The Ultimate Guide to All the Book vs. Show Differences in Daisy Jones & The Six
Even the most faithful book-to-TV adaptation is bound to make some key changes when translating the story for the screen. Prime Video’s imagining of the beloved Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, Daisy Jones & The Six, is no exception.
The miniseries, which officially dropped on March 3, follows the tumultuous events that led to the breakup of fictitious legendary rock’n’roll band, The Six.
Both the show and the book follow an oral history format, with members of the band, lead singer Daisy Jones, producers, fellow artists, and music historians recalling the story in their own (sometimes conflicting) words. Unsurprisingly, this format lends fertile ground to open interpretation of what really happened between the band members, with the showrunners taking creative liberties and reading between the lines in order to effectively portray the band’s demise.
“We realized that a lot [of the book] is allusions to moments, things that she said or he said, but you might be missing the actual scene of what happened. So we got to invent those scenes from scratch—entire moments that we got to write from from beginning to end, which isn’t always the case with an adaptation,” writer Scott Neustadter told TIME. “It afforded us so much fun and so many kinds of opportunities for drama will hopefully deepen the story.”
Time will tell whether or not fans of the book will appreciate the changes they made. In the meantime, read ahead for an episode by episode breakdown of every difference between the book and the show—and make sure to watch this space for updates.
PETE, THE SIXTH BAND MEMBER, ISN’T IN THE SHOW.
The most glaringly obvious difference between the show and the book is that the adaptation completely omits Pete Loving, The Six’s bassist and the brother of guitarist Eddie Loving (whose last name is changed to Roundtree in the series).
In the novel, Pete is a minor character who eventually leaves the band to marry his longtime girlfriend, Jenny. While the band was originally known as the Dunne Brothers—referring to lead singer-songwriter Billy Dunne and lead guitarist Graham Dunne—they eventually changed the name to The Six to represent all six band members.
In the show, The Six only ever refers to the five remaining band members sans Pete. As the group brainstorms a new name in Episode 2, keyboardist Karen Sirko suggests “The Six,” implying that Camila, Billy’s wife, is the band’s honorary sixth member.
Showrunner Neustadter explained Pete’s absence to TIME. “The Pete character serves a function in the novel, but he doesn’t have much to say, he’s not the most dramatic,” he told the outlet. “We knew if we were going to cast Pete, the actor might want more to do. It felt like eliminating Pete enabled us to do more with the characters that we had in the ensemble, which was already a pretty big group of people. And I hope everyone, especially the Pete stans, forgive us after they watch the show.”
Another former band member whose storyline gets tweaked? Chuck Williams, the band’s original rhythm guitarist, gets a more generous ending in the show when he quits the band to become a dentist. But, in the novel, Chuck leaves the band after being drafted to the Vietnam War, and dies shortly after his deployment.
THE MUSIC DOCUMENTARY BEGINS 20 YEARS AFTER THE BAND’S BREAKUP.
The book sets the documentary to take place about 40 years after the band’s infamous ’70s breakup. But, the show has the former band members sit down to talk about their experience just 20 years later. The change means that, when we see the band presumably in the present-day, they aren’t as transformed as they might have been in the book (which also probably saves the cast and crew plenty of time when it comes to old-age makeup effects).
CAMILA MOVES WITH THE BAND TO LOS ANGELES.
Originally, Camila remains in Pittsburgh while The Six embarks on a national tour for their first album. However, in the show, Camila moves with the band to Los Angeles before they even secure a recording deal. There, she plays a key role in publicizing The Six to different record labels and producers.
The show also modified Camila and Billy’s meet-cute. While the novel has the to-be-spouses meet at a wedding where The Six was hired to play, Camila and Billy meet at a laundromat in the TV series.
DAISY GETS A DIFFERENT START IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.
Daisy’s career begins when she gets discovered by Hank Allen, who would go on to briefly become her manager and slimeball boyfriend. Through him, she signs onto a deal with Runner Records, though she refuses to record music when she’s told to sing songs that she hasn’t written.
The show bypasses that storyline altogether. Instead, Daisy’s best friend, disco singer Simone Jackson, introduces her to Runner Records producer Teddy Price. It’s Teddy who not only convinces Daisy to strengthen her songwriting skills, but to also collaborate with The Six’s lead singer, Billy.
DAISY AND SIMONE ARE CLOSER IN AGE AND BECOME LONG-TERM ROOMMATES.
After quickly striking up a friendship with Simone, Daisy moves into her Laurel Canyon house. However, when Simone’s first album flops, the disco singer is forced to relinquish the property and move in with her cousin—meaning Daisy also has to move back in with her estranged parents. The book also describes Daisy and Simone’s large age gap, with the elder Simone encouraging Daisy to finish her high school graduation.
The show develops their cohabitating relationship more, with Daisy signing onto Simone’s apartment lease as a long-term roommate and getting a job as a diner waitress. The show also shrinks the age gap between the two friends, seemingly aging up Daisy so she isn’t a high school student when her and Simone first meet.
SIMONE GETS A NEW LOVE INTEREST.
Though Simone is Daisy’s best friend, there is little we know of her personal life based on the novel. The miniseries does well to flesh out her character and narrative arc beyond the book’s parameters.
In Episode 3, she strikes up a romance with Bernice, a new character who doesn’t exist in the book. Bernice is a DJ who works in the queer underground club scene in New York, a detail that will presumably influence Simone’s cross-country move later in the story.
“We wanted to explore what it meant to be a queer Black woman in the world in that moment in time,” Neustadter told TIME. “What would have to be compromised, what would have to be hidden? And especially in the world of disco, which is so much about freedom and expression, that dichotomy was was very interesting to us. We also really wanted to make sure that she was her own character, not someone whose only function was guiding Daisy’s story. That was really important to everybody.”
ROD REYES’S ROLE AS THE BAND’S MANAGER IS REDUCED.
In the book, Rod discovers the band while they’re playing a gig at a New York bar. He immediately becomes an integral factor in The Six’s come-up, offering suggestions for their appearance and sound, setting up shows and tour dates, encouraging them to move to LA, and personally introducing them to producer Teddy Price. His involvement is described as the band’s “watershed moment.”
But, Rod is less present in the show than he is in the book. “I’m a tour manager, not a band manager,” he tells the group in Episode 2 when they spontaneously appear at his LA apartment complex after a brief meeting in Pittsburgh. The extent of his involvement in the band’s rise to fame ends after he arranges their first gig in LA and helps them recruit Karen Sirko as a keyboardist.
Rod isn’t there for the band’s fateful first meeting with Teddy. Instead, that introduction occurs when Billy and Graham accidentally stumble upon the producer at a local grocery store.
DAISY DOES, INDEED, WEAR SHOES.
Readers of the book may remember that a key characteristic of Daisy’s appearance was that she pretty much never wore shoes. Thankfully, the show eschewed that small wardrobe detail, instead dressing the songstress in practical, period-appropriate footwear as she traipses all over the Sunset Strip. (Walking barefoot on those grime-covered sidewalks? Yeah, no thanks.)
DAISY DOESN’T OPEN FOR THE SIX ON TOUR.
In the book, Daisy joins The Six on their world tour as their opening act. Instead of going on tour, however, The Six just end up playing at a music festival in Hawaii, where Daisy is slated to join them for a performance of “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb).”
CAMILA PULLS SOME STRINGS TO GET DAISY TO JOIN THE BAND.
In defiance of Billy stubbornly refusing to have Daisy join the band, Camila throws a party at their Laurel Canyon home and invites Daisy in Episode 4. “I wasn’t gonna let his ego stop him from becoming great,” she explains in the present-day. At the party, Daisy and Billy get into a tiff, and when it seems like all hope is lost, Camila convinces Daisy to stay and give the band another shot, thus playing a crucial role in Daisy’s official entrance into The Six.
It doesn’t quite happen like that in the book. Originally, a Rolling Stone reporter who joins the band and Daisy on their world tour makes the suggestion that Daisy should become an official member of the band—and the rest is history.
BILLY AND DAISY KISS.
Though book-version Billy swears up and down that he remained faithful to Camila ever since he got sober again, the Prime Video adaptation is willing to read in between the lines and portray a particularly steamy scene that doesn’t explicitly occur in the novel.
When Daisy walks out of a heated studio session, in which Billy berates her for not singing passionately enough, he chases after her. “Tell me that there’s nothing going on between us,” Daisy dares him. “Tell me that this thing, that the way I feel, that this is in my fucking head.” His response? He grabs her head and pulls her in for a deep kiss.
CAMILA TAKES THE PHOTO USED ON THE AURORA ALBUM COVER.
Originally, a professional photographer shoots the infamous cover of the Aurora album, which shows Billy and Daisy’s torsos nearly pressed against each other. But, in the miniseries, Camila, an aspiring photographer, secretly captures the two having an argument during a band photoshoot session in the desert. When Billy later complains to her that he dislikes all of the pictures shot from that day, Camila presents him with her photograph, showing Daisy raising her arms in the wind as Billy intensely stares down at her. “We used to fight like that,” Camila tells him, prompting a moment where the two can finally talk openly about Billy’s complicated feelings for Daisy. “If you love her … if you ever do, that is when this ends,” she warns Billy.
CAMILA HAS A FLING WITH EDDIE.
The novel hints that there may have been an instance in which Camila was unfaithful to Billy during an hourslong lunch she had with a former high school sweetheart.
In the miniseries, this plays out as Camila spontaneously leaving Billy at home for a night out, when she goes to a rooftop bar and bumps into Eddie. There, she gets emotional upon receiving Eddie’s earnest attention and care. Though we don’t see the specifics of what happens next, it’s implied that she ends up cheating on Billy. “There were just so many secrets,” present-day Camila explains. “I think I just needed one of my own.”
DAISY GOES TO GREECE.
Instead of traveling to Thailand as she does in the novel, Daisy instead heads to Hydra, a Greek island that provided escape and inspiration for other contemporaries of the era.
SIMONE ATTENDS DAISY’S WEDDING.
When Daisy gets married in the book, she invites Simone to the ceremony in Thailand, but, by the time Simone arrives, Daisy had already wed and left the country to travel the world. In the show, Simone plays a more integral role to Daisy’s wedding festivities, arriving on Hydra with Bernice and subsequently serving as Daisy’s maid of honor. She also is the first to sense that something isn’t quite right with Nicky, Daisy’s husband.
DAISY WANTS TO QUIT MUSIC.
Though book-Daisy never intends on exiting the music industry, show-Daisy flees to Greece in a seeming attempt to escape her sudden rise to fame (and all the Billy-related complications that come with that).
When Simone realizes Daisy’s plan, the two get into a blowout fight as Simone tries to convince Daisy to return home and go on tour with The Six. Daisy brushes off Simone’s attempts, dismissing her by accusing Simone of being in love with her. “I love you, Daisy, so I’ll tell you the truth,” Simone tells her. “You’re a real selfish bitch.” It’s this sobering statement that ultimately reminds Daisy what’s at stake and pushes her to face her fears and go home.
KAREN ANNOUNCES HER RELATIONSHIP WITH GRAHAM TO THE BAND.
In the novel, Karen is fiercely against the idea of her and Graham publicly coming out as a couple, fearing what that may do to her reputation and career as a female keyboardist in a male-dominated industry.
In the show, Karen ends up revealing their relationship to the band after she witnesses Eddie and Warren bully Graham for not dating or hooking up with any girls during the tour.
BILLY IS THE ONE TO FIND DAISY AFTER HER NEAR-FATAL OVERDOSE.
The death knell for Daisy and Nicky’s marriage is when Nicky puts Daisy in the shower when he thinks that she may have overdosed. When she wakes up in the shower, she realizes that staying with Nicky might literally lead to her death and decides to divorce him.
The show dramatizes this terrifying scene a step further, with Billy discovering Daisy in the shower after he barges into their hotel room to kick Daisy out of the band. Rod, the band’s tour manager, then calls for a doctor to revive Daisy.
TEDDY LIVES THROUGH HIS HEART ATTACK.
In the book, the famed producer’s heart attack is fatal. But, in the show, Teddy survives the health scare—though his hospitalization does still act as a wake up call for Daisy and Billy.
THE TWINS DON’T EXIST.
The book version of Billy and Camila’s family includes three children: their eldest daughter, Julia, and twins Susana and Maria. The show omits the existence of the twins, though it’s hinted that Camila does eventually want to have more children.
BILLY RELAPSES AND ATTEMPTS TO GET WITH DAISY.
Though Billy never admits to falling off the wagon in the book, the series portrays Billy succumbing to his addiction when he believes that Camila has left him for good. He ends up accepting a drink from a stranger at a bar and, later, snorts cocaine backstage with Daisy.
His devastation over Camila leaving him also sends him straight into Daisy’s arms, another incident that was not included in the book. “She left me. She’s leaving,” he tells Daisy mid-makeout. “We don’t have to fight it anymore. You and me, we’re broken.” Daisy rejects this narrative and realizes that they may love each other, but they can’t be together.
CAMILA DOESN’T ASK DAISY TO LEAVE THE BAND.
The end of Daisy’s time in the band arrives after their last concert in Chicago. In the book, this plays out as Camila going to Daisy’s hotel room and explicitly telling her that Billy will never leave her. At Camila’s request, Daisy ultimately decides to exit the band of her own volition.
But, in the show, this confrontation between Camila and Daisy doesn’t happen. Instead, Camila gets into a heated argument with Billy, begging him to tell her the truth of the nature of his and Daisy’s relationship. When she threatens to leave him, Daisy encourages Billy to leave in the middle of the concert in order to chase after Camila. He does so, and catches his wife right in time back at their hotel room, where the two have a heartfelt conversation and reconcile.
THE FORMER BAND MATES HAVE DIFFERENT LIVES AFTER THE SIX BREAKS UP.
The show tweaked some details of the band members’s lives post-breakup.
The book version of Eddie goes on to be a fairly successful music producer, but, in the show, he’s implied to be washed up musician attempting (and failing) to recreate the success he once had with The Six.
Daisy’s post-band life also got a makeover. In the novel, she adopts two boys and goes on to write books and do humanitarian work. The show, however, reveals that Daisy instead had a daughter and continued to thrive with a solo musical career.