Riley Keough and Sam Claflin’s dueling frontman antics on “Daisy Jones & the Six” has sparked several audience theories about what real-life, classic rock figures from the ’70s actually inspired these characters. Many fans have pointed fingers to similarities between former bandmates Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham which begs the question, was “Daisy Jones & the Six” inspired by Fleetwood Mac or another real band?
Author Taylor Jenkins Reid, whose book introduced the world to Daisy Jones, has previously detailed several sources of inspiration in her writing including rock, disco and the whole Laurel Canyon scene. But Fleetwood Mac was always front and center in Reid’s mind. “I started with the germ of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac,” the author said in a previous interview hosted by her publisher. But as she researched and to pull creative inspiration from a slew of ‘70s stars, — crediting Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty and Crosby, Stills and Nash alongside Fleetwood Mac.
Reid admits she began her “Daisy Jones & the Six” writing and research process by listening to the band’s historical album, “Rumors” and watching a “ton” of archived interviews of Fleetwood Mac. “It was the beginning of it for me because it’s an album, but… its also a soap opera,” said Reid. “The stories going on between Stevie and Lindsey. And the things that were going on between Christine McVie and John McVie were really fascinating, and they show in the music. So I started there.”
As for performances, Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 reunion on MTV’s “The Dance,” also provided a ton of inspiration. As did Stevie Nicks’ “warm and intimate, but cryptic” rendition of “Landslide” alongside, former bandmate, and lover, Lindsey Buckingham, which she remembers first seeing as a young teenager. “He was clearly madly in love with her. And the way she smiled back at him, the way she seemed so comfortable in his gaze, she must love him, too,” Reid wrote for the Hello Sunshine website. “Imagine my surprise when my mother later explained that, though they had once dated, they weren’t together anymore. This completely defied logic to me. But they love each other! I saw it with my own eyes!”
Buckingham and Springsteen were sources of inspiration for co-star Claflin. The actor told Variety he first had difficulty identifying Billy’s sound and actually auditioned by singing “Your Song” from Elton John, “terribly.” But as the production continued Claflin was able to pull from contemporary musicians including James Petralli from White Denim, “I don’t do a very good impression of him at all. But that was sort of my guide. And then I got more confident with it and started playing around with my own style,” Claflin said.
While the story was first inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the cast and crew incorporated rock singers that were in the band’s orbit during the 1970s, with the help and inspiration from more contemporaries than fans might think.