behind the Music’ not only helped with her research but also shaped the story’s structure, which is told in an interview format. “’1977: Behind the Music’ is specifically about why 1977 was such a big year in rock, and that helped me to understand the world that Daisy Jones would be existing in because there were a lot of different types of rock at that time,” the author said.
Reid added, “Disco was coming to an end, arena rock and glam rock were taking over, and then you had the Southern California sound with bands like Fleetwood Mac, so it was very instructive to get an overall view of what rock looked like at that time.” While she concocted the characters and their storylines on paper, bringing them alive on the screen was another task. The show’s creators wanted it to reflect the realism of the novel, which is why each actor rose to the task and honed the skills their characters were supposed to be the masters of.
Music supervisor Frankie Pine’s task was to ensure the sense of a real band was reflected through the cast. “When you’re a real band, you hang out together, you eat together, you drink together, you bitch to each other. You go through the normal motions of a group of people that are constantly together. So I was really trying to create this camaraderie that a true rock ’n’ roll band has,” Pine said.
In the same vein, from the costume department to production design, the entire team ensured that the show’s look was accurate to the time it was supposed to reflect, especially considering that the story takes over many years. With all the work that has been put into the story and the making of ‘Daisy Jones & The Six,’ it is clear that while it might not be based on a true story, it draws inspiration from real bands to deliver an entertaining and engaging story to the audience.