Daisy Jones & the Six: The Biggest Differences Between the Book and the TV Show

·18 min read
Daisy Jones & the Six: The Biggest Differences Between the Book and the TV Show

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Spoilers ahead for episodes one through eight of Daisy Jones & The Six. Turn back now if you don't want to be spoiled!

Taylor Jenkins Reid's bestselling novel Daisy Jones & the Six is finally a TV show. Starring Riley Keough as Daisy Jones and Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne, Reid's words come alive in the show.

"It's a rare adaptation that honors the book in a really lovely way and yet also adds to it," author Taylor Jenkins Reid tells Town & Country over Zoom. The show, she adds, "makes interesting changes that make it compelling to engage with this story a second time."

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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel



For Reid, the biggest change for her from page to screen was not the cut of a character or a change in story, but the chemistry between the two leads. "When I'm writing a book, there's nothing that I can do to capture chemistry like these actors have," she says. "If I could bottle what happens between Sam and Riley and the way that they light up the screen and pour it over the pages of a book, I would, but I can't, and the only way you're going to get that is by watching this show."

Here, the biggest differences between the book and the show so far:

1. Pete Loving doesn't exist.

Pete, a member of the band in the book, is not a character in the show. In the book, he goes to school with Billy and Graham, and he's the band's bassist. Pete also has a serious girlfriend, Jenny, and is roommates with Eddie in Topanga Canyon. And he's the first one to decide to leave the band.

He's barely in the book, and only has one quote, near the end, where he says, "I don’t have much to say about any of this. I don’t have any ill will toward anyone or anything. I have great memories of everybody. But that part of my life is long gone. I own my own artificial turf installation company now. Jenny and I live in Arizona. My kids are grown. It’s a good life. That’s really all I have to contribute. I’m nearing seventy but I’m still looking forward, okay? I’m not looking back. You’re welcome to put this in your book but that’s going to have to be it for me."

It wasn't that hard to cut his storyline, creator Scott Neustadter tells Town & Country. "The Pete change was pretty simple. If you make a show and you have to cast Pete, the actor playing Pete is gonna want to know what his arc is and gonna want more," Neustadter says. "So Pete had to go. Sorry Pete! But hopefully people won't miss him when they see other things in the show that hopefully are enhanced."

However, no Pete means that the band "The Six" is only five people in the show. Eddie suggests the name in the book, but in episode two, while they're sitting at a diner where Daisy works (coincidentally), Karen is the one to suggest the name, saying, "What about the Six?" Eddie replies, "but there's five of us," and Warren chimes in, and says, "We can't be the Five!" The "sixth" can be viewed as Camila, Billy's wife, in the show.

2. Chuck Williams also doesn't really exist.

Chuck Williams, the band's original guitarist in the book, is drafted to the Vietnam War and is killed in Cambodia. After he's drafted, Billy takes over his parts. But this doesn't last, and soon they bring in Eddie Loving, Pete's younger brother, to replace Chuck.

Though Pete isn't in the show, a version of Eddie—Eddie Roundtree—is in the show, played by Josh Whitehouse. Instead of rhythm guitar, he plays base. And, Eddie isn't related to anyone; he's Graham's high school friend. In the show, there is a character named Chuck in the band, though he leaves to become a dentist.

3. Billy and Camila's first meeting is different.

camila morrone camila
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the book, when the Dunne Brothers perform at a wedding, Billy notices a cocktail waitress at the hotel bar: Camila. "You could tell, just watching her, that she wasn't taking shit from anybody." He asks for her number, and says, "My name is Billy Dunne. I'm the lead singer of the Dunne Brothers. And if you give me your number, I'll write a song about you." And the rest, they say, was history.

In the show, their meet-cute goes down differently: At a laundromat, Billy and Camila are both there doing their laundry. Billy notices Camila, and she comes over, and asks him, "Excuse me, are you—?" And he cuts her off and replies, "I am, yeah, Billy Dunne, pleasure to meet you." She responds, "I was just going to say, are you using that basket?" Billy, embarrassed, hands over a laundry basket, and says, "so you don't know who I am?"

The future Camila narrates, "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."

4. Karen isn't "Karen Karen"—she's just Karen Sirko.

suki waterhouse as karen sirko
Suki Waterhouse as Karen Sirko in Daisy Jones and the Six.Amazon Prime

In the book, when Karen meets Graham, he mishears her and her nickname "Karen Karen" sticks when she joins the band. In the show, she's British, and she never goes by "Karen Karen."

5. Teddy Price: How Billy meets him, and Teddy's whole physical description.

In Reid's novel, the Six perform at the Troubadour. Rod, The Six's manager, says, "I saw Teddy Price standing in the back, listening. I hadn't met him before but I knew he was a producer with Runner Records. We had a few friends in common. After the show, he came up and found me, said, 'My assistant heard you guys at P.J.'s. I told him I would come listen."

So in the book, when Billy and the rest of the gang get off stage, Rod introduces them to Teddy Price. Billy says he's a "tall, fat guy in a suit" with a "real thick upper-crust British accent." Warren, too, describes him as "ugly as sin. A face only a mother could love." Karen says, "That's the glory of being a man. An ugly face isn't the end of you."

tom wright as teddy price in daisy jones and the six
Tom Wright as Teddy Price in Daisy Jones & the Six.Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the show, none of this is true: Teddy is played by Tom Wright, who is not fat, not tall, not ugly, nor does he speak with an aristocratic British accent. And though his race is not mentioned in the book, he's not described as a Black man. Neustadter tells T&C that for the show's version of Teddy, they drew inspiration from Quincy Jones and Tom Wilson.

"The thing about the Teddy character that I loved so much was the father figure-ness of the band, and Billy in particular," Neustadter says. Executive producer Brad Mendelson adds, "When you see Tom Wright, he steals every scene, he's incredible."

There's a few key differences about the origin of Teddy's relationship with Billy and Daisy, too. In the show, it's Daisy whom Teddy discovers at the Troubadour, when she plays a song during Simone's set. In addition, it's Billy who approaches Teddy. At a convenience store one evening, Billy introduces himself and says Teddy's the reason he picked up a guitar. Teddy is uninterested in Billy's pitch, saying he doesn't make that kind of music, but is eventually won over, and gives Billy his business card.

6. Teddy is the one who sends Billy to rehab.

In Reid's novel, Teddy Price shows up after Camila gives birth to Julia. She asks Teddy to talk to Billy, saying, "Tell him he can start to be a father this second or he's going to rehab. Now." In the show, this exchange is not pictured between Teddy and Camila—instead, it's presented as Teddy not giving Billy the option. Billy cries to Teddy, and says he can't go meet his child, saying, "I can't have her meet me like this." Teddy eventually yells at him, saying, "Get the fuck out of my car," but lets him back in, and drives him straight to rehab.

7. Daisy Jones never records First in the show, and never opens for the Six.

riley keough daisy
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

The timeline of Daisy Jones merging with the Six is naturally condensed for television. Instead of Daisy having her own album, then appearing on The Six's SevenEightNine, her first time recording is for SevenEightNine.

Like the book, SevenEightNine features "Honeycomb," the first duet between Billy and Daisy. The origin of the song in the TV version of Daisy Jones and the Six is a bit different: Teddy brings it to Daisy, and asks, "What would you do with it?" The lyrics that Reid writes in the book for "Honeycomb" also change in the show (as do the lyrics for all the songs).

daisy jones
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Additionally, Daisy never opens for the Six in the show—she joins them, once, on stage at a concert in Hawaii, before she formally joins the band.

8. Simone's sexuality.

nabiyah be simone right
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Simone plays a much bigger role in the show, and her career and her queerneess is explored. In fact, Neustadter tells T&C that one of the reasons they cut Pete's storyline is to give Simone's story more space. In the book, Simone really only exists to narrate Daisy's story, and we don't get much of her life outside of Daisy.

In the show, we see Simone get her entire story, and fall in love with Bernie (Ayesha Harris).

daisy jones simone
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Bernie makes Simone's song a hit at an underground queer club in New York City.

9. Camila and Billy's party is when Daisy joins the band.

daisy and billy
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the episode four, Camila invites Daisy to a house party at her and Billy's home, and this is the moment Daisy confronts Billy over joining the Six formally. She leaves, but then Camila asks her to stay. Then, a blackout happens, and they all sing together—and Daisy's in the band.

None of this takes place in the book. In Reid's novel, the discussion over Daisy joining takes place on the flight back to the U.S. from touring internationally (a tour that, again, didn't happen in the show). Warren narrates, "I looked over when Billy was writing his little list about whether Daisy should join the band, and he didn’t have that many cons and it seemed like he was really searching his brain for some." Billy says, "I was making a decision that affected a lot of people. What is good for me might not necessarily be good for everybody else. I had to weigh that. Warren, Graham, Karen, Rod. They all wanted to get bigger, to top the charts. We all did. I had to take that into account. No matter how much I may have preferred to keep a healthy distance from her personally."

10. Billy kisses Daisy.

We don't know if this ever happened in the book—unreliable narrators are unreliable for a reason!—but it absolutely happens in the show, before Daisy records "More Fun to Miss."

11. Camila is a photographer, and takes the Aurora cover.

daisy jones and the six
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the show, Camila becomes a photographer—and her career begins when she accidentally shoots the album cover for Aurora as Daisy and Billy argue about their kiss. And, unlike the book, Daisy is not bra-less for the cover. The opening credits, in fact, are from Camila's perspective.

"It's natural to make it your own," Camila Morrone tells T&C of her interpretation of Camila. "You have the basis, which is what's in the book—they are the fan favorites that we fell in love with, which is why we auditioned for these characters and went after them with such force. You have to turn it into your own, you have no other option. You have to make it your own, because that's all you know how to do."

12. When Rolling Stone enters the story.

In the book, Jonah Berg, a journalist for Rolling Stone, is critical to two different plot points: Daisy joining the band, and Daisy and Billy beginning to hate each other. In the show, the Rolling Stone profile of Daisy Jones & the Six happens just once, and Jonah Berg is on set during the album shoot—this is when Daisy and Billy say all the terrible things about each other that they say in the book, and things go sour before the Aurora tour.

13. When Graham and Karen get together changes.

daisy jones and the six
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Graham and Karen spend a day at the beach, and when they get back home, they sleep together for the first time—perhaps spurred by Karen's jealousy of Graham's then-girlfriend. In Reid's novel, Karen and Graham first sleep together on tour. In the book, they keep their romance a secret for as long as possible. In the show, Karen tells the rest of the band about their relationship.

14. The Eddie and Camila romance plotline.

In episode six, it's implied Camila and Eddie sleep together. Eddie, it turns out, had been in love with Camila since they were kids. "I'd choose you over everyone," Eddie tells her. Narrating years later, Camila says, "There were just so many secrets. I think I just needed one of my own."

This story does not exist in the book, but it only adds to Eddie's resentment of Billy in the show. "I feel like it was a bit of a sad thing, really, because she doesn’t stay with him, and he wanted her so much his whole life. And really Billy, I think Billy doesn’t really appreciate Camila as much as he should. [Or as much] as Eddie," Whitehouse told Us Weekly about the plotline.

15. Daisy goes to Greece, not Thailand and Italy.

In the book, after finishing Aurora, Daisy absconds to Thailand, where she meets Nicky, and then they go to Italy. Then she returns for tour. In the show, she lands in Greece. The story goes a bit differently from there, too; while Simone flies at the drop of the hat to come rescue her, in the show, she's accompanied by her partner, Bernie, and she arrives in time for Daisy's wedding to Nicky. They get into a major fight about Daisy's future, and Daisy accuses Simone of having a crush on her—all of which never happened in the book.

16. Nicky is Irish.

daisy jones and the six
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the book, a big part of Nicky, i.e. Niccolo, is that he's an Italian prince, and when Daisy marries him on a whim in Rome, she becomes a princess. In the show, Nicky is Irish, who says he's part of the aristocracy, but not titled. He's still a bad influence on Daisy, in terms of drug use, but not as terrible as he is in the books.

17. Billy finds Daisy after her overdose.

At the end of episode eight, Daisy overdoses and nearly dies. In the book, she wakes up to Nicky, and decides to leave him. She narrates, "While I had no idea whether or not I overdosed or what exactly happened that night, I could tell he had been truly terrified. And all he did was put me in the shower." In the show, Nicky panics and leaves, it is Billy who finds Daisy.

"I loved that change," Keough told Deadline. "I thought that it was so deeply emotional to have Billy find Daisy and Billy be the one who is there for her in that moment and not Nicky. That sort of says a lot of the things that they can’t say to each other, that Billy can’t say to Daisy."

daisy jones and the six
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

The show was intentional about this shift. "For us, it was really getting to witness Daisy going overboard and having some of that behavior come back to haunt her, which it always does. And then on the other side of it, it was watching Billy see that maybe he’s going to lose her and what that would do to him — would it crystallize for him how important she is to him?" executive producer Brad Mendelsohn told Deadline. "Because… in that episode he’s like, 'I don’t need her. She’s bad for me. She’s bad for us. I’m the Billy Dunne who can do it all by myself.' And then he’s faced with the possibility that she wouldn’t be around anymore. I really loved seeing him realize that that wasn’t true."

18. The SNL performance goes down differently.

In the book, the band's Saturday Night Live performance is a turning point; it's when Daisy realizes she was in love with Billy. It's also the section where Billy narrates, "Everything that made Daisy burn, made me burn. Everything I loved about the world, Daisy loved about the world. Everything I struggled with, Daisy struggled with." In the show, they don't go to the afterparty, because during SNL, Teddy has a heart attack—but he survives. (He dies in the book.)

In the show, their big emotional performance takes place in Pittsburgh, the Six's hometown.

19 Billy's relapse.

sam claflin billy dunne
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

In the book, Billy admits to having half a drink, before he narrates, "I put the glass down." In the show, he has a full and complete relapse on the day of the final performance. He gets drunk, which he hasn't been since their first tour.

Later, he talks about going to rehab again.

20. Camila watching the final show, and Billy leaving to find her.

Billy can't complete the final performance of "Honeycomb" in the show—and leaves the stage to go reconcile with Camila. This doesn't happen in the book. In the novel, the performance goes on without much drama—any drama takes place after the show ends, and it's not implied to have any martial drama. (Again, no Eddie romance plot in the book.)

21. In the book, Camila tells Daisy to leave the band and get sober. In the show, it's Simone.

Daisy recounts, "Camila said, 'Daisy, you need to leave this band.' Julia was fast asleep by this point. Camila said, 'If I’m wrong, and you’re already in the process of moving on, and you’re willing to let him move on, then don’t listen to me. You have no responsibility to me. But if I’m right, you’d be doing us all a favor if you left and got yourself clean and found a life away from him. You’d be doing it for yourself. And yes, you’d be doing him a service. But also, you’d be helping me take care of my children.'"

riley keough daisy jones, nabiyah be simone
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

This does not happen in the show; Simone is present for the final performance, and she's the one who gets Daisy to rehab.

22. The Julia reveal

In Reid's novel, readers find out about Julia being the oral historian when she's speaking to Daisy; in the show, this reveal happens with her Dad, Billy.

23. No twins

In the book, Billy and Camilla have three daughters: Julia, and then twins Susana and Maria. The twins don't exist in the show. Justice for the twins!

24. The framing device in the book versus the show.

In the book, the characters are reflecting on the events of the band's breakup nearly 50 years later. In the show, this time is shortened to just 20 years later, bringing the events much closer in their memory. "The one obvious change is that Taylor's writing about 70-year-olds looking back on their lives in their 20s," Neustadter told EW. "We wanted to accelerate the story a little bit."

25. The final scene

The novel ends with a letter Camila writes to her daughters: "Hi Girls, I need your help. After I'm gone, give your dad some time. And then please tell him to call Daisy Jones. Her number is in my date book in the second drawer of my nightstand. Tell your father I said at the very least, the two of them owe me a song. Love, Mom."

The show ends with Billy and Daisy actually reuniting, though we don't know what happens next. (Here's what Riley Keough and Sam Claflin think about the ending.)

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