Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel, Daisy Jones and the Six, has taken the world by storm since its release in 2019 — so much so that it was recently adapted into a hit series of the same name on Amazon Prime and audiences can’t get enough of the rock ‘n’ roll antics.
The story chronicles the tumultuous career of a fictional 70s rock band and explores their lives as they navigate their budding success as a music group. It also intertwines the complicated relationships each member of the band shared with one another, specifically, that of lead singers Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones.
The fictional show, which premiered in March of 2023, has a documentary-like shooting style and has left many fans wondering: Is Daisy Jones and the Six a real band? And if not, who were they based off of?
Here, we’ll set the record straight…and give you all the dramatic details.
The real-life spark that inspired Daisy Jones and the Six
The music group that inspired author Taylor Jenkins Reid when forming her fictional band was none other than Fleetwood Mac — and fans of both the novel and Amazon series can see parallels between the character of Daisy Jones and Fleetwood Mac’s legendary singer Stevie Nicks.
The chemistry, tension and raw emotion that flows between the characters of Daisy and band front-man Billy Dunne was inspired by a similar love tug-o-war between Nicks and her ex-lover/long-time bandmate, Lindsey Buckingham.
In fact, in one performance of “Landslide” in 1997 during a televised concert for their live album The Dance, the sheer chemistry Nicks and Buckingham had on stage — more than 20 years after their split in 1976 — caught Reid’s attention when she was only 13 years old.
Reid wrote in a post on Reese’s Book Club: “As the song was coming to an end, Stevie and Lindsey moved closer to one another, smiling tenderly, maybe even a little bit wistfully.” She continued, “Lindsey stopped strumming for a moment and Stevie let it fly as he watched from the sideline. And for one split second — truly, a slice of a moment — Lindsey put his fist under his chin and looked at Stevie as if she was a miracle. And I thought, ‘Oh, they’re in love with each other.'” Imagine Reid’s surprise to learn that the two were, in fact, not together at the time and hadn’t been in decades.
Nicks and Buckingham’s lasting chemistry
Years later, once Reid understood the story and dynamic amongst Fleetwood Mac (Nicks and Buckingham entering the band as a couple, their untimely breakup during writing Rumors — one of the top selling albums of all time — the drama that ensued for decades afterwards) she came across The Dance again, on YouTube.
“I watched it in its entirety. I saw that later on in the show, Stevie sung “Silver Springs,” like a woman scorned, holding that microphone like a weapon, drilling holes into Lindsey’s head with her eyes as she sang that her voice would haunt him,” Reid continues on Reese’s Book Club. “I was savvier then, I understood that sometimes looking like you’re in love or in hate are things you ramp up a bit to make a good show. I also understood then what I could never have conceived of [as a 13-year-old] in 1997: Love makes no sense.”
So when she decided to write a book about rock ‘n’ roll, Reid kept coming back to that tender moment when Lindsey watched Stevie sing “Landslide.”
“It looked so much like two people in love,” Reid explained. “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.”
And so, that’s exactly what she did. Reid tapped into the emotional themes from the Nicks/Buckingham passion, applied them to the main characters and peppered the novel with a vast amount of music and art inspirations from the 70s. And the engaging masterpiece was born.
Musicians that inspired the Daisy Jones and the Six cast
The show Daisy Jones and the Six debuted in March of 2023 on Amazon Prime to rave reviews and fans fell in love with the ensemble cast: Riley Keough as singer Daisy Jones, Sam Claflin as singer/band founder Billy Dunne, Suki Waterhouse as keyboardist Karen Sirko, Will Harrison as guitarist Graham Dunne, Josh Whitehouse as bassist Eddie Roundtree and Sebastian Chacon as drummer Warren Rojas. Camila Morrone plays Camila Alvarez, the photographer for the band. But while they are not technically a real band, each of the actors looked to their favorite musicians for inspiration.
In an interview with Insider, the cast came clean about the artists that inspired them as they got into character. Claflin turned to The Doors and Springsteen, while Keough took inspiration from female powerhouses like (appropriately) Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and Cher.
Chacon, who plays a drummer, listened to none other than Jimi Hendrix and Ginger Baker.
Whitehouse tapped into Fleetwood Mac heavily for his bassist inspiration. “I felt like it was important to familiarize myself with the Fleetwood Mac album and generally their catalog,” he told Insider. “Just knowing that it was loosely based on them, I wanted to dig more into that.”
Nabiyah Be played Daisy’s close friend Simone, and said Donna Summers, Diana Ross, and Chaka Khan inspired her journey in the role.
The new music of ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’
With the exception of Suki Waterhouse, none of the cast members in the show were musicians. And yet, all of the singing and instruments were played completely by the actors.
Claflin told Gentleman’s Journal, “Actually, I’d never picked up a guitar in my life.” Initially, Claflin only had about 5 weeks to learn how to play — until lockdown hit, and he was really able to dial in. “I’m really quite fortunate to have had this extra time to prepare for the job — and to familiarize myself with it,” he added. “Genuinely, I’m thanking my lucky stars for the extra practice. Because, originally, I only had five weeks to learn the guitar. That would have been a very different series.”
Keough, on the other hand, was under a different kind of pressure to bring singer Daisy Jones to life. While she too didn’t have any professional musical experience prior to the show, she’s the granddaughter of music royalty: Elvis Presley. She told Variety, “I mean, we had so much time rehearsing and we had a huge team of people who were helping us through…that’s not typical.”
In terms of getting comfortable in her role, she felt that extra rehearsal time was crucial. “That really was extremely effective. And was the only way we were able to feel, in my opinion, like we knew what we were doing. Because some of us, especially Sam and myself, if you’d put us up on a stage, like two weeks after we were cast, it would have been very different than what you see in the show. And very embarrassing.”
Will there be a Daisy Jones and the Six tour?
Since the premiere of the show, fans have been speculating over the possibility that this group, although fictional, may go on tour. And the cast lightheartedly played into the rumor every once in a while during their press tour.
There’s no question as to whether or not that actor-turned-musicians have the skill. In a 2022 interview with Insider, Waterhouse, who plays keyboardist Karen, said “That was basically the goal, to be like, We could go on tour.”
How to watch Daisy Jones and the Six
Daisy Jones and the Six is available to stream on Prime Video.
Will there be a season 2?
Because Daisy Jones and the Six was a standalone novel and the series stayed true to the events of the book, there’s nothing concrete at the moment that would allude to a second season. However, creator Scott Neustadter told Town & Country, “There could be more story to tell if that was something people wanted, but time will tell if there’s any interest in such a thing.”
We’re with the band — and would love to see a sequel novel, series or tour in the works.