What to read after watching Daisy Jones & the Six
Someone said that Camila and Billy were the epitome of 'she's everything... he's just Ken.' They were so real for that.
I’m late to the party but I only JUST finished watching Daisy Jones & The Six the other day. World rocked. Honeycomb playing 24/7. New insufferable personality unlocked.
Now that I’m experiencing my second Daisy Jones hangover (first = book hangover, of course), and the only antidote is to fill the Graham shaped hole that’s been left behind is to find something similar to obsess over. Cue the what to read after you’ve watched Daisy Jones & The Six list. We’re so predictable.
Further reading is this TikTok. Fried into my brain.
The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by dawnie walton
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. Despite her unconventional looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together.
In early seventies New York City, just as she's finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.
Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicised chapter, but as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens everything.
Songs in Ursa Major by emma brodie
Summer, 1969. When a motorcycle accident leaves Jesse Reid unable to front his band at a huge music festival, local singer Jane Quinn is quickly used to fill his spot. What starts as a rocky performance to a disappointed crowd, turns into a career-defining moment that skyrockets Jane to fame.
As Jesse recovers from his injuries, Jane begins to spend more time with him as he helps her and her bandmates produce their first record, As he helps her navigate the meteoric rise to fame while battling the sexism and injustices that face women in the 70s, ading to an all-consuming love affair as he helps her to navigate the sexism and injustices of 70s USA.
On tour with Jesse, Jane is so captivated by the giant stadiums, the late nights, the wild parties, and the media attention, that she is blind-sided when she stumbles on the dark secret beneath Jesse's music. With nowhere to turn, Jane must reckon with the shadows of her own past; what follows is the birth of one of most iconic albums of all time.
The White Album by Joan didion
Joan Didion's hugely influential collection of essays which defines, for many, the America which rose from the ashes of the Sixties.
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea.
In this now legendary journey into the hinterland of the American psyche, Didion searches for stories as the Sixties implode. She waits for Jim Morrison to show up, visits the Black Panthers in prison, parties with Janis Joplin and buys dresses with Charles Manson's girls.She and her reader emerge, cauterized, from this devastating tour of that age of self discovery into the harsh light of the morning after.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
This one’s having a moment on TikTok, and for very good reason.
In 1967, a chance meeting between two young people led to a romance and a lifelong friendship that would carry each to international success never dreamed of. The backdrop is Brooklyn, Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, Scribner's Bookstore, Coney Island, Warhol's Factory and the whole city resplendent.
Among their friends, literary lights, musicians and artists such as Harry Smith, Bobby Neuwirth, Allen Ginsberg, Sandy Daley, Sam Shepherd, William Burroughs, etc. It was a heightened time politically and culturally; the art and music worlds exploding and colliding. In the midst of all this two kids made a pact to always care for one another.
Scrappy, romantic, committed to making art, they prodded and provided each other with faith and confidence during the hungry years--the days of cous-cous and lettuce soup. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. Beautifully written, this is a profound portrait of two young artists, often hungry, sated only by art and experience.
And an unforgettable portrait of New York, her rich and poor, hustlers and hellions, those who made it and those whose memory lingers near.
Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz
It is the 1970s in LA, and Jacaranda Leven - child of sun and surf - is swept into the dazzling cultural milieu of the beautiful people. Floating on a cloud of drink, drugs and men, she finds herself adrift, before her talent for writing, and a determined literary agent, set her on a course for New York and a new life.
Sex & Rage is a recently re-discovered classic from author Eve Babitz, herself a muse to many an artist, writer and musician in the 1970s. A semi-autobiographical novel, it charts the highs and lows of a life lived at the limits, and transports the reader to a sunnier, dreamier, more reckless time and place.
The Girls by emma cline
Veering a bit off-course, this next pick is more in keeping with the 60s Californian aesthetic of Daisy Jones and The Six, rather than its musical context.
A gripping and dark fictionalised account of life inside the Manson family from one of the most exciting young voices in fiction. If you're lost, they'll find you... Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed.
It's the summer of 1969 and restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls.
Hair long and uncombed, jewellery catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful. If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone.
But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live. Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?
The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
Greta James is adrift. Literally. Just after the sudden death of her mother - her most devoted fan - and weeks before the launch of her high-stakes second album, Greta James falls apart on stage.
The footage quickly goes viral and she stops playing. Greta's career is suddenly in jeopardy - the kind of jeopardy her father, Conrad, has always warned her about. Months later, Greta - still heartbroken and very much adrift - reluctantly agrees to accompany Conrad on the Alaskan cruise her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.
It could be their last chance to heal old wounds in the wake of shared loss. But the trip will also prove to be a voyage of discovery for them both, and for Ben Wilder, a charming historian who is struggling with a major upheaval in his own life. In this unlikeliest of places - at sea and far from the packed venues where she usually plays - Greta must finally confront the heartbreak she's suffered, the family hurts that run deep, and how to find her voice again.