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10 Ways Fleetwood Mac Inspired ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’
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10 Ways Fleetwood Mac Inspired ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

From their iconic sound to personal dramas, Fleetwood Mac’s story clearly inspired the retro musical TV show ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’.


As one of the most influential bands of all time, Fleetwood Mac continue to inspire countless artists across multiple generations. Heavily inspired by the music and mythology of the group, the Amazon Prime Video TV show Daisy Jones & The Six – an adaptation of the novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid – tells the story of a fictional 70s rock band and their rise to fame.

By paying homage to Fleetwood Mac’s sound, image and interpersonal dynamics, the show does wonders in showcasing the enduring legacy of this legendary band. Here we explore the ways in which Fleetwood Mac inspired Daisy Jones & The Six.

Listen to the best of Fleetwood Mac here, and find out how Fleetwood Mac inspired ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’, below.

1: Musical style: sharing the same DNA

As a 70s-era blues-rock group fishing in the same pool of musical influences as Fleetwood Mac, Daisy Jones & The Six have much in common with the classic rock group’s signature style. With both often engaging in uptempo soft-rock and dreamy folk-pop grooves, both bands share a tendency towards emotionally rich vocal harmonies and introspective lyricism.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that many of the songs on Daisy Jones & The Six sound like Fleetwood Mac facsimiles. In particular, the feverish conclusion to Look At Me Now (Honeycomb) is effectively another notch on Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, while Let Me Down Easy has the same sort of rolling bass notes you can hear on further Rumours album classics Dreams and You Make Loving Fun.

Though Daisy Jones starts off as a singer-songwriter – much like Stevie Nicks did at the outset of her career – it’s clear that she has poetic ambitions when she joins The Six. In Fleetwood Mac, Nicks made her name as a songwriter whose lyrics worked as poetry, embodying quasi-mystic characters such as Rhiannon and Gold Dust Woman, and since Daisy Jones keeps notebooks filled with lyrical ideas inspired by nature, and philosophical fragments akin to the Nicks-penned Mirage album stand-out Gypsy, she’s clearly an amalgam of the same qualities that made Nicks so instrumental to Fleetwood Mac’s success.

2: Perfect chemistry: the importance of band dynamics

To make further comparisons with Fleetwood Mac, the band dynamics of the fictional Daisy Jones & The Six are also quite telling. The TV show version of The Six consists not of six members, but of five: lead singer and songwriter Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), lead guitarist Graham Dunne (Will Harrison), drummer Warren Rojas (Sebastian Chacon), keyboardist Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse) and bassist Eddie Roundtree (Josh Whitehouse). For much of their career, Fleetwood Mac have also been a five-piece band, meaning The Six are built around the same musical framework.

When Daisy Jones (Riley Keogh) joins the group, it’s obvious she’s intended to provide the same distinctive voice and captivating stage presence that Stevie Nicks did for Fleetwood Mac. With this in mind, the relationship between Daisy and The Six’s lead singer, Billy Dunne, seems to mirror that of Stevie Nicks and songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, particularly as the fictional pair begin to write songs together and start to develop feelings for one another.

It’s also worth mentioning that The Six’s keyboardist, Karen Sirko – tellingly, the only English member of the group – plays the same role in her band that the British-born Christine McVie did in Fleetwood Mac. Not only does she share the same accent as Christine, but Karen’s romance with lead guitarist Graham Dunne mirrors the love affair Christine had with her husband, the Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie.

3: Troubled relationships: fractured love, inspired art

At the start of Daisy Jones & The Six, Billy Dunne is the band’s sole songwriter, but that all changes when Daisy comes on board. Once she joins the group, Billy and Daisy begin writing songs together – much in the same way that Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks wrote songs as a folk duo in the early 70s. With each discovering how their music benefits from their meeting of minds – as on Look At Me (Honeycomb) – both Billy and Daisy begin to develop conflicted romantic feelings about each other. As a married man, Billy is unnerved by the emotional and musical connections he has to Daisy, whereas in Fleetwood Mac both Buckingham and Nicks were already an established couple by the time they contributed to the recording sessions for Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled album.

Fuelling the drama at the centre of one of the most famous bands in relationships, Buckingham and Nicks’ relationship began to break down, and acrimony seeped into the recording sessions for Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, Rumours. Opting to wage creative warfare on each other, the pair began to sing pointed lyrics about their former partner’s perceived shortcomings, as on Buckingham’s Go Your Own Way. “I very much resented him telling the world that that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do,” Nicks told Rolling Stone magazine. “He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said.” Not to be outdone, Nicks countered with Dreams (“Women, they will come and they will go/When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know”).

Though the circumstances are somewhat different in the TV show, the same thing happens in Daisy Jones & The Six, with Billy forcing Daisy to sing More Fun To Miss (“It took guts to think that I would buy that wink/But that little thing you do just ain’t right”), and Daisy lashing back with Regret Me (“You regret me and I’ll regret you/You couldn’t handle your liquor/And you can’t seem to handle the truth”). Seemingly paying homage to Fleetwood Mac’s tendency to engage in psychodrama through song, Billy and Daisy’s clash of egos on Daisy Jones & The Six is cut from the same cloth.

4: Songwriting process: the Buckingham/Nicks method

Just like the music performed by Daisy Jones & The Six, the best Fleetwood Mac songs are known for their emotional depth and raw portrayals of the band members’ personal struggles. In particular, Buckingham and Nicks’ songwriting has often been praised for infusing the group’s music with intense emotions about love and relationships, much in the way that Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones’ songs do in the TV show.

Buckingham’s Fleetwood Mac songs have a deep sense of vulnerability and honesty, often exploring themes of loss, heartbreak and personal growth, bearing comparison to the way Billy Dunne wrestles with his own feelings about married life and fatherhood. Similarly, Stevie Nicks’ deeply introspective and poetic lyrics were often born out of her own personal experiences, much in the way Daisy Jones writes songs in order to make sense of her troubled childhood and inner emotions.

Just like the characters in Daisy Jones & The Six, Buckingham and Nicks aimed to capture the human experience, with all its joys and sorrows. As Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones work together to channel the pain of a broken relationship and their struggle to move on, it resonates just as Buckingham and Nicks’ tribulations did.

5: Spirit of California: setting and time period

Fleetwood Mac originally began their career in London, as a blues-rock outfit led by guitarist Peter Green. After Green left, however, new members joined – firstly Danny Kirwan, then Bob Welch – and the group’s line-up began to shift and evolve. By around 1974, founding member and drummer Mick Fleetwood decided Fleetwood Mac should move to Los Angeles. Inspired by the boom in Lauren Canyon-based singer-songwriters and folk-rock groups (Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Neil Young; et al), the group set out to re-establish themselves in sunny California.

In the TV show, The Six are a US group, but they make a similar decision to leave their home, in Pittsburgh, in order to find fortune in The Golden State. Set in the early 70s, the show has The Six play at iconic music venues from that era, such as The Troubadour and Filthy McNasty’s, occupying stages the real-life Fleetwood Mac would have trodden.

An affectionate period piece, Daisy Jones & The Six’s titular heroine works as a waitress at the authentic hippie-era 101 Coffee Shop, and at one point she lives at the famous West Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont. From The Six cutting their album at Sound City Studios to undergoing photo shoots in the desert of Blayney Ranch, just outside of Los Angeles, Daisy Jones & The Six aims to evoke nostalgia for an era that members of Fleetwood Mac would hare strong memories of.

6: Fashion: the 70s look

Given its period setting, it’s unsurprising that the fashion sported by members of Daisy Jones & The Six reflects the same free-spirited and bohemian clothing worn by Fleetwood Mac. With plenty of vintage rock’n’roll attire to choose from, the costume design on the TV show is a celebration of all things retro. From corduroy flares to airy kimonos, it captures the best that a hippie’s wardrobe has to offer.

You name it, it’s all here: flowery maxi dresses, crochet lace, faux fur jackets, denim bra tops – it’s practically an Instagrammer’s fever dream. It’s quite possible that Fleetwood Mac never knew they’d still be fashion icons more than 40 years on from their breakthrough era, but if Daisy Jones & The Six is anything to go by, the group’s earthy and homespun style is very much in abundance. Glamourising 70s fashion in all its glory, once The Six take to the stage, it’s hard to deny just how much Fleetwood Mac’s theatricality and showmanship have inspired the show’s creators.

In fact, the actress who plays Daisy, Riley Keogh, took direct inspiration from Stevie Nicks for the outfit she wears during the band’s final performance. “[Riley] had called me on the phone and she said, ‘I’m listening to Gold Dust Woman on the radio,’” costume designer Denise Wingate said in an interview with Esquire. “‘That’s what we should do for the final outfit – it should be Gold Dust Woman.’” Stretching out her arms on stage in a 30s gold crochet dress and a Halston modified into a cape, it’s easy to see the parallels between Daisy Jones’ and Stevie Nicks’ stage outfits.

7: Drug use and addiction: the dark side of fame

Much like the book that inspired it, Daisy Jones & The Six doesn’t shy away from the darker side of 70s music-industry excess. As many musicians of that era would attest, fame and success came hand in hand with drug addiction and substance abuse. In an early episode, The Six’s tour collapses due to lead singer Billy’s alcoholism, and his wife’s discovery of his infidelity with groupies almost destroys his marriage. Recognising how he is being consumed by his dark side, Billy’s wake-up call comes when he misses the birth of his daughter, prompting him to make a bid to clean up his act.

Emotionally damaged by her childhood upbringing, Daisy Jones has a drug habit, which she regularly falls back upon. Popping pills daily and snorting white lines during recording sessions, Daisy’s laissez-faire attitude to drug dependence highlights the many traps musicians can fall into – as Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks has freely admitted. “All of us were drug addicts, but there was a point where I was the worst drug addict,” Nicks later said. “I was a girl, I was fragile, and I was doing a lot of coke… So it was dangerous.”

From the regular sight of band members puffing on joints to a memorable swimming pool scene in which a drug-addled Daisy cuts her feet on broken glass, Daisy Jones & The Six is never too heavy-handed in its moralising. Drugs are treated as a fact of life for a working musician in the 70s, and given Fleetwood Mac’s honest admissions regarding the addictions they had to kick in real life, the TV show explores an all-too-real struggle.

8: Commercial pressures: the demands of the music industry

Depicting a time when rock music was at its peak, Daisy Jones & The Six offers an insightful portrayal of the 70s music industry. Not only does it shine a light on the dark underbelly of sexism in the music business – such as the way Daisy is sexually taken advantage of as a teenager, or how a lecherous producer tries to get a woman to sit on his lap – but it also homes in on the struggle some bands have with maintaining creative control while achieving commercial success.

The Six’s rise to fame essentially mirrors the real-life story of Fleetwood Mac, who became global stars in the late 70s, following the release of their album Rumours. Like their real-life equivalent, The Six are constantly under pressure from their record label and producer to create hit songs, but they also want to stay loyal to their artistic vision. This reflects Fleetwood Mac’s real-world experience, as the band members often grappled with the tension between their desire to make music that was true to themselves, and their need to create songs that would appeal to a wide audience.

Fleetwood Mac’s creative differences were driven by the dramatic internal conflicts and tumultuous relationships between its members. This is also true of Daisy Jones & The Six, whose romantic entanglements and power struggles are only exacerbated as the story unfolds. Being part of a successful band during an era when rock’n’roll was at its height can’t have been easy, so it’s refreshing to see how Daisy Jones & The Six muses on the challenges and rewards of the 70s music industry.

9: Female empowerment: how Stevie Nicks inspires women

As well as being one of the most influential female musicians of all time, Stevie Nicks is widely regarded as a feminist icon. Throughout her career, Nicks has used her songwriting as a vehicle to express female empowerment, touching on themes of independence, strength and resilience. A trailblazer who has inspired women to be strong and true to themselves, Nicks penned many words of wisdom on songs such as Dreams (“Players only love you when they’re playing”) and Rhiannon (“She rules her life like a bird in flight”).

Given Daisy Jones’ similarity to Nicks, her flighty and free-spirited personality reflects the Fleetwood Mac songwriter’s commitment to gender equality and individualism. Daisy’s songwriting, too, channels this, as in the lyrics to her piano ballad By Myself (“I can drink to my own bloody health/I can ruin this night by myself”). Like Stevie Nicks once did, Daisy regularly has to face up against the sexism of a male-dominated music industry, as when her ex-boyfriend steals one of her songs (Stumbled On Sublime). At one point she even lambasts a former lover when he describes her as his inspiration (“I’m not the muse, OK?” she says, “I’m the somebody”).

Daisy is a complicated character, often egotistical and full of self-belief, never one to shy away from difficult confrontations when reacting to criticism. “What if I don’t want to be shaped?” she tells The Six producer Teddy Price after he says her demos need extra work. So refreshing is the TV show’s depiction of women that it has received the Critics Choice Seal Of Female Empowerment In Entertainment (SOFEE): praised for illuminating “the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories”, Daisy Jones & The Six is carrying the torch for female empowerment in much the same way Stevie Nicks did.

10: The legacy of ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’: a tribute to Fleetwood Mac

Though Daisy Jones & The Six are a fictional band, the first episode of the TV show introduces them to the viewer by saying that they were once the biggest band in the world, much like Fleetwood Mac were. Explaining how the group broke up after a sold-out show in Chicago, the story is told in a part-drama, part-documentary-style format, with interviews conducted with the musicians many years after the split, seeking to understand what led to the band’s demise.

By mentioning that Daisy Jones & The Six’s 1977 album, Aurora, was an award-winning, multi-platinum selling record – released the same year that Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours hit the shelves – it’s no stretch to assume that Aurora is to Daisy Jones & The Six what Rumours was to their real-life counterpart. In fact, the interviews with the fictional band members, conducted many years after the events depicted in the TV show, mirror the way the Fleetwood Mac bandmates have participated in documentaries such as the Classic Albums episode on Rumours.

It’s no secret that the breakdown of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ relationship, which inspired many of the songs on Rumours, continues to be of interest to fans today. By using Aurora to parallel the way that Rumours is regarded in the real world, Daisy Jones & The Six pays tribute to the impact that Fleetwood Mac have had on music and popular culture. Best seen as an affectionate homage to the legendary band, Daisy Jones & The Six truly highlights Fleetwood Mac’s place in the pantheon of rock music history.

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