To this day, Daisy Jones & The Six remains one of the most addictive novels I’ve ever read (well, more like inhaled). No joke: I finished it in just a couple of hours and jumped fully on board the Taylor Jenkins Reid hype train. Daisy Jones & The Six flawlessly merges an atmospheric 70s setting with flawed, complicated characters who have a lot of heart. So, when I found out the book was being turned into an Amazon Prime series, you know I turned that series on as soon as the first three episodes dropped. But, now that I’ve gone through the Reese Witherspoon-produced series with the same fervor as the novel, it’s definitely been a struggle to figure out what to watch next.
For those in the same boat as me, fear not, as there’s plenty out there to scratch that Daisy Jones itch in your brain. Here are 12 things to read and watch as you wait for the next few episodes to drop, sure to be as captivating as Riley Keough’s soft crooning.
Movies to Watch
Rocketman depicts Elton John’s rise to stardom as one of the UK’s most notable singers, pianists, and composers. Taron Egerton portrays John as he works with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin to create uplifting and heart-wrenching pieces of music. The film also addresses what it means to be a gay musician in 1970s Britain as he struggles with rising fame, alcoholism, and other temptations that come with the lifestyle of a pop star. With some of John’s greatest hits accompanying scenes about his life, you’re sure to learn more about the singer through this great flick.
Where to Watch: Prime Video
If the internal struggle of a musician figuring out who they are in the world is what you love most about Daisy Jones, then this biopic about Queen’s Freddie Mercury will be right up your alley. Following the band’s humble origins and rise to stardom, the film follows Mercury, marvelously portrayed by Rami Malek, as he discovers his voice and sexuality throughout the 70s and early 80s. True to real events, Mercury eventually learns he has AIDS and the film becomes much more than the typical narrative about a band. Complete with several unforgettable Queen songs you can sing along with, the movie switches between scenes of heartfelt sequences and dance-in-your-seat triumphs.
A Star is Born
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Based on the same heartbreaking story from the 1976 version, the movie starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga is just as poignant and beautiful. When struggling singer Ally is discovered by successful musician Jackson Maine, her life changes forever. From the moment they meet, it’s clear that the two have insane chemistry. But as they fall in love and make music together, Ally soon learns Jackson’s rocker lifestyle is not as glamorous or great as it seems on the surface. Torn between holding him accountable for his drinking and supporting the person she loves, Ally tries to figure out if she really can love a man when he’s his own worst enemy.
Fleetwood Mac: Unbroken Chain
Where to Watch: Prime Video
It’s only fitting to watch a documentary of the very band that inspired the original Daisy Jones novel. Jenkins Reid used the chemistry between Fleetwood Mac vocalists Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham as the baseline for the tension between Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne and if you watch the band’s documentary, you’ll definitely see the parallels. The film follows the iconic band’s ups and downs on its journey to cement itself as one of the most notable bands in the world of rock ‘n roll. Delving into the band member’s motives and struggles as they persevered to eventually come out on top and sell over 27 million records of its Man of the World album, the documentary tries to unearth what exactly is the glue that held these musicians together for so many years. If you’re a history buff or just a fan of nostalgic rock music, you’ll love the deep dive into the history of the music scene throughout the 70s and 80s.
Where to Watch: Prime Video
As the movie that put Kate Hudson on the map, this coming-of-age story is a great flick to turn on when you’re craving a dramedy. When William decides to become a rock journalist, he meets some interesting characters who, together, are perfect for the story of a lifetime. Eventually, he gets the chance to interview up-and-coming band Stillwater, fronted by Russel and Jeff, two men who can’t seem to see eye to eye. Fascinated by the tension in the band, William soon becomes integrated into the group, helping with their antics and possibly sacrificing his own journalistic integrity.
Where to Watch: Apple TV
For fans who want something a little more lighthearted in the world of music, make sure to watch High Fidelity at your next movie night. When Rob, the owner of a record store decides to keep selling his records on vinyl, an outdated notion, he’s often greeted with a series of challenges. Especially after his girlfriend, Laura walks out on him. As he mulls over his past relationships and thinks about how to continue his search for love, Rob realizes that he may not be as mature as he thought he was.
Books to Read
Taylor Jenkins Reid
OK, while it might not be the most creative to recommend another TJR novel, if the atmospheric feel of Daisy Jones is what you want more of, Malibu Rising needs to be on your TBR list. Capturing the year 1983, the novel follows four famous siblings as they throw the epic party of the summer. With the same sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll vibes as Daisy Jones, model Nina Riva’s humble beginnings shadow her unintended role as society’s sex symbol while her brother, Hud, struggles with keeping a secret from his family. Conversations and scenes depicting alcoholism and a difficult family dynamic make this novel hard to read at times but it also serves as a reminder that you can overcome the heaviness of your youth. This book made me laugh, want to cry, and read it again immediately after I closed it for the last time.
In the early 70s, Opal is finding her niche in New York’s funky and creative scene when alongside her music partner Neville Charles. When a rival band waves a Confederate flag at one of their shows, Opal stages a bold protest. Decades later, a journalist digs deep into Opal & Nev’s dramatic breakup and uncovers even more dark secrets from the duo’s time together.
When Sadie Green and Sam Masur meet as children, their chemistry and thirst to just create is undeniable. Fast forward a few years to their time at Harvard, the two finally reach stardom with their first blockbuster, Ichigo. But, as we all know, Hollywood is much less appealing than it seems, and secrets and betrayals run rampant amongst its filmmakers. A love story at its core, the novel tells the relationship between two troubled, complex, and love-hungry characters over 30 years in different cities. If you’re a fan of slow-burn, tension-filled love stories told over a period of time that makes you want to scream, “just kiss already!” (think Normal People), you need to pick this book up STAT.
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Yes, this novel is more about adolescent love than the hardcore lives of successful rockers but honestly, isn’t this the kind of passion said rockers like to sing about in the first place? Through her well-off family, busy parents, and obsession with finding where the next great band is playing, there are more similarities between protagonist Norah and Daisy Jones than you’d think. The story begins when Nick, desperate to avoid his ex, or at least appear cooler in front of his peers, asks Norah to pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes. What happens next is a blur of drinking, a broken-down car, drag shows, and the search for great music in New York City. Peppered with the excitement and naivety that accompanies two teens on a first date, you’re definitely following these two on one great adventure. Though this has been adapted into a film, I recommend reading the original novel.
If you’re looking for a more heartfelt, sweet story, this is the book you need to read. In 1988, Frank owns a music shop, selling records from various artists, genres, and styles to any customer who comes in. But when Isle walks into the store one day, the allure of her mysterious green peacoat and modern hairstyle convince Frank to give her the music lessons she asks for. But as Frank eases himself into a rhythm of teaching and reopening the wounds from his past, he must reckon with the person he used to be and who he is now. A quirky love story at its core, The Music Shop is the perfect reminder that music is ingrained in everyone’s lives.