All the Real Rockstars Who Inspired “Daisy Jones & The Six”
The music and characters of “Daisy Jones & The Six” feel so familiar that it’s almost hard to believe that it’s not a true story – or, at least, not directly based on a true story. The ’70s-set music drama traces the rise and fall of a fictional rock band, from their professional clashes and the album that defines their sound, to the personal conflicts that eventually drive them apart. It’s the kind of story that has happened time and time again, both in fiction and in real life.
Although the characters are fully fictional, many of them draw significant inspiration from real-life music icons. Some are clearly inspired mostly by one or two figures, while others are more of an amalgamation of many real people’s stories.
Here’s your complete guide to which famous folks inspired your favorite characters from “Daisy Jones & The Six.”
Is Daisy Jones a Real Person?
Daisy Jones, played by Riley Keogh, is largely inspired by Stevie Nicks, the lead singer of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. According to author Taylor Jenkins Reid, it was watching a clip of Nicks and bandmate (and ex-boyfriend) Lindsey Buckingham that sparked the ideas for Daisy, Billy, and the entire story.
“When I decided I wanted to write a book about rock ‘n’ roll, I 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,” Reid wrote for Hello Sunshine. “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.”
Reid also has said that the mysterious breakup of the indie-folk duo the Civil Wars (Joy Williams and John Paul White) inspired the dynamic between Daisy and Billy. “They wrote these incredibly romantic and intimate songs, and they would perform them so beautifully and so intensely,” Reid told Entertainment Weekly. “They’re both married to other people, and one night they just break up [the group].”
Is Billy Dunne a Real Person?
If Stevie Nicks inspires Daisy Jones, then Billy Dunne (played by Sam Claflin), Daisy’s bandmate and not-quite-love, draws inspiration from Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham and Nicks were famously involved early on in their time with Fleetwood Mac, before breaking up during a tumultuous, yet successful, time for the band that led to the production of their most famous record, “Rumours.”
“I remember in the depths of my research, listening to ‘Rumours’ over and over. It got to the point where I was driving in my car, and I thought: ‘I just want to know if Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham slept together after “Rumours,”‘” Reid told The Guardian. “I heard myself think that – and that’s insane. I feel so close to them, but that’s because they’re writing about universal things in a specific way that I have a connection to.
Claflin, meanwhile, told Vanity Fair that he based Billy’s persona on Bruce Springsteen’s particular and iconic stage presence.
Is Camila Dunne a Real Person?
Camila, played by Camila Marrone, isn’t quite as closely mapped onto the real-life band stories that inspired “Daisy Jones.” She is, however, representative of a particular archetype: the rock star’s wife, evolving to that confident persona after a much softer introduction.
“I used a lot of references from Ali MacGraw in ‘Love Story.’ That A-line skirt, turtleneck, the high boots-a little more buttoned up. Then when she gets to Laurel Canyon, she becomes a little more boho, a little more free. A lot of barefoot and flowy dresses. Then she kind of morphs into Bianca Jagger-a rock star’s wife. And Bianca was just, like, the coolest person ever!” costume designer Denise Wingate told Glamour.
Is Karen Sirko a Real Person?
Continuing the Fleetwood Mac inspiration, keyboardist Karen Sirko seems to draw parallels with the real-life band’s keyboardist Christine McVie, according to Vanity Fair. The real McVie was married to the band’s bass guitarist, John McVie, only to divorce several years later.
Stylistically, the “Daisy Jones” costume designer Denise Wingate drew on a hodgepodge of tough, cool rock stars of the era to nail Karen’s mood, look, and overall vibe.
“I used a lot of Patti Smith images from the ’70s in New York. I used a lot of images of Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart and Suzi Quatro. There was a band called Fanny that I really found a lot of great images from. Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett-there were all these tougher female rock stars back in the day,” she told Glamour. “And I did feel like Karen was a little bit androgynous. Marc Bolan from T Rex-he was this sort of androgynous glam guy who wore a lot of velvet suits. I used a lot of images of him on my boards as well.
Is Graham Dunne a Real Person?
Just as Daisy and Billy’s story is inextricably intertwined, so too is Graham and Karen’s. With Karen inspired by Christine McVie, that places Graham in the John McVie role, as the band’s bass guitarist with an up-and-down romance with his bandmate. Unlike the real-life McVies, who were already married when the core Fleetwood Mac lineup came together, the fictional Graham and Karen don’t meet until they begin working together, and don’t get together romantically until even later, but the parallels are still clear.
Is Eddie Roundtree a Real Person?
Eddie, as played by Josh Whitehouse, is one of the few main characters who doesn’t immediately evoke real-life musicians. He’s more of an original creation for the fictional story.
Is Warren Rojas a Real Person?
Warren Rojas, the Six’s drummer, took his inspiration from some fun-loving rock drummers of the era. That’s who actor Sebastian Chacon studied to nail down his character.
“I was listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix playing with Mitch Mitchell, who’s an incredible drummer,” Chacon told Insider, adding, “I was listening to Ginger Baker playing with Fela Kuti’s band.”
“I did a lot of research on drummers of the period, and a lot of the drummers-Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac, Keith Moon, and John Bonham-they all wore vests because I think they were easier to drum in. In the ‘Saturday Night Live‘ scene, Warren’s wearing a full-length faux fur coat with no shirt underneath. I had seen a picture of Jim Morrison in almost the same thing, and I was like, ‘We’ve gotta do it. And there’s only one person that can carry this off!'” costume designer Wingate said to Glamour.
Is Simone Jackson a Real Person?
Daisy’s best friend, played by Nabiyah Be, gets more of a spotlight in the TV series than in the book. A rising disco star, it’s easy to imagine her being inspired by plenty of the female disco icons of the 1970s.
For Reid’s part, though, she went straight to the top when taking inspiration for Simone, telling The Guardian that Simone is “very loosely based on Donna Summer.” Like Simone, Summer started building her career in the ’60s before hitting it big when the ’70s rolled around.
“Simone was a big mixture of the three big disco names – Donna Summers, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan – but also lesser-known names and background vocalists that were fundamental to the genre like Linda Clifford, Claudia Lennear,” Be told Insider. “You can hear them in all the big bands, you know, you can hear them behind The Rolling Stones.”
Is Teddy Price a Real Person?
Teddy, the music executive who discovers the Six and shepherds them to fame, draws inspiration from some of the biggest names in music history. Actor Tom Wright, who plays Teddy, told Insider that he “attempted to channel” a trio of iconic music executives: Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, and Al Bell. Wright also said he prepared for the role by reading a book by Jerry Wexler, former head of Atlantic Records and producer to Aretha Franklin.
Is Rod Reyes a Real Person?
If Teddy Price represents a warmer, more paternal depiction of a music executive, then tour manager Rod Reyes (played by Timothy Olyphant) represents the other stereotype of the industry: ambitious to a fault and somewhat sleazy. He’s not directly inspired by any specific, real people, but rather by a broader archetype that shows up in a lot of “behind the music”-style stories, both real and fictional.