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The Intersection of Music and Literature

The Influences of Fleetwood Mac in Daisy Jones & The Six.

By Sarah Bores

Taylor Jenkins Reid's New York Times bestseller, Daisy Jones & the Six, follows the rise and fall of a fictional ‘70s rock band with a complex dynamic and irresistible chemistry. In crafting this book, Reid reveals Fleetwood Mac as a source of inspiration for the novel and its influence in her creation of the fictional band, The Six, as well as the relationships between the characters. Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne serve as the main characters in the novel and wield striking similarities to Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. In this stunning novel she captures the essence of the music industry in the ‘70s and creates a portrait of a band Fleetwood Mac fans would love.

The intersection of romance and music within Fleetwood Mac fascinated Reid, as she noted that she kept "coming back to that moment when Lindsey watched Stevie sing 'Landslide.' How it looked so much like two people in love. And yet, we’ll never truly know what lived between them.” She went on to explain how this intrigue and complexity served as inspiration for her novel and made her want to write a story to explore the way “lines between real life and performance can get blurred,” especially through music.

Music serves as a central theme throughout the novel, with Reid even writing songs as Daisy and Billy and emulating the 70s rock styles utilized by Fleetwood Mac. With the on screen adaptation of the novel expected to release in early 2023, the execution of the music and casting for the series has been highly anticipated. Riley Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley, will be playing Daisy Jones, further highlighting the influence of rock and roll in Reid’s vision for the novel.

Reid incorporates the layers of nuance that coated Stevie and Lindsay’s performances in Fleetwood Mac into Billy and Daisy, creating a complex relationship of angst, love and everything in between. She explains how after watching various performances of Fleetwood Mac, despite everything that Stevie and Lindsay had been through, she could still feel the palpable love between them. She wondered if this intensity and emotion was all just a performance, or genuine?

Reid continued to explore this concept through Daisy and Billy, crafting scenes depicting the two expressing conflicting feelings towards one another and sharing intense moments that blur the lines between confrontation and flirtation, hate and love. She noted how Stevie and Lindsay probably “still love each other and don’t love each other, hate each other and don’t hate each other. There probably aren’t any words to describe it. It probably won’t ever be distilled perfectly in a song.” These themes of ambiguity are reflected throughout the novel and further exemplified in Daisy and Billy’s musical collaboration as their lyricism and performances serve as a mechanism for communication and emotional release.

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