REVIEW: DAISY JONES & THE SIX, BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

 

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

 

My Thoughts: There was something serendipitous about the joining of Billy Dunne and his band together with Daisy Jones, a Hollywood girl who seems undisciplined, but who has the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll coming out of her pores.

Mixing these two performers had its problems…they each wanted to do everything their own way. How they managed to make it all work was interesting. But would they keep going indefinitely, or would their basic differences split them apart?

Reading the tale of how the band came together, and how they made it all work—for a while—was fascinating, but also a little challenging, as the writing style of a series of interviews felt more like a play and I had to keep checking to see whose narrative I was reading. The flow felt awkward, but I kept going because the story was one I wanted to follow. I love the 70s and the music from that time.

Toward the end of Daisy Jones and the Six, the story smoothed out for me and I enjoyed discovering what happened to the band and its members. 4.0 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD…. — A REVIEW

 

 

 

As a Beatles fan and a person who came of age during the sixties, I was eager to read Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me. Prior to reading this tome, my knowledge of Pattie Boyd was almost nonexistent. I also realized how little I really knew about the lives behind the public images of the rockers she married: George Harrison…and later, Eric Clapton.

In the early sections, Ms. Boyd chronicles growing up in Africa and also describes some of her feelings of abandonment when she was shipped off to various boarding schools. Her relationship–or lack thereof–with her father must have left a hole in her life that she sought to fill through her relationships with men in adulthood.

Aside from the details of her life as a child, a model, and as the wife of these famous men, there wasn’t a lot of Pattie’s interior world that I learned from this book. I didn’t get a strong sense of her identity. Some of her later reflections show that during her marriages, she did not have her own identity, and a strong sense of self was a major ingredient missing in her life.

After the divorces, when she came into her own as a professional photographer and learned to stand alone more completely, I believe that she did finally discover who she is. And when she ponders the disasters that befell some of her friends, those who died of the “excesses of our time,” she concludes:

 

“I was lucky. I survived. I didn’t have the addictive gene or I might have gone down with Eric. We might have drunk ourselves to death. But given my life over again, I wouldn’t change anything. I love music. I loved everything that went with rock ‘n’ roll. I loved being at the heart of such creativity and being young in such a stimulating and exciting era. I have known some amazing people and had some unforgettable experiences.”

 

If the rest of us can look back at our lives and reach these kinds of conclusions, we, too, could consider ourselves lucky. While not terribly insightful, except for the occasional moments, this was a book I enjoyed. 3.5 stars.