The Quick Recap and Section-by-Section Summary for Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid are below. Spoiler warning: these summaries contains spoilers.
For a non-spoiler version of the plot synopsis, see The Bibliofile's review of Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
The story is told as a transcript of a MTV-Behind-the-Music-styled "oral history". Daisy Jones is raised by wealthy and glamorous, but neglectful parents. Daisy is beautiful and free-spirited. She befriends Simone, an older disco star. They party together, and Simone encourages Daisy to pursue a music career. Hank Allen becomes Daisy's manager (and later, her boyfriend). She signs with Runner Records.
In Pittsburgh, the Dunne Brothers are a blues-rock band consisting of Billy and Graham Dunne. Later, they bring on others, drummer Warren Rhodes, bassist Pete Loving, rhythm guitarist Eddie and keyboardist Karen. They change their name to "The Six", Rod Reyes becomes their manager and they meet a producer, Teddy Price. They sign with Runner Records, and Billy proposes to his girlfriend, Camila.
Billy is the obsessive and controlling heart-throb of the group. Camila gets pregnant, so she and Billy get married. When the band goes on a small tour to promote their new album, Billy cheats repeatedly on Camila, but she catches him. He starts abusing heroin, but after their baby Julia is born, Billy goes to rehab and gets clean.
Teddy wants The Six to bring in a female for a duet and suggests Daisy Jones. Billy and Daisy butt heads when Daisy changes up the lyrics to the song, but the song is a hit. The Six goes on tour with Daisy as an opener, but Billy is wary of Daisy because she's an addict and he's clean now. However, when Daisy dumps Hank, he takes her band with him. Billy ends up accompanying her and she joins in on some of The Six's songs. The Rolling Stone does a cover on The Six and suggests adding Daisy. Soon Daisy Jones & The Six is born.
Billy and Daisy start writing songs together for their first album. Despite their bickering, it goes well, but Daisy is still very flaky due to her partying and drug usage. At one point, Daisy kisses Billy, but he pulls back. With a album finished, Daisy jets off to Italy and impulsively marries Nicky, an Italian prince. Simone has to track her down and bring her home. Things are tense with Billy and Daisy afterwards.
The band becomes famous after the release. They go on a big tour, and Nicky is with Daisy and encourages her drug usage. However, when she wakes up in a shower to Nicky trying to wake her (thinking that she has OD'ed), she realizes she needs to leave him and asks for a divorce. Daisy starts trying to get sober. Billy and Daisy's relationship improves, and Daisy realizes she's in love with Billy. Billy has feelings for Daisy, but he knows Camila is the one he wants. When Teddy dies of a heart attack, Daisy starts using again. Camila finds Daisy on the hotel floor crying and advises her to leave the band and get clean. Daisy quits the band the next day, and the rest of the tour is cancelled.
The book reveals that the writer of all of this is Julia, Billy's daughter. Daisy does end up getting clean. 33 years later, before Camila passes away from Lupus, she writes a note to Julia. She instructs Julia to give her father some time, but then to tell him to call Daisy Jones.
If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!
The book is written as an “oral history.” Kind of like a documentary in written form with frequent splices and a range of points of view.
Daisy Jones the Groupie (1965-1972). Daisy Jones is born in 1951 in Hollywood Hills (Los Angeles). Her parents are a well-known painter and a model. Daisy is rich, beautiful and her parents don’t pay much attention to her. She loses her virginity to some random drummer.
She befriends an older “disco star”, Simone, who takes her under her wing. They party, do speed, but Simone also tells her to stay in school. Daisy is a talented singer and songwriter, a career Simone encourages her to pursue.
The Rise of the Six (1966-1972). The Dunne Brothers (later, the Six) is a blues-rock band in Pittsburgh with brothers Billy (older) and Graham. Dad leaves them as young kids, leaves behind a guitar. They play together, and as teens (1967) bring on drummer Warren Rhodes, bassist Pete Loving, and rhythm guitarist Chuck Williams. Billy is the one all the girls like. They end up playing a wedding that their dad happens to attend. Dad doesn’t say anything. Billy meets his future wife (Camila) at the wedding.
Chuck gets called in for the draft. Pete’s brother Eddie joins to replace him. Chuck dies. Karen (keyboardist) joins them as well, who Graham has a crush on. They change the name to The Six. They meet Rod Reyes who becomes their manager. He suggests moving to California so Billy and Camila break up. There, they catch the eye of a producer (Teddy Price), who intro them to Rich Palentino. Rich offers them a record deal with Runner records. Billy proposes to Camila.
It Girl (1972-1974). Daisy starts writing bits and pieces of songs prolifically. Hank Allen becomes her manager (and later she becomes romantically involved with him, too). She signs with Runner Records, but they don’t like her songs and want her to sing other people’s songs. She’s distraught.
Debut (1973-1975). The Six work on an album in Los Angeles. Artie Snyder is the sound engineer. Billy is obsessive and controlling, but is also the most talented. The release goes well and a small tour is planned. Before they leave, Camila tells Billy she’s pregnant. They have a quickie wedding.
After their first show on tour, Billy gets high and cheats on Camila and continues to do so. Camila decides to surprise him and catches him. He starts using heroine. The baby (Julia) is born, and Billy goes to rehab. Pete introduces the band to his girlfriend Jenny. Billy gets clean.
First (1974-1975). Simone is topping the dance charts and about to go on tour. Meanwhile, Daisy is refusing to record. Label threatens to sue. Teddy (accurately) says all her songs are unfinished, and convinces her to record the album. “First” is released.
Seven Eight Nine (1975-1976). The Six are working on another album, but their Teddy wants them to do it as a duet with a female singer. He suggests Daisy. Daisy comes in, they like her, but she tweaks the song lyrics a little to “Honeycomb,” which Billy doesn’t like. With Daisy there, Billy doesn’t get to control everything.
The Numbers Tour (1976-1977). Honeycomb is a hit, and the band goes on tour (without Daisy). Daisy shows up at one show, sings Honeycomb with them and the crowd goes wild. The label adds Daisy as an opener on their tour. Billy is also stand-offish with Daisy because she is an addict, and he doesn’t want the temptation. Karen and Graham get together.
Daisy’s jerk boyfriend Hank shows up and she dumps him. Before he leaves, he gets her band to walk out. A guy from the Rolling Stones is at the next show, so Eddie agrees to accompany Daisy. Billy grabs Eddie’s guitar and sings with her, and she joins the Six for some of their songs. Eddie loses it at Billy for being controlling and self-centered.
The Rolling Stone gives them a cover and suggests they should add Daisy. The Six like the idea and Billy reluctantly agrees. Daisy lets them know she want to help write some songs and Rod suggests they go by Daisy Jones & the Six.
Karen and Graham are a couple but not telling the band. Karen tells Camila about her and Graham, and Camila tells her not to hurt him.
Daisy and Billy work on a song (Aurora) and it goes well, though Daisy calls Billy out on using every song he writes to apologize to his wife and Billy calls Daisy out on her pill addiction.
Daisy misses a recording session, and Rod and Billy go to check on her. She got too trashed at a party and cuts her foot on glass. Billy writes “Impossible Woman” about it. Daisy struggles to get the song right at first wants to give up. Finally she gets it and feels proud of herself. They continue writing songs and find they work well together, though Daisy continues to be flaky. Graham pitches a song, but Billy rejects it, and Graham sells the song which ends up being a hit.
As the album comes together, the label gets excited and starts planning for a big release. Daisy kisses Billy, but he pulls back. Daisy writes a song about it. The band votes to put it on the album against Billy’s wishes. The shoot the album cover, and Daisy and Billy are the stars of it.
Once the album is done, Billy and Teddy work on finishing the songs, while Daisy goes to Phuket to unwind. She meets an Italian prince (Niccolo/Nicky), flies to Italy and gets married. Simone is supposed to meet her in Phuket and ends up having to track her down and bring her back home.
A few weeks later, the band gathers to hear the finished album, minus Daisy. It’s really good, but Eddie is angry so much was changed. Karen’s a bit miffed too, so is Warren. Meanwhile, Daisy comes back married and things are tense with her and Billy. Jonah is there to do another article and it’s clear they aren’t getting along. Luckily, the article about them hating each other only enhances the album’s mystique. Pete tells Eddie he’s marrying Jenny and he’ll be leaving the band when this tour is over.
Aurora World Tour (1978-1979).
On tour, Daisy and Billy have separate buses. The band is quite famous now. Nicky comes with Daisy and encourages her drug use. One day she wakes up in a shower. Nicky thought she had OD’d and was trying to wake her up. She realizes Nicky doesn’t know how to take care of her and she’ll end up dead if she stays with him. She leaves a message with the concierge that she wants a divorce, and starts to try to get sober.
Karen is pregnant. She doesn’t want a kid, but Graham does. With Nicky gone, Daisy and Billy start getting along better. The record becomes Record of the Year. The band does SNL. Daisy realizes she’s in love with Billy. Billy realizes he feels something for Daisy too, but Camila is the one he wants.
Daisy tells Billy she wants to get clean, but Teddy dies of a heart attack which derails Daisy’s plan, and she continues using. Karen ends up getting an abortion.
Chicago Stadium (July 12, 1979).
The band plays a show and Karen and Graham get into a fight afterwards. Camila and Julia (Billy’s daughter) are there for the show and Daisy sees how much Billy loves them. Daisy ends up on the hotel floor crying. Meanwhile, Billy ends up falling off the wagon and taking a drink at the bar. It’s not until a guy at the bar asks him if he has kids that he stops.
(At the point the unnamed “Author” of this transcript jumps in and identifies herself — it’s Julia.) Julia is five at this point in the story. She and Camila come across Daisy. Camila comforts Daisy, but also suggests that she should leave the band and get clean.
Back at the bar, Billy also realizes he needs to choose between his family and the band, so he chooses his family. Daisy also decides to book a flight out for the next day and leaves a note to say she’s done. The rest of the tour is cancelled.
Then and Now (1979-Present).
Daisy: She gets clean, starts writing, traveling, adopts kids.
Pete: He’s happy with Jenny and declines to be interviewed for the rest of the book (this is the only part he appears).
Warren: Married, kids.
Rod: Married, sells real estate.
Graham: Marries someone else, has kids.
Simone: Married a musician who is way more successful.
Eddie: Becomes a record producer.
Karen: Continued with music through nineties and retired.
Billy: He’s happy, sad that Camila passed away from Lupus, about 5 years ago.
One Last Thing Before I Go (November 5, 2012).
(This is written as a letter from Camila to her kids before she died): She tells them to give their Dad some time, and then tell him to call Daisy Jones.