‘Daisy Jones & the Six’: All the Biggest Changes From Book to Series

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A guide to all the adaptation’s major differences, from Billy and Daisy’s first kiss to how that ending goes down.
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D—the saga of sex, drugs, and rock and roll starring Riley Keough—has taken the stage. All 10 episodes of of the series, adapted from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 novel of the same name and produced by Reese Witherspoon, have launched on Prime Video

Although the show remains largely faithful to its source material, creators Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (5T) transformed the book’s oral history of a Fleetwood Mac–inspired 1970s rock band into an onscreen documentary with confessions and needle drops galore. “I was a fan first,” Neustadter told V of the best-selling book. “And so for me, it was always like, I would be so mad if someone adapted a book that I loved and didn’t do the right thing. So I kind of always come at it from that perspective. Hopefully—hopefully—people will be pleased.”

As for Reid, whose blockbuster oeuvre includes T (coming soon to Netflix), she’s also given the series’ stars a standing ovation. “When I think of the book, now I just see their faces,” she told V. “They’ve brought such depth and charisma to it.” Ahead, a breakdown of the biggest changes from book to screen, including an explanation on that missing band member and the adaptation’s ending.

Track 1: Come and Get It

Reid’s novel presents the rise and fall of D as an oral history, featuring firsthand accounts from the band’s members, managers, and various music journalists. The series takes an understandably more visual approach, turning the narrative device into a documentary, where key players give on-camera interviews about their experiences from decades earlier to a (for now) unnamed documentarian.

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Viewers will realize early in the series that there are only five members of a band that calls themselves the Six, book title be damned. The group is fronted by lead singer Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) alongside his guitarist brother Graham (Will Harrison), bassist Eddie (Josh Whitehouse), and drummer Warren (Sebastian Chacon). Suki Waterhouse’s Karen is later recruited to join the then-named Dunne Brothers after their first keyboardist ditches the band for medical school. Missing from the series is the novel’s bassist Pete (as well as a previous guitarist Chuck, who dies in the Vietnam War). 

Showrunner Scott Neustadter told T magazine that the decision to remove Pete was a practical one. “The Pete character serves a function in the novel, but he doesn’t have much to say, he’s not the most dramatic. We knew if we were going to cast Pete, the actor might want more to do,” he explained. “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.” Instead, when Karen proposes that the group be named the Six early in the season, it’s implied that the unofficial sixth member is Camila (Camila Morrone) Billy’s wife, the band’s photographer, and inspiration behind several key songs. 

One of Daisy’s most famous lines in both the book and show is: “I am not the muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.” This declaration comes after multiple men in Daisy’s life pluck her observations for their own benefit under the guise of divine inspiration. In the novel, Daisy writes the lyrics to “Tiny Love,” which ends up becoming her boyfriend Wyatt Stone’s biggest hit. The series has Daisy instead pen “Stumbled on Sublime,” a track with entirely different lines that nevertheless becomes her musician beau’s first number one song. 

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Camila and Billy’s relationship begins differently on the page than it does on screen. In the novel, she is working as a cocktail waitress at a hotel where the Dunne Brothers is playing when they first lock eyes. The series has them meet on more neutral territory—a laundromat where Camila pretends not to know who Billy is. In both scenarios, they’re pulled together by the same central promise: “If you give me your number, I’ll write a song for you.” Later in the episode, Camila’s decision to move from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles with Billy and the band is made far earlier than in the novel, which has the couple separated for months before she decides to relocate. 

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Track 2: I’ll Take You There

In the book, Billy proposes to Camila by asking: “If I had a record contract, would you marry me?” But in the series, it’s her surprise pregnancy that spurs their backyard wedding, a scene that also takes place in the novel. “The moment I knew she was pregnant I felt like we had to make sure we were a proper family,” the book reads. Both versions portray Camila as barefoot and pregnant for the Six’s first tour, which is a catalyst for Billy’s addiction and infidelity. 

Just as with Camila and Billy’s meeting, the way megaproducer Teddy Price (played by Tom Wright) first sees the band perform is far more pedestrian in the series than the book. The novel places a British Teddy organically at the club where Billy and the Six are performing. But the show has Billy spontaneously run into an American Teddy at the convenience store, where he must convince him to come see the band’s gig while pestering him in an aisle.

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Make no mistake, Simone is a beloved character and confidant within the pages of Reid’s novel. But as played by Nabiyah Be in the series, Simone’s journey to becoming a breakout disco singer is more fleshed out. This includes a potential love interest in Bernice (Ayesha Harris) and—later in the season—a largely standalone episode. “We wanted to explore what it meant to be a queer Black woman in the world in that moment in time,” Neustadter told T magazine of the decision to expand her story line.“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.”

Track 3: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Daisy is sequestered from the Six for the show’s first two episodes, save for a few fleeting near-meetings. During this time in the series, she’s focused on playing small gigs along the strip and songwriting under Teddy’s guidance. But her record deal advances to a full-fledged album in the book. Although Daisy doesn’t agree with the way the label plans to brand her—less Carole King and more Olivia Newton-John, as Simone recalls—Teddy convinces Daisy to record nonetheless. She releases her debut album F in 1975, a “middle of the road” effort as described in the book that is nowhere to be found in the TV show version. 

Rattled by his addiction-fueled adultery, in the third episode Billy tells Camila and the Six that he can’t continue with the band. Although that decision is short-lived, it never happens in the book. Instead, after Billy’s rehab stint the group records an ill-fated second album, S,

Those hoping for songs with the exact lyrics outlined in Reid’s book will be sorely disappointed. Many of the tracks and musical lines have been altered in adaptation, including “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” the song that brings the Six and Daisy together. “You wrote a good song, not a great one,” Teddy tells Billy of the soapy ditty he writes about reconciling with Camila. Enter Daisy, whose fresh perspective makes the tune a hit. 

In the book, the lyrics read: “Will the life we want wait for us?/Will we live to see the lights coming off the bay?/Will you hold me, will you hold me until that day?” The show’s version of the song, written by Blake Mills and Marcus Mumford, among others, more closely reflects what will become Daisy and Billy’s dynamic o of his marriage. They read: “We unraveled a long time ago / We lost and we couldn’t let it go / I wish it was easy, but it isn’t so / So, baby / Oh, we could make a good thing bad.” 

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Track 4: I Saw the Light

In the book, just as the Six begins touring with Daisy, Camila becomes pregnant with twins: Susana and Maria. In the series, there is no second pregnancy—or Billy once again threatening to leave the band to be a more devoted father. Instead, there’s only Camila and Billy’s first daughter, Julia, who becomes an integral part of the story’s framework.

In the fourth episode of the show, the Six plays the Diamond Head Festival of Life. Daisy is set to join them for “Honeycomb,” but ends up staying much longer and touring with the band permanently. The book has Daisy opening for the Six on tour, where much of her experience is marred by her harmful boyfriend/manager, Hank. That character has been scrapped from the show, making Daisy’s switch to the Six’s manager Rod (played by Timothy Olyphant)

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Many of the weeds, including discussions of Daisy’s billing with the Six, have been removed in the TV adaptation. In the book, she officially joins the Six after performing an acoustic set of her songs with Eddie before a live audience, including a R reporter. That journalist, Jonah Berg, will later write a cover story with the headline, “The Six That Should Be Seven,” and insist that she “belonged in the band” (more on that storyline in episode six). But the series has Daisy’s admittance into the band sealed with Camila’s permission, telling her at a party that the band is “a family—we’ll take care of you if you take care of us.”

Track 5: Fire

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In the show’s fourth episode, Graham makes the secret crush he’s long been harboring for Karen known by kissing her at a party. While she initially laughs off his advance, in the fifth episode Karen grows jealous of Graham’s romance with a Barry Manilow-loving woman named Caroline (Olivia Rose Keegan) and is awakened to her true feelings for him. Karen makes the first move in the novel, asking Graham on the phone one night: “How come you’ve never made a move on me?” He says, “I don’t take shots I know I’ll miss.” She replies, “I don’t think you’ll miss, Dunne.” 

Track 6: Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

The book version of R’s Jonah Berg (played in the series by Nick Pupo) takes an interest in covering the band much earlier, writing an article that plays a key part in making Daisy and the Six one musical entity. In the series, Jonah is called in to write a puff piece about the group by producer Teddy Wright. The focus of his piece, however, becomes simmering tensions within the band and between Daisy and Billy. Eventually, Billy spills details about Daisy’s addiction to avoid the publication revealing how his own rehab stint prevented him from being present at his first daughter’s birth, a story Daisy tells the reporter herself. Similar events take place in the book, but occur much later in a second Berg piece tied to A/p>

Much of the sixth episode is devoted to the creation of A, Daisy Jones and the Six’s album. With the exception of “Please,” most of the fictional songs proposed for A in the book have been scrapped or significantly altered.  “Impossible Woman,” Billy’s impassioned plea to Daisy about her sobriety, becomes “More Fun to Miss;” “The Canyon,” Graham’s lost ode to Karen, doesn’t factor into the series. The lyrics to “Regret Me” are also different, although the song remains. 

There is a Taylor Jenkins Reid universe, wherein the author includes nods to fictional characters from her previous novels in each new work. In D, Mick Riva, a fictional singer first introduced in T, attends Daisy’s wild party at Chateau Marmont, which she throws instead of attending the Six’s recording session. Shortly after Mick shows up, an extremely intoxicated Daisy takes a dip in the pool with all of her clothes on and later cuts her bare foot on glass. This scene is recreated in the series, but Mick is nowhere to be seen. 

A major point of contention—and inspiration for Daisy’s scorched-earth song “Regret Me”—is a kiss (or lack thereof) with Billy. In the book, the pair’s lips barely graze during a songwriting session before Billy shuts Daisy down. The series has them actually pull the trigger and passionately kiss during a contentious recording session for “More Fun to Miss,” Billy’s blistering song about Daisy. In fact, everything about the increasingly charged Daisy-Billy-Camila love triangle is far more pronounced on screen than in the book. Billy says in the novel that “there was this unspoken thing between Camila and I,” adding, “in some marriages you don’t need to say everything that you feel.” But Camila more pointedly tells Billy at episode’s end: “If you love her, if you ever do, that is when this ends.”

However subtle, there is reference to potential infidelity on Camila’s part in the book, when she has a long lunch with her high school prom date. “She was gone four hours,” Billy recalls in the novel. “No one eats lunch for four hours.” But in the show, it’s bass player Eddie with whom Camila shares a few stolen moments. “There’s a moment where Camila talks about going out and seeing an old friend. And you don’t know exactly what that means because the book is told in the style of an oral history, you don’t ever know exactly what happened,” showrunner Will Graham told V. “So in the show we had to find answers to those things that felt satisfying and real, but also hopefully are surprises and fun for the fans.”

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Track 7: She’s Gone

As already established, Simone plays a much larger role in the series than the book. This includes examination of her sexuality in episode 7, which shows Simone’s musical career taking off in New York City clubs—and the ways her romance with Bernice could complicate her career. “In the first conversation I had with Taylor, I said, ‘What would you want to see more of in the show that you didn’t get to do in the book?’ And she said more of Simone,” Graham, who directed episode 7, told V. At the end of the episode, Daisy even uses Simone’s identity against her in a particularly heated moment, asking, “Are you in love with me? Is that what this is?”

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After recording A and publication of the bombshell R piece, in episode six Daisy retreats to Greece. While there, she meets Nicky Fitzpatrick, a man of Irish noble stock who will become her first husband. These are swaps from the book, where Daisy takes her sabbatical in Thailand and marries a man named Niccolo Argento in his native country of Italy. The novel also has Simone missing Daisy’s wedding and the lead singer chopping off her hair before returning to the Six, two events that don’t occur in the show. 

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Track 8: Looks Like We Made It

In the book, only a select few confess to knowing about Karen and Graham’s secret relationship, including the R reporter and their bandmate Eddie. Their coming-out as a couple is far more pronounced in the show. Graham is teased by his bandmates for seemingly never hooking up with anyone on tour. Then the truth comes out: “We’ve been screwing since the album sessions. In the studio, in the car, on this bus. You guys have just been too up your own fucking asses to notice,” Karen matter-of-factly tells her bandmates, clarifying any speculation about his love life. 

Both the book and series have Nicky fail to care for Daisy when he thinks she may have overdosed. In the novel, Daisy is dismayed to learn that her husband simply places her in the shower after believing she’s taken enough drugs to die instead of calling for help. This is even more extreme in the series, when  Nicky actively leaves Daisy in her hour of need, with Billy picking up the pieces in his place. “He wasn’t gonna kill me, but he would let me die,” Daisy says of Nicky in the book. 

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Track 9: Feels Like the First Time

A few of the band’s major professional milestones are documented in both the book and series, including a performance on S. But the novel also features the Six winning Record of the Year at the Grammys, which Daisy accepts on behalf of the group. That sequence is missing from the series and its depiction of the S performance is far more subdued than in the book, where Camila sees sparks fly between Billy and Daisy onstage. 

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In the book, Teddy dies of the heart attack depicted in episode nine, an event that triggers both Daisy and Billy’s addictions. But the series has Teddy survive the health scare, later dying in 1983 “doing what he loved” while hunched over a soundboard. This switch was likely made so that the catalyst for Billy’s relapse could be his marital strife with Camila, as seen in the finale. 

Track 10: Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide

In both the novel and series, Billy relapses after years of sobriety. However, this is a much more brief occurrence in the book, where Billy has only one tequila before getting back on the wagon—as opposed to the show, where he’s regularly drinking again.

The entire dynamic between Eddie and Billy is tenuous, but it’s only in the series that Eddie opts to bolt from the band for “feeling like a second-class citizen in a first-class resort.” On the show, Eddie is the first band member to leave, whereas in the book, the band’s manager informs him that the group will not continue after Billy and Daisy exit. 

Billy and Daisy are far more passive players in their fates within the pages of Reid’s book. It’s only when Camila tells Daisy that she and Billy will never divorce that the singer decides to take herself out of the equation. “If you’re waiting around, hoping that something’s going to crack, I just…I have to tell you that it’s not gonna be me. And I can’t let it be Billy. Which means it’s gonna be you,” Camila explicitly states, leading Daisy to declare, “I left the band because Camila Dunne asked me to.”

This choice is placed back in the hands of Daisy for the series, which goes so far as to temporarily split Camila and Billy up. He relapses afterwards and while drinking indulges in Daisy’s fantasy of them as a romantic couple by kissing her again. In the book, Billy says “I never knew why Daisy left, exactly” but in the series she outright tells him, “I don’t want to be broken” before encouraging him to reconcile with Camila. 

“It’s not that version of Billy that she’s in love with,” Riley Keough tells V of Daisy’s decision. “She’s in love with all of Billy, but she’s mostly been around him sober. So seeing that this is what she’s bringing out of him doesn’t feel good to her. It’s a moment of power for her to go, ‘I’m going to walk away from this.’”

In both the book and show, Daisy gets sober, which she credits with saving her life. But what she does with her remaining days differ from page to screen. The novel has Daisy leave the music business, publish some books, pick up meditation, and adopt two sons. But in the series, Daisy continues to be a famous musician and has a daughter. There are small departures in other characters’ outcomes as well—including the grave omission of Graham’s hot sauce business, the expertly-named “Dunne Burnt My Tongue Off.”

However, much of the ending remains consistent across the book and show, including Camila’s death after illness, the reveal that Camila and Billy’s now adult daughter Julia is making the documentary, and Camila’s final wish that Billy and Daisy reunite because they “still owe me a song.”

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