By Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 23, 2023
Presented as an oral history of a fictional 1970s band, Daisy Jones & The Six is said to draw inspiration from Fleetwood Mac—both for the folk-rock vibes and the interpersonal drama. It's an arresting read and we're excited for the March 3 debut of the long-awaited series. If you're looking for more music-inspired entertainment, here are some books and shows we recommend.
Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie
Based loosely on the love affair between Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, this novel transports readers to the dreamy, hedonism of the early 70s music scene. When folk rock star Jesse Reid crashes his motorcycle on the way to the Bayleen Island Folk Fest, local singer-songwriter Jane Quinn is asked to step in.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
After Steph is murdered, his grieving friends decide his tracks deserve to be remembered and celebrated. The Brooklyn teens promote his music as the work of a mysterious, fictitious rap artist: the Architect. Soon everyone wants a piece of him and it gets harder and harder to hide the truth.
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
Set in 1970s Baltimore, this coming-of-age novel centers around a shy, bookish fourteen-year-old working as a nanny for the daughter of a local psychiatrist. She finds herself caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive doctor's household, including the famous rock star he's treating.
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967 and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet, and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief, blazing journey. This kaleidoscopic novel imagines the band's fleeting, whirlwind trip into music history.
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
1970s Detroit: Opal is a fiercely independent young Afro-punk artist who wants to be a star. When aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville discovers her at a bar's amateur night, the two form an unlikely rock duo. This novel chronicles their incredible rise to fame and their catastrophic breakup.
Paint it Black by Janet Fitch
Like Daisy Jones & The Six, this atmospheric, intense story takes place amidst the LA rock scene. Romance turns tragic when Josie's lover, Michael, dies suddenly. As she struggles to understand his death, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother who blames Josie for her son's torment.
Meet Me in the Bathroom by Lizzie Goodman
This intriguing oral history documents the post-9/11 decline of the old-guard music industry and the rebirth of the New York City rock scene, led by iconoclastic rock bands like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend.
Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
Blade never wants to be a washed-up rock star, thanks to his father's demonstration of just how pathetic that can look. But he can't deny the music that lives inside him. This powerful novel-in-verse is the story of a young Black man searching for answers and exploring what it means to finally go home.
Fast Lane by Kristen Ashley
With an interview storytelling style similar to that of Daisy Jones & The Six, this novel chronicles the formation and experiences of The Roadmasters, a rock band led by Preacher McCade. At the center of it all, is Lyla, Preacher's muse, the love of his life, and the band's moral compass.
Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield
Mix tapes: Press play, and you're instantly transported to another time in your life. For Rolling Stone editor Sheffield, that time was one of miraculous love and unbearable grief. A time that spanned seven years, it started when he met the girl of his dreams, and ended when he watched her die in his arms.
Fans have been waiting a long time for this buzzy Prime Video series, which faced significant delays due to Covid. Here are some tune-fueled shows to fill your airwaves in the meantime.
This semi-autobiographical film, written and directed by Cameron Crowe, chronicles the experiences of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone magazine and touring with a fictitious 1970s rock band. The film received critical acclaim and won a Grammy Award for its soundtrack.
Based on the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle, this 1991 musical comedy-drama tells the story of a young Dubliner who assembles a group of working-class youths to form a band performing cover hits of 1960s American soul music.
Inspired by a true story, this film follows four Yorta Yorta (Aboriginal Australian) young women who are discovered by a talent scout (Chris O'Dowd), and form a girl group named The Sapphires. Traveling to Vietnam in 1968 to sing for the troops, they experience love, friendship, and war.
This 2006 film, based on a Broadway musical, traces the history and evolution of American R & B music during the 1960s and '70s through the eyes of a Detroit girl group. The glittering cast includes such heavy hitters as Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, and Danny Glover.
A Star is Born
Starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, this award-winning 2018 film is only the latest iteration of this musical romantic drama. The story follows an alcoholic musician who discovers and falls in love with a young singer. Three previous versions came out in 1937, 1954, and 1976.
That Thing You Do
Tom Hanks wrote, directed, and co-starred in this refreshing, big-hearted comedy that captures the overnight triumph of an American rock band in the glory days of rock 'n' roll. It's the story of The Wonders, a band catapulted to fame when their hit song skyrockets to the top of the charts.
We love this series for its endless drama. Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) is the reigning Queen of Country, while hot young diva Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) is poised to knock her off her throne. With a strong supporting cast, packing some serious musical talent, the soundtrack is terrific.
An epic musical fantasy about the story of Elton John's breakthrough years, this film follows his transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar. Set to Elton John's most beloved songs, it's the story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.
In this film by writer-director John Carney (Once), Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners. When he lands a deal with a major label, the trappings of his newfound fame test the relationship and send them on different musical paths.
This excellent biopic chronicles the life of Freddie Mercury of Queen, tracing the rise and fall of the iconic band and its singularly sensational frontman. It offers a behind-the-scenes look into the experience of making music and navigating the volatility of superstardom.
As always, we love hearing from you. So let us know if you have any recommendations for music-inspired entertainment, please let us know. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.