13
Apr
19

“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.”CBR11 Review 16.

UnknownDaisy Jones and the Six is another recent Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, and so far, my track record has been pretty decent with Reese’s picks.

Imagine if all of the members of Fleetwood Mac – as well as their producers, spouses, accountants, and friends — sat down and talked to a journalist, providing an oral history of everything that had ever happened to them. Imagine the amount of drugs and sex and backstabbing and inter-band politics that would be mixed in with brilliant songwriting and raw talent and love and hatred and jealousy. That’s what we have with Daisy Jones and The Six. According to Wikipedia, the time between the records Fleetwood Mac and Tusk were very similar to the fictional time that this book covers:

“In 1976 the band was suffering from severe stress. With success came the end of John and Christine McVie’s marriage, as well as Buckingham and Nicks’ long-term romantic relationship. Fleetwood, meanwhile, was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his wife, Jenny. The pressure on Fleetwood Mac to release a successful follow-up album, combined with their new-found wealth, led to creative and personal tensions which were allegedly fuelled by high consumption of drugs and alcohol.[39]

The band’s eleventh studio album, Rumours (the band’s first release on the main Warner label after Reprise was retired and all of its acts were reassigned to the parent label), was released in the spring of 1977. In this album, the band members laid bare the emotional turmoil they were experiencing at the time. Rumours was critically acclaimed and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1977.”

We follow The Six from their days as a wedding band, to their climb to fame adding ingénue Daisy Jones as a co-lead singer, up until their shocking breakup when they were the most popular band in the world.

And here’s the deal. While I found the story itself quite interesting and entertaining, I really disliked almost every single character**. But hey, I guess that’s just Rock and Roll.

**I kind of liked Eddie and Pete the best. Eddie complained constantly, but his complaints were almost always valid. He seemed like he was the only guy in the band who stayed true to himself. And his brother, Pete? He only had one line of dialogue in the entire story. He’s happy with his life now and content to let the past stay behind him.

Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones were so selfish and hung up on themselves, I didn’t really care what happened between them. Their lack of awareness and their annoyance with the rest of the band attempting to contribute to the artistic process was so grating. Billy loves Camilla but also loves Daisy. Billy also loves drugs and sex and tequila. Camilla trusts Billy, because she’s a manic pixie dream wife. And Daisy hates everyone – including Billy – but she loves Billy so much she can’t stay off drugs and DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND HOW ALONE SHE IS?

At least Daisy had Simone. Everyone should have a friend like Simone. Someone who will fly around the world to make sure you are ok if you don’t sound right on the phone. Someone who will make you know that she is always thinking of you, even if you aren’t thinking about her. Someone that will pack your suitcase and physically remove you from a toxic situation. That’s a great friend. And I never quite got what Daisy did to deserve that sort of devotion from Simone, but the author told us that she did, so she did. By the way, as a disco queen, in my mind, Simone totally looked like this, but a brunette:

I was way more interested in the background members of the band than in the two leads. Billy’s brother, Graham, and the keyboardist Karen had a secret affair that lasted for years, and only ended after they realized they didn’t both want the same things for their futures. As mentioned above, Pete and Eddie were interesting brothers – one who complained about everything and one who didn’t see the point in complaining about anything. Warren the drummer seemed sensible as well. He knew fame was fleeting, and tried to have as much fun as possible while he could. He even married a movie star, and stayed married to her, which says a lot about his character. Warren talked a lot about his mustache.

But even though I didn’t like Billy or Daisy, I still enjoyed reading (or, in this case, listening to) their story, their ups and downs, and mostly about the world of rock and roll in the 1970s.

I listened to the audiobook for this, and it was presented with a full cast of voice actors. Benjamin Bratt and Judy Greer were terrific as Graham and Karen, and made them so relatable and real. Pablo “Pornstache” Schriber was pretty good as Billy, and Jennifer Beals brought a rough edge to Daisy. At times while listening I found myself reaching for my Spotify account, ready to look up some of the songs they talk about in the book. The narrators were so convincing I had forgotten that this was fiction. So instead, I listened to some old Fleetwood Mac, the records that I knew were simmering with lust and hatred and love and anger for Stevie and Lyndsey.

 

 


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