Chapter no 10

Daisy Jones and The Six

Rod: It started like any other show, really. We had it down to a fine art. The lights went up, the band went out there. Graham played the opening of “This Could Get Ugly” and the crowd started screaming.

Billy: Camila was on the side of the stage. She let Julia stay up late. The twins were back at the hotel with the babysitter. I remember looking out onto the side, behind the curtains, and seeing Camila there, holding Julia on her hip. Camila’s hair was down to her waist, practically, by that point. And it was normally brown but the summer had made it lighten up a bit, it looked more gold. The two of them—Camila and Julia—had earplugs in their ears. These bright orange things poking out of either side of their heads. I smiled at them and Camila smiled back at me. Such a gorgeous smile. Her incisors were flat. Isn’t that funny? Everyone’s incisors are pointed. But hers were kind of flat. And it made her smile perfect. It was a straight line. Her smile always put me at ease.

And that night, in Chicago, when she smiled at me from the side of the stage…for that brief moment, I thought, Everything is going to be okay.

Daisy: It killed me. To look at him look at her. I can’t think of any two things that make you quite as self-absorbed as addiction and heartbreak. I had a selfish heart. I didn’t care about anyone or anything but my own pain. My own need. My own aching. I’d have made anyone hurt if it could have taken some of mine away. It’s just how sick I was.

Billy: We played everything. The way we normally did. We did “Young Stars” and “Chasing the Night” and “Turn It Off.” But it didn’t feel right. It felt…it felt like the wheels were coming off.

Warren: Karen and Graham seemed like maybe they were mad at each other. Pete seemed checked out. Eddie had been complaining about Billy—but what else was new?

Daisy: Someone in the front had a sign that said, “Honeycomb.”

Billy: People requested “Honeycomb” a lot on that tour. And I usually ignored it. I just didn’t want to sing it. But I knew that Daisy liked that song, I knew she had been proud of that song. And…I don’t know what came over me but I said into the mike, “Do you guys want to hear ‘Honeycomb’?”

Graham: I was sleepwalking through that show. I was there but I wasn’t there.

Karen: I just wanted to get through it and go back to my hotel. I just wanted some quiet. I didn’t want…I didn’t want to be up on that stage watching Graham watch me, feeling his judgment.

Warren: When Billy said “Honeycomb,” the whole place sounded like thunder.

Eddie: We’re all just here to perform the way Billy wants us to, right? We don’t need to be told we might play a song we haven’t played in a year.

Daisy: What do you say to a roaring crowd? Do you say no? Of course not.

Billy: Daisy said, “All right, let’s do it.” I got up to her mike and the moment I did it, I regretted it. I could tell she didn’t want me that close. But I couldn’t leave. I had to make it look like everything was okay.

Daisy: He smelled like pine and musk. His hair was about half an inch too long, you could see it hanging behind his ears. His eyes were clear, and green as ever.

People say it’s hard to be away from the people you love but it was so hard to be right next to him.

Billy: It’s sometimes difficult to say what I knew and when I knew it. It’s…it’s all a mess in my memory. It’s hard to parse out, I guess. What happened when or why I did what I did. Hindsight bias. But I do remember distinctly that Daisy was wearing a white dress. She had her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She had big hoop earrings on. Her bracelets. And I looked at her, just before we started singing, and I think—I really do think this—I think I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my life. In that way that you appreciate things more acutely…I mean…you appreciate people more acutely when they are fleeting, right? And I think I knew she was fleeting. I think I knew she was leaving. I don’t know how I knew. But I feel like I knew. I probably didn’t know. It just feels like it.

So I guess what I’m saying is, when we started singing “Honeycomb,” I either knew I was losing her or I didn’t. And I either knew I’d loved her or I didn’t. And I either appreciated her, for all she was in that moment…or maybe I didn’t.

Daisy: I started singing and I looked at him. And he looked at me. And, you know what? For three minutes, I think I forgot we were performing for twenty thousand people. I forgot his family was standing there. I forgot we were singers in a band. I just existed. For three minutes. Singing to the man I loved.

Billy: The right song, at the right time, with the right person…

Daisy: And then right before the end of the song, I looked over to the side of the stage to see Camila standing there.

Billy: And I just…[pauses] God, I was so frayed at the edges.

Daisy: And I knew he wasn’t mine.

He was hers.

And then I…I just did it. I sang the song as Billy originally wrote it. No questions.

“The life we want will wait for us/we will live to see the lights coming off the bay/and you will hold me, you will hold me, you will hold me/until that day.” It was the hardest line I’ve ever had to get through.

Billy: When I heard her, singing the lines as I originally wrote them, singing about this future that Camila and I would have… There had been so much doubt in my heart. So much doubt in myself that I could keep going down the good road I was on. And I…[breathes deeply] Those lyrics. That small gesture. For one moment, Daisy didn’t remind me that I might fail. She sang the song like she knew I’d succeed. Daisy did that. Daisy. I didn’t know how much I needed it until she gave it to me. And it should have just made me feel better but it hurt, too.

Because if I was the man I wanted to be—if I could give Camila the life I’d promised her—well, I mean…there was loss in that, too.

Daisy: I fell in love with the wrong guy who was exactly the right guy. And I had made decisions time and time again that made it worse and never made it better. And I’d finally pushed myself right over the edge.

Billy: When we got off the stage, I turned to Daisy and I didn’t have any words. She smiled at me but it was one of those smiles that isn’t a smile at all. And then she walked away. And my heart sank.

It just became so perfectly clear to me that I had been holding on tightly to the possibility. The possibility of Daisy.

And suddenly, I was having a very hard time with the idea of letting that go. Of saying, “Never.”

Daisy: I saw Billy Dunne as he was coming off the stage and I didn’t trust myself to say a single word to him. I couldn’t be around him. So I waved goodbye and I left.

Karen: After we got offstage, I accidentally bumped into Graham and I said, “Sorry,” and he said, “You’ve got about a million things to be sorry for.”

Graham: I was angry.

Karen: He seemed to think that his pain was the only pain that mattered.

Graham: I started screaming at her. I know that I called her names.

Karen: He didn’t have to go through what I’d gone through. And I knew he was hurting. But what right did he have? To yell at me?

Warren: I got backstage and Karen and Graham were screaming at each other.

Eddie: I grabbed Karen’s hand before she could hit Graham.

Rod: I brought Karen back into one of the rooms backstage. Somebody grabbed Graham. Kept them apart.

Graham: I tried to find Billy. To talk to him. I needed somebody to talk to. When I found him in the lobby at the hotel after the show, I said, “Man, I need your help.” And he cut me off. He said he didn’t have time.

Billy: Camila and Julia had gone upstairs and I’d hung back. I was standing in the hotel lobby. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. There was so much going on in my head. And then, before I knew it I was…[sighs] I was on my way to the hotel bar. I was walking, one foot in front of the other, to the bar to get a tequila. That’s what I was doing. That’s what I was doing. I was walking to the bar to get a drink when Graham came in to find me.

Graham: He blew me off. I said, “It’s important. For once, please. I gotta talk to you.”

Billy: I couldn’t do anything but focus on what I was doing. A voice was calling to me and telling me to go get a tequila. And that’s what I was going to do. I couldn’t help anyone else. I couldn’t do anything for anybody.

Graham: I’m standing there in the lobby and I know I look like I’m struggling. I’m on the verge of tears. I don’t cry. I don’t think I’ve cried more than twice in my life. Once when my mom died in ’ninety-four and the other…The point is I needed my brother. I needed my brother.

Billy: He grabbed my shirt and he said, “With all the shit I’ve done for you our entire lives, you don’t have five fucking minutes to talk to me?” I took his hand and I pulled it off of me and I told him to go away. And he did.

Graham: You shouldn’t spend that much time with your brother. You just shouldn’t. You shouldn’t sleep with your bandmates and you shouldn’t work with your brother and there was a lot of shit that if I had it to do over, I would do differently.

Karen: I went back to the hotel and I slammed my door shut and I sat on the bed and I cried.

Warren: Eddie, Pete, Rod, and I smoked a spliff after the show. Everybody else was nowhere to be found.

Karen: Then I went to Graham’s room and I knocked on the door.

Graham: I understood why we couldn’t have a baby. I did. But I felt so alone. In what I’d lost. I was the only one who felt like we’d lost something. I was the only one grieving. And I was mad at her about that.

Karen: He answered the door and I stood there and I thought, Why did I come here? There was nothing I could say to him to fix anything.

Graham: Why couldn’t she see the future I saw?

Karen: I said, “You don’t understand me. You expect me to be someone I’m not.”

And Graham said, “You never loved me the way I loved you.” And both of those things were true.

Graham: What could we do? How do you come back from that?

Karen: I leaned into him and I pushed my body against his. He wouldn’t hug me at first. He wouldn’t put his arms around me. But then he did.

Graham: She felt warm in my arms. But for some reason I remember her hands being cold. I don’t know how long we stayed like that.

Karen: Sometimes I wonder, if I was Graham, maybe I would have wanted a baby, too. If I knew someone else would raise it, someone else would let go of their own dreams, someone else would sacrifice and keep everything together while I went and did what I wanted and came back on weekends…maybe then I might want a baby, too.

Although, I don’t know. I’m still not sure that I would.

I guess what I’m saying is that I wasn’t mad at Graham. For not understanding me. And, ultimately, I don’t think he was all that mad at me, for what I wanted.

Graham: We hurt each other very badly. And that is my biggest regret. That is my very biggest regret. Because I loved her with all of my fucking soul. To this day, there is a piece of me that still loves her. And there is a piece of me that will never forgive her.

Karen: Even now, talking about him feels like poking a bruise.

Graham: I knew when I went to bed that night, I couldn’t be in a band with her.

Karen: There was no way we could be around each other, day to day, anymore. Maybe stronger people could have. We couldn’t.

Billy: I sat down at the bar and I ordered a tequila neat. And it arrived. And I sat there and I picked it up and swirled it around and I sniffed it. And then two women came up to me, and asked me to sign autographs for them. Said they’d never seen anything like Daisy and me. I signed two cocktail napkins and pretty soon after, they left.

Daisy: It was the middle of the night when I got back to the hotel. I don’t remember what I’d been doing. I just remember that I was avoiding Billy. I think I probably walked around the city or something. I was still plastered when I got back to the lobby. And I turned right, to head for the bar. I remember thinking I didn’t even want to be conscious.

But I must not have realized where I was going or what I was doing because I ended up walking straight into the elevator. I thought, All right, guess I’ll take my reds and go to bed. But when I got to my room, I couldn’t get my key in the door. I kept trying but I couldn’t get it to fit. I think I was making a lot of noise.

And then I thought I heard a child’s voice.

Billy: I grabbed the glass—the tequila, I mean—I grabbed it again and I stared at it. And I thought about what it would taste like. Clean smoke. I was lost in it when the guy next to me went, “Hey, you’re Billy Dunne, aren’t you?” And I put it down.

Daisy: I was stuck out there, in the hallway. Unable to get into my room. And I slumped down on the ground and I started crying.

Billy: I said, “Yes, I am.”

And the man said, “My girl’s got a real thing for you.” I said, “Sorry about that.”

And he said, “What are you doing down here in a bar by yourself? You seem like a guy who could be with any woman in the world.”

I said, “Sometimes you have to be alone.”

Daisy: I looked down the hall and I realized it was…well…out into the hallway comes Camila and she’s holding Julia…

Author: Wait a minute.

Author’s Note: While I have made a concerted effort to remove myself from the narrative, I have included here a verbatim transcript of one conversation I had with Daisy Jones because I am, in fact, the only one that can corroborate this essential piece of Daisy’s story.

Daisy: Yeah.

Author: You were wearing a white dress.

Daisy: Yeah.

Author: And you were sitting in the hallway. You couldn’t open your own door.

Daisy: Yeah.

Author: And my mom…

Daisy: Yeah, your mom opened the door for me.

Author: I remember this. I was with her. I had woken up and had a bad dream.

Daisy: You were about five or so, I think. So…you’ve got a good memory.

Author: I mean, I completely forgot about it but now that you’re saying it, I do remember being there with you. But my mom never mentioned anything. I wonder why she didn’t talk about this with me.

Daisy: I always got the impression that if the story were to be told, Camila would consider it mine to tell.

Author: Oh, okay. All right, well, then what happened?

Daisy: Your mom…well, Camila…or…should I keep saying everyone’s names? You said earlier that I had to always say her name.

Author: Yeah, go ahead. Call me Julia. Call my mom Camila. Just as we’ve been doing.

This marks the end of the transcript.

Daisy: Camila came into the hallway and she was holding Julia. And she said, “Do you need help?” I didn’t understand why she was being so nice.

I said yes and she took my key and she let me into my room. And she walked in with me. She put Julia down on the bed. She told me to sit down and she brought me a glass of water. I said, “You can go. I’ll be okay.”

And she said, “No, you won’t.”

I remember feeling really relieved. That she could see through me. That she wasn’t going to leave. She sat down next to me. And she didn’t mince words. She knew exactly what was happening.

Exactly what she wanted to say. I was…unnerved. I felt so out of control and Camila was so in control.

She said, “Daisy, he loves you. You know that he loves you. I know that he loves you. But he’s not going to leave me.”

Billy: I said to the guy, “You know, sometimes you need to clear your mind a bit.”

He said, “What kind of problems can a guy like you have?”

He asked me how much money I had and I just told him. I just told him my net worth right there.

He said, “You’ll pardon me if I don’t feel too bad for you.”

I nodded my head. I understood. I picked the drink back up and I put it to my lips.

Daisy: Camila said, “What I need you to know is that I’m not going to give up on him. I’m not going to let him leave me. I will see him through this. The way I’ve seen him through the rest. We are bigger than this. We are bigger than you.”

Julia got under the covers of one side of the bed and I looked at her.

Camila said to me, “I wish Billy didn’t love anyone else. But do you know what I decided a long time ago? I decided I don’t need perfect love and I don’t need a perfect husband and I don’t need perfect kids and a perfect life and all that. I want mine. I want my love, my husband, my kidsmy life.

“I’m not perfect. I’ll never be perfect. I don’t expect anything to be perfect. But things don’t have to be perfect to be strong. So 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.”

Billy: I took a taste of it. Not even a sip, but a taste. It took everything I had not to gulp it down, not to throw it into the back of my throat. It tasted like comfort and freedom. That’s how it gets you—what it feels like is the opposite of what it is. But my whole body went slack, from the relief of it being on the tip of my tongue.

Daisy: Camila got up and poured me another glass of water and she got me a tissue. Which is when I realized I was sobbing. She said, “Daisy, I don’t know you very well, but I know you have a great heart and you’re a good person. I know my daughter wants to grow up and be you one day. So I don’t want you to get hurt. I want good things for you. I want you to be happy. I really mean that. You probably think I don’t but I do.” She said she just wanted to make one thing really clear. “I can’t just sit here and watch you and Billy torture each other. I don’t want that for the man I love. I don’t want that for the father of my children. And I don’t want it for you.”

I said, “I don’t want it for me either.”

Billy: The man next to me, the one with the girlfriend, he was watching me. He had a full beer in his glass and he was sipping it, like you can sip something you’re indifferent to.

I glanced at him and then…I did it. I drank it.

Maybe half of a finger or so. And then I held on to the glass.

Like someone was going to try to steal it from me.

He said, “Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it is possible for a guy like you to be messed up about something.” I told myself to put down the glass. Just put it down.

Daisy: 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.”

Billy: I couldn’t put it down. My hand held on to the glass. And I thought, I wish this man would take it out of my hands before I finish it. Just take it out of my hands and throw it across the room.

Daisy: I was quiet for a while, trying to process what Camila was saying. And then she said, “I think it’s time for you to go. But whatever you decide to do, Daisy, just know I’m rooting for you. I want you to get clean, take care of yourself. That’s what I’m rooting for.”

I finally said, “Why do you care about what happens to me?”

She said, “I think almost everybody on this planet cares about you.”

I shook my head and I said, “They like me, they don’t care about me.”

She said, “No, you got that wrong.” She was quiet for a moment. Then she said, “Do you want to know something I’ve never told Billy? ‘A Hope Like You’ is my favorite song. Not my favorite Six song but my favorite song, period. It reminds me of the first boy I ever loved. His name was Greg and I knew from the moment I met him that he was never going to love me as much as I loved him and I wanted him anyway. And just like I knew he would, he broke my heart in a million pieces. And when I first heard the lyrics to that song, you put me right back there. Right back in the middle of my first love. With all the heartbreak and the hope and the tenderness. You made it feel new and real, all over again. You did that. You wrote a beautiful song about wanting something you know you’ll never have and wanting to have it anyway. I care about you because when I see you, I see an incredible writer—who suffers from the very thing that the man I love suffers from. The two of you think you’re lost souls, but you’re what everybody is looking for.”

I let it all sink in. I really listened to her. And then I said, “That song isn’t…it’s not about Billy. If that’s what you were thinking. It’s about wanting to have a family, kids. And knowing you’d be awful at it. Feeling like you’re too much of a fuckup to deserve anything like that. But wanting it anyway. And I look at you and everything that you are and I know it’s everything I can never be.”

Camila looked at me for a moment and then she said something that changed my life. She said, “Don’t count yourself out this early, Daisy. You’re all sorts of things you don’t even know

yet.” That really stuck with me. That who I was wasn’t entirely already determined. That there was still hope for me. That a woman like Camila Dunne thought I was…

Camila Dunne thought I was worth saving.

Billy: The man looked at my hand and it seemed like he was looking at my wedding ring and he said, “Are you married?” I nodded. He laughed and said his girlfriend would be crushed. Then he said, “You got kids?” That caught my attention, caught me off guard. I nodded again. He said, “Got any pictures?” And I thought of the photos, in my wallet, of Julia and Susana and Maria.

And I put the glass down.

It wasn’t easy. I fought for every inch, as my hand moved closer to the bar it felt like it was moving through wet cement. But I did it. I put the glass down.

Daisy: Sometime in the early morning, Camila picked Julia up out of my bed, and she grabbed my hand. I grabbed her hand back. She said, “Good night, Daisy.”

And I said, “Good night.” Julia was slumped into Camila’s chest, fast asleep. And she readjusted herself a little bit and pushed her head into Camila’s neck, like it was the safest, softest place she’d ever been.

Billy: I pulled out my wallet and I showed the man the photos I had of my daughters. And as I did, he took my glass from in front of me and put it on the bar on the other side of him.

He said, “Gorgeous girls.” I said, “Thank you.”

And he said, “Makes you want to live to fight another day, doesn’t it?”

And I said, “Yes. It does.”

He looked at me and I stared at the glass and…I felt strong enough. To walk away from it. And I didn’t know how much longer

I’d feel that strong. So I put down a twenty and I said, “Thank you.”

He said, “Don’t mention it.” And then he picked up my twenty and handed it back to me and said, “Just let me buy it, all right? So I can know I did something for somebody once.”

I took the money back and he shook my hand. And I left.

Daisy: I opened the door for her and she slipped out into the bright hallway with Julia. She said, “No offense, but I hope I never see you again.” And, to be honest, it stung. But I understood what she meant. When she got to her door, Camila looked back at me and it was the first time I realized she was nervous. Her fingers were shaking as she put her key in the door.

And then she slipped into her room. And she was gone.

Billy: I went back up to my hotel room and I shut the door behind me and slumped against it. Camila and the girls were asleep and I just watched them. And then I broke down crying, right there on the floor. And I thought to myself, That’s it. I’m doneIt’s gonna come down to rock ’n’ roll or my life and I’m not choosing rock ’n’ roll.

Daisy: I was on the next flight out.

Rod: The next morning, I see Daisy’s gone and she’s left a note saying she’s left the band and would never come back.

Warren: I woke up in the morning and Daisy had left. Graham and Karen didn’t want to be in the same room with each other. Then Billy comes onto the white bus and announces he’s taking a break from touring. So Rod has to cancel the rest of the tour.

Rod: I can’t fulfill a tour without Billy or Daisy.

Warren: Eddie got mad—flew off the handle.

Eddie: There’s only so long you can live your life while it’s being dictated to you by somebody else, you understand? And I don’t care how much money is in it for me, I’m not somebody’s lackey. I’m not some indentured servant. I’m a person. And I deserve a say in my own career.

Warren: Pete said he was leaving regardless of what happened.

Graham: It all just started crumbling down.

Rod: Daisy was MIA. Billy wanted to shut the whole thing down himself. Pete was out. Eddie refused to work with Billy. Graham and Karen wouldn’t speak to each other. I went to Graham and I said, “Talk some sense into Billy.”

And Graham told me he wouldn’t “say shit to Billy.”

And I thought, If the bottom falls out here, what am I going to do? I thought about signing other bands and doing this all over and taking another set of screwed-up people and trying to make their careers and I just…I don’t know.

Warren: I appeared to be the only person who didn’t have his panties in a twist about something.

But we’d had a good ride. And if it was over…I guess, there wasn’t much I could do about that, was there? So, so be it.

Billy: I never knew why Daisy left, exactly. What it was about that night, that show, that made her leave. But the way I saw it: I didn’t know how to write a good album without Teddy. And I didn’t know how to write a hit album without Daisy. And I couldn’t do it with either of them. And I wasn’t willing to let any of it cost me a fraction of what it had already cost me.

I turned to everybody on the bus and I said, “It’s over. The whole thing. It’s over.”

And not one person in the band—not Graham, not Karen, not Eddie or Pete, not even Warren or Rod—tried to convince me otherwise.

Karen: When Daisy left, it was like the Ferris wheel stopped turning and we all got off.

Daisy: I left the band because Camila Dunne asked me to. And it was the very best thing I’ve ever done. It is how I saved myself. Because your mother saved me from myself.

I may not have known your mother very well. But I promise you, I loved her very much.

And I was so very sorry to hear she passed away.

Author’s Note: My mother, Camila Dunne, died before the completion of this book.

I spoke with her a number of times during the course of my research, but I could not hear her point of view of the events that took place in Chicago on July 12 and 13 due to the fact that I learned the full scope of them only after her passing.

She died on December 1, 2o12, at the age of sixty-three from heart failure, a complication of lupus. It brings me great comfort to be able to report that she died surrounded by our family, my father, Billy Dunne, at her side.

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