Differences Between Show vs. Book

Daisy Jones & The Six has finally made its way from bookshelves to Amazon Prime—and, as usual, fans of the bestselling novel have spotted many discrepancies. Based in the ‘70s music scene, the story, penned by Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows a Fleetwood Mac-inspired band whose rise to fame is muddled when the two lead singers fall in love. At first, the show hewed close to the book, but this week, the series made some major divergences. The latest episode includes not one, but two juicy shifts in the plot.

Even so, the team working on the television show is devoted to keeping the spirit of the novel alive. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Neustadter, one of the showrunners, spoke about bringing the story to life with Reid’s help. “We don’t bring the authors in to show them how the sausage is made, but they’re always the first readers of our adaptations,” he said. “I think that the bigger swings we take are thoughtful and the audience will go for it. But you’re not going to be able to capture everybody’s favorite thing.”

Although the television show does differ from the series, Reid praised the production team’s interpretation in an interview with Town & Country. “It’s a rare adaptation that honors the book in a really lovely way and yet also adds to it,” she said. “[The show] makes interesting changes that make it compelling to engage with this story a second time.”

Below, we’ve broken down all the differences in Daisy Jones & The Six, so far.

Daisy Jones Says Her Real Name is Margaret

In Episode Six, Daisy Jones tells Billy that her real name is Margaret. It’s an important moment of intimacy between the two characters, but in the book, she’s born Daisy Jones. Given that the television show is seeking to amp up the differences between the two lead singers within a limited number of episodes, it makes sense for Daisy to have a big emotional reveal. It’s as if she’s finally letting Billy in on a secret, but in the book, their rapport is reached naturally as they spend time together.

Billy Kisses Daisy

After a tense recording session in Episode Six, Daisy runs out into the parking lot and Billy runs after her. Then, in a shocking twist, he pulls her into a kiss and convinces her to go back inside. Though this made for great drama in the television show, it doesn’t happen in the book. In fact, Daisy and Billy never kiss. They almost do during a romantic songwriting session, but Billy pulls away at the last second. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Keough spoke about the change. “I think half the readers would want them to kiss and half would be, like, so angry that they kiss,” she said.

Camilla Cheats on Billy

In another shocking turn of events from Episode Six, Camilla cheats on Billy with his bandmate, Eddie. In the novel, Camilla’s character is faithful throughout her entire marriage while Billy messes around. Her nobility is a key part of her character; however, unlike the novel, the television series explores what would happen if each character surrendered to their impulses. Is it really unrealistic for Camilla to pursue an affair of her own? While it may veer off course from the original plot, Camilla and Eddie’s actions are a result of Billy and Daisy’s.

The Song Lyrics Are Different

One key difference readers may have noticed is that most of the song lyrics have been changed. Reid wrote her own versions of the band’s most popular songs, but the production team brought in songwriters to fine tune them. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Neustadter said that changing the songs was “a strategic decision” intended to provide songwriters with the creative freedom to turn Reid’s words into viable tracks. “We couldn’t tell them they had to use previously written lyrics,” he said.

Pete Loving and Chuck Williams Don’t Exist

Another difference is that two of the original band members don’t exist. In the book, Pete is a school-friend of Billy (the co-lead singer) and Graham (the lead guitarist). Pete plays the bass and is the first member to quit the band. Though Pete is present in the early chapters, he has little to no dialogue, and only returns at the very end of the novel to comment on the band’s success.

Chuck Williams, the band’s first guitarist, is also cut out of the story. In the novel, he’s drafted into the Vietnam War and dies overseas. Later on, Eddie Loving, Pete’s younger brother, is introduced to the band and takes Chuck’s place. In the television show, Edie Loving is turned into a character named Eddie Roundtree, who plays the bass and is not related to anyone.

Billy & Camilla’s Meet-Cute is Different

In the novel, Billy and Camilla meet at a wedding where Billy is performing. He spots Camilla, who is working as a cocktail waitress, and gives her his number. The television show instead shows Billy and Camilla meeting at a laundromat. In that scenario, it’s Camilla who approaches Billy. After catching his eye, she walks over and says, “Excuse me, are you—?” before Billy cuts her off and says, “I am, yeah. Billy Dunne, pleasure to meet you.” She then responds, “I was just going to say are you using that basket?” Later, during an interview, Camilla says, “Of course I knew who he was, are you kidding me? Every girl in Hazelwood knew Billy Dunne–and not because he was in some band.”

Teddy Sends Billy to Rehab

Later in the story, Billy goes on a bender while Camilla is in labor with their first child. In the novel, Teddy, the band’s manager, arrives at the hospital sends Billy a message, at Camilla’s request. “Tell him he can start to be a father this second or he’s going to rehab,” she says. But in the show, it’s Teddy who sends Billy to rehab after he and Billy get into an argument at the hospital. Billy says he can’t meet his daughter “like this,” and Teddy promptly drives him away.

Simone is Gay

Simone is Daisy Jones’ only friend, but in the novel, she factors in primarily as a side character. The television show gives her character a more vibrant, self-contained story. In the novel, Simone’s sexuality is unknown, but the television series depicts her as a gay Black woman making her way in the ’70s political climate. When she’s not navigating her sexuality or monitoring Daisy, she’s working on her own music career. While speaking with Town & Country, Neustradter explained that they were able to expand Simone’s role by cutting Pete’s storyline out.

Watch this space for updates—we’ll keep adding to this story as the show continues on Amazon Prime.

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Associate Staff Writer

Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.  

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