Daisy Jones & the Six: A Mad Tale of Rock ‘n’ Roll Excess

by The Insights

There is a slight cognitive dissonance in the early episodes of Daisy Jones & The Six, as when the band begins to play the viewer naturally expects to hear a familiar song, perhaps even a Fleetwood Mac number (there is has a drop of Rumors follow Gold Dust Woman finally emotionally used at a pivotal moment near the end of the series). But the repeated use of original songs like Regret Me and Look At Us Now (Honeycomb) means that by the end of the series, the songs are etched in the memory of the viewer. Which, fortuitously, ties in well with the fact that the band’s album, Aurora, was released on Atlantic Records, the same day the first three episodes were premiered.

Is it weird to see a band that you imagined as a fictional construction then become reality? “It’s the coolest thing ever,” says Jenkins Reid. “I love mythologizing a band, if I could do it 17 more times I would. Love it, it’s been the joy of my career to find that little pocket of storytelling. To see now that something that I invented is now standing in front of me, I compare it to a 3D printer that’s attached to my brain and has now made it real. It’s incredibly, incredibly rewarding.

Much of the credit for the band’s on-screen authenticity can be given to the cast, including Riley Keough as Daisy Jones, Sam Claflin as Billy and Suki Waterhouse, Will Harrison, Josh Whitehouse and Sebastian Chacon onstage as their various band mates. “Every sound you hear coming out of their mouth belongs to them,” Mendelsohn explains. “Riley put in a crazy amount of work and training.” Although Keough is Elvis’ granddaughter, “she had never sung before,” he adds. “When we threw it away [it was] simply because of his extraordinary talent.

“When Riley arrived at the audition, it was a transformative moment for all of us for the show. She was our Daisy – there was no other actor we considered. Once we got Riley , we needed someone who could be his equal, and when we met the Riley-like Sam, we were blown away. He played Billy – moving, powerful. When the two had a chemistry reading, there was just had electricity and we knew we had a really good game between them.

The pandemic-forced downtime meant the actors had more time to practice and hone their musical skills and voices, and the result is a band that, for all intents and purposes, could have been that outfit defining the genre and topping the charts in such a thrilling way imagined by Jenkins Reid on the page.

As the series wraps up over the next two weeks, it remains to be seen how high this semi-fictional-semi-real group can fly. Could the Aurora album reach the top echelons of the charts, and could a live stadium tour even follow? When asked during the press launch of the series if they would be going on tour, the actors were shy. “We could,” Keough said, while Claflin said, “I hope so…I would love to. It would be a huge bonus for us to have the opportunity to get together and play in some capacity again. whatever. We’ll do small venues, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs… whatever!”

The first six episodes of Daisy Jones & The Six are available now on Amazon Prime Video, and the final four episodes will be released on March 17 and 24.

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