How to Ruin Rock N’ Roll: Reviewing Daisy Jones and The Six

Reviewing all Three forms of Daisy Jones and The Six


Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) & Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin)

Kayla Stefan, News Editor

     A grim, broody, and unhinged book written by Taylor Jenkins Reid has hit every box office, has a TV adaptation, and an album. It brings a suitcase of emotions to the plate, and it’s worth unpacking. The book is written like a documentary, full of interviews to give the reader a deeper impression of the characters. Her use of interviews reveals the dark moments where drugs take advantage of even the best people. The music industry was a brutal world in 1977, and Reid didn’t miss a single detail. 

     Jenkins Reid brings her characters to life, specifically Daisy Jones. She is described as careless, and a maniac. But she had ideals and a voice and didn’t want to be an inspiration for someone; she wanted to be her own person. She couldn’t wait to leave her family, so at a young age, she left home and tried to find her voice. She had nothing out yet, but a label recognized her talent and asked her to add color to a band that couldn’t help but be beige. 

     Brothers Billy and Graham Dunne created a band called The Dunne [pronounced ‘done’] Brothers. They were already an established band when they were in their late teens. But after a while, they realized that a small band wasn’t going to cut it. 

     That’s when they met Karen Sirko, a killer of keys and hearts. After Karen had started to play for the band, she didn’t think the name “Dunne Brothers” was fitting. That’s when the name “The Six” was born. I think the name of the band is a little bland but at the same time, it adds a little mystery. It sounds like a hit band, and it’s catchy for sure.

     In the book, Daisy was asked to make more music with The Six, which created an almost “push and pull” effect in the band because Billy hated the idea of Daisy being part of the band because if Daisy was going to be making music she wanted some of her songs on the upcoming album. The push and pull between Daisy and Billy was outstanding. Daisy would make a song that spoke directly to Billy and had so many hidden meanings, and Billy would tear the songs to shreds to have a conversation back with Daisy. Reid made sure that Daisy and Billy were constantly trying to make the room feel tense. It was key that the emotion was visible. Even as a reader, I could feel it, and watching it on the screen was intense. 

     However, in the show, I felt like some of the characters changed. Daisy Jones in the book was reckless and never reliable, but in the show, there wasn’t as much representation of it. She was crazy and outgoing, but it almost seemed like she was numb and oblivious to her actions in the show. I had such a big vision of Daisy and for her to be dulled in the show is heartbreaking.  

     Billy Dunne, played by Sam Claflin in the show, experienced extreme hardships with his wife and kids in the book; it was constantly brought up and used against him. While watching the show, those key character traits seemed almost overlooked. Instead of being used against him, the others ignored his struggles and disrespected him when he needed help. I hated how the characters were so ignorant and self-absorbed. 

     The actors played their parts beautifully, but that doesn’t stop me from asking, “Could there have been more?” Character Eddie Roundtree, the bassist in the band, had some conflicted thoughts and brutal arguments with Billy Dunne. Eddie felt overlooked, and in all honesty he was. Billy never took into account anyone else’s opinion besides his own. In the book, it was brought up every single time the point of view switched to Eddie’s. It was impossible to miss that Eddie wanted out of the band, yet at times in the show, it would seem as if the choices that were made with Eddie were more of Billy’s doing. Eddie expresses his hate towards Billy in the book, but in the show, Billy is the one yelling and fighting. It threw me for a loop for sure. 

     Karen is naturally a very private person throughout both the book and the show. She wanted to keep things to herself, but I do appreciate that the show included a better bond between Karen and Camila. Camila is married to Billy Dunne and she is very loyal and forgoing, but she isn’t forgetful. She remembers all the mistakes Billy has made but understands and knows that they are worth the fight. 

     In the book Camila is almost too understanding, she has few moments of rage when it should be constant. While in the show she had more of a temper, which in my opinion is more realistic. I wouldn’t expect a calm and collected reaction from someone when you just betrayed them. 

     The show and book have almost exact scenes and moments laid out, but at times the characters were either too much or too little. I loved both versions of the characters, but I loved the book more.

     This album is the true definition of passion. Each voice that you hear is filled with fire and you can feel the chemistry between the singers. Sam Claflin (Billy) and Riley Keough (Daisy), who are the lead vocalists of the band, didn’t even have proper training in music before taking on the role, but they sing and perform effortlessly. 

     Keough had to take vocal lessons to reach the rasp and belt Daisy Jones is known for. Keough and Claflin have voices that complement each other, the voice of Daisy is dark, you can feel the damage to her life in her songs. The voice of Billy is soothing, and it is clear that he wants to right his wrongdoings. The push and pull make this an outstanding, phenomenal, practically perfect album. Daisy and “The Six” started playing together after being recognized by the same music label. They made their first hit single “Honeycomb,” which is actually on Spotify with 13 million streams already.