Daisy Jones & The Six: The real-life inspiration behind the fictional band

The true events that inspired Amazon’s new rock drama

The cast of Daisy Jones and The Six
The cast of Daisy Jones and The Six. (Prime Video)

Amazon Prime Video series Daisy Jones & The Six follows the rise, fall and legacy of a fictional rock band that dominated the LA music scene in the 1970s.

Starring Enola Holmes actor Sam Claflin and Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough, throughout its 10-episode arc we get the inside scoop on what made this fake band so special as well as the internal crises and romantic entanglements that ultimately tore it apart.

Flitting between mockumentary-style present-day interviews and archive footage of older recording studio moments and clips of the band performing in their prime, Daisy Jones & The Six takes creative liberties to tell a story that’s so familiar it could be ripped straight out of the music magazines.

Read more: Daisy Jones and The Six review: Slick fictional Fleetwood Mac-style tale is addictively fun

In fact, plenty of its core themes and structure are inspired by the antics and creative arcs of real rock bands that have risen to prominence over the past few decades. With that in mind, here’s some key information that you need to know before hitting play.

Is Daisy Jones & The Six based on a real story?

Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and The Six.
Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and The Six. (Prime Video)

Despite its fake documentary style that mimics real-life band interviews, at its core, Daisy Jones & The Six is not entirely based on a true story. It’s actually an adaptation of author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 novel of the same name which follows the eponymous rock act rising to the top of the charts and ultimately achieving worldwide acclaim.

However, Reid’s story also chronicles the events that led to the band splitting up at the height of their fame before beginning to unpick the issues that stopped them from achieving greater success.

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At the centre of the story is Billy Dunne (Claflin), lead singer and songwriter of the fictional band Daisy Jones & The Six. Throughout the miniseries, we see how Dunne’s complex romantic relationship with his bandmate Daisy (Keough) — despite his marriage to a childhood sweetheart — ultimately leads to the implosion of the band.

While the series is a work of fiction, the author of the text that inspired it has subsequently revealed that she took many of her creative cues from her own experiences following the careers of her favourite acts, in particular Fleetwood Mac.

How did Fleetwood Mac inspire Daisy Jones & the Six?

Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and The Six.
Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and The Six. (Prime Video)

It’s no secret that mega rock band Fleetwood Mac has had its own share of internal strife over the years that has resulted in an arena’s-worth of drama — from tragic splits, unexpected reunions and then even more surprising departures.

While the band’s core band members have battled issues with alcoholism and drugs, romance also played a key part in the band’s fractured identity.

Read more: Daisy Jones And The Six's Sam Claflin opens up on struggle of 'art/family' balance

Much of this drama stems from singer/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham’s relationship with bandmate Stevie Nicks after the pair spent time as an item before splitting up. Of course, the fallout from this relationship had a tense impact on Fleetwood Mac moving forward, much of which played out in front of fans and often live on stage.

It’s this element that inspired Reid’s story. Speaking to The Guardian about her book, Reid even went as far as to suggest “Fleetwood Mac are a band and a soap opera.”

Watch a clip from Daisy Jones & The Six

She continued, explaining that she was “fascinated by the people we make famous, and I’m drawn to the difference between what something looks like on the outside versus what it was like to live. So I wanted to write about the conflict between characters who have this amazing ability to create things together, but personal relationships that are much more fraught.

“We’ve seen many examples of that in rock, the most obvious being Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

Meanwhile, in an interview originally posted on Hello Sunshine, Reid continued to unpack her obsession with this fraught band dynamic. “I’ve been obsessed with romantic musical duos for a really long time,” she revealed, adding: “I like writing about periods of time that I wish I’d lived through.”

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As for that electric Nicks and Buckingham relationship, Reid commented on its appeal by saying watching them perform together on stage “looked so much like two people in love.

"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.”

Daisy Jones & The Six is streaming now on Prime Video.