05 | Daisy Jones and the Six
Transcript for the episode 05 | Daisy Jones and the Six
Hi, it’s Gwen! And welcome to “Hey, You Should Read This!”, the podcast where I take recommendations from friends and the internet on the books I really should be reading already. This week we’re talking about Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I read as an audiobook.
Daisy Jones and the Six is another fictional celebrity drama novel from Taylor Jenkins Reid, this time focusing on a Fleetwood Mac style band from the 1970s and their rise and fall. And the interesting thing about this book that I really like was that it’s told in a sort of– It’s been described as a script format, but really it’s a transcript of audio recordings of interviews with the band members and people around them, with the author who is a separate character in the book. There is an author within the book, writing a book about the rise and the fall of the band, if that makes sense.
So the great thing about the audiobook was that it was a full cast recording, and I’m glad that the lady in the book store who recommended this to me– don’t know who you are, but love you for this recommendation–told me to wait for the audiobook, because boy is it good. I really loved Daisy’s voice in particular, she was narrated by Jennifer Beals (hopefully I’m saying your name right), and I don’t know, it just had such an atmosphere to the whole book, the way different characters delivered their lines. There– It didn’t sound like a regular reading of the book, I don’t know the best way to describe it. It sounded like recordings of an interview, where there were like weird pauses and breathy things that were like very intentional on the part of the people doing the recording, but made it feel more lived-in as opposed to someone who is reading me a story. Which is really, really interesting.
I need another adjective that is not the word interesting.
But like I said, it was incredibly atmospheric. I had listened to five minutes before I was completely immersed in the vibe of this 1970s LA rock scene. I just highly recommend the audiobook in general, but the reason I was so excited that my hold on the audiobook at the library came in when it did was that–I believe last week as of when this goes up– the adaptation on Amazon started releasing. And I’ve honestly tried really hard to avoid spoilers and influences and like things about it because I didn’t want it to influence my review of or thoughts on this book as its own thing. However comma, everything leaks, and it’s out there no matter how hard you try. I have blocked every single tag, and things still come through. Tag your spoilers, people. And from what I’ve seen, the show changes some things but keeps the themes fairly similar. Like the thematic points of the show are similar even if how they’re accomplished is different. I haven’t seen it, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m a little bit cautious about even wanting to because I liked this book so much that I don’t want it to change. I’m not usually like that with adaptations–usually if you can do something better in terms of story arc, but – it’s, it’s gotten mixed reviews from what I’ve seen in terms of the show adaptation. But I don’t know.
Loved the book. It had some really interesting (again, need a different adjective). It had themes of, like, love and relationships, as the other Taylor Jenkins Reid that I read did. But love, and relationships, and how you can really care about this thing (the band), but your personal relationships get in the way, and the weird dynamics that go on behind the scenes, and the really other lovely thing that adds to this (and just emphasizes the whole thing), is that it is stated outright in the beginning by our “author” character (who is narrated by one of my favorite audiobook narrators Julia Whelan) it is stated outright in the beginning that there are contradictions between the interviews with each of these band members, and the producers, and people around them who made this band a thing. And so there’s conflicting stories and versions of the truth, and it is sort of the reader to interpret that however they want, there is no solid ending of what the truth is–it’s somewhere in between all of them.
And how that relates, I guess to the experience the show coming out, is that part of the reason I’m cautious to watch it, is that it will then solidify the truth as being one specific thing. For instance, one of the contradictions that I really enjoy is that there is a very key moment (which I will not spoil) in which one person says that a character was wearing a white t-shirt and another character immediately afterwards says that, looking back, she remembers that character wearing a yellow crochet top. And I don’t want there to be a visual in front of me that goes, makes a definitive call on that one way or another, what she was actually wearing. I like that you get to decide who you trust for yourself.
But also, related to the show, they released the album that the band is making within the text of the book that they are reflecting upon the creation of an album. Amazon, in the lead up to this show, released the album Aurora. And like I said in the very beginning of this episode, it is a Fleetwood Mac type situation. It’s very Stevie Nicks, it’s very intentional that way. For some reason, in my brain, my brain interpreted this fictional band with no music attached to it within the audiobook to sound like Florence & the Machine. Maybe it’s because I listen to more Florence & the Machine than I listen to Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t know. Also Jennifer Beal’s voice sounds very Florence Welch-y, like it has a lot of the same qualities. It was just very vibe-y to me. It had a lot going, and I really liked it. So it threw me a little bit. I listened to only a couple of the singles that were released as I was finishing the audiobook. Just, you know, to get the vibe of the thing: like, should I also do an episode based on the show adaptation, you know, should I do a review of the album? I don’t know. I still haven’t made a decision on that. Maybe if you’re listening on Spotify there will be a poll up or something? Apparently that’s a thing I can do.
Anyway, I listened to a couple of the songs, and one of the songs (singles) that was released was “Regret Me”, which was a very pivotal and important song within the text of the novel. And the novel has lyrics for all of the songs they’ve talked about printed in the back of the book. LIke, Taylor Jenkins Reid did the work and wrote the lyrics to all of these songs. There’s not music to go with them, but there’s words. And the thing about “Regret Me”, the version that exists by Daisy Jones and the Six that you can listen to on your music platform of choice, is that they changed the words. I was so psyched of being able to hear the words as written, even if it was not sounding like Florence & the Machine. I was so excited to hear the words in like the context of a rock song, to music. And they changed them. Such important lyrics that– Honestly, I don’t have the text of the book in front of me. I listened to the audiobook, it got returned a few days ago. The lyric that really sticks in my head that they changed was “make a list of the things you’ll regret/ I’ll be on top/ smoking a cigarette” (or possibly “I’ll be sitting on top / smoking a cigarette”; again, don’t have the words in front of me). There is no line like that anywhere in there, and I was so crushed.
Also, the line “When you think of me / I hope it ruins rock & roll” was a great Taylor Jenkins Reid line from that song that is not there. At that point, I lost a little bit of faith in the album, in the show. I’m not sure, maybe I shouldn’t judge it just based on that alone, but I’m a little bit tempted to, given that there is also a very detailed and plot-important description of the cover of that album in the book (like, things happen around the creation of that album cover), and then the album cover that we got is not that. So… what’s going on there, Amazon?
All that’s to say, not sure about the visual and audio, real life components–the album or the show or anything. I haven’t like, truly solidified my thoughts on those, but the fact that that will make things that were intended about this novel to be ambiguous, make those things concrete, makes me a little bit apprehensive about going into them like full-boar and trying, you know, to get invested in them. Because the ambiguity of it was great.
Anyway, highly recommend this book if you also are into rock star drama. I don’t know. I preferred– Okay, I liked The Seven Husbands of Evenlyn Hugo, I really really liked it. I rated it five stars, wooo, the whole thing, ya know. But I also rated Daisy Jones and the Six five stars, but I think I liked this one a little bit better. Maybe it’s because I have a little bit more of like a context of 70s rock music than I do of like 60s Hollywood, but I don’t know. It was a good time. Get the audiobook if you can!
hat’s it for me. Transcripts for this episode and every episode are available at thegirlinthechair.com/podcast, and we also have an email where you can contact the show and give recommendations or your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t know, it was a good book! You should read it!
Alright, see you later.