Chapter no 5

Daisy Jones and The Six

‌197 4—t9 7 5



By 1974, Daisy Jones had refused to show up to any of her recording sessions at the Record Plant in West Hollywood and was in breach of contract with Runner Records.

Meanwhile, Simone Jackson, now signed with Supersight Records, was finding international success with her R & B dance hits, which would come to be seen as classics of the protodisco genre. With her songs “The Love Drug” and “Make Me Move,” Simone was topping the dance club charts in France and Germany.

As Simone set out to tour Europe the summer of ’74, Daisy was growing more and more restless.

Daisy: I was spending my days getting sunburns and my nights getting high. I’d stopped writing songs because I didn’t see a point to it if no one would let me record them.

Hank was checking on me every day, pretending he was doting on me but really just trying to convince me to get to the studio, like I was some sort of prize horse that wouldn’t race.

Then one day, Teddy Price shows up at my door. He was put in charge of me, I guess. He was supposed to convince me to show up to the studio. Teddy was probably in his forties or fifties around then, British guy, really charming, kind of paternal.

I open the door to see him on my doorstep and he doesn’t even say hello. He says, “Let’s cut the crap, Daisy. You need to record this album or Runner’s taking you to court.”

I said, “I don’t care about any of that. They can take their money back, get me kicked out of here if they want. I’ll live in a cardboard box.” I was very annoying. I had no idea what it meant to truly suffer.

Teddy said, “Just get in the studio, love. How hard is that?”

I told him, “I want to write my own stuff.” I think I even crossed my arms in front of my chest like a child.

He said, “I’ve read your stuff. Some of it’s really good. But you don’t have a single song that’s finished. You don’t have anything ready to be recorded.” He said I should fulfill my contract with Runner and he would help me get my songs to a point where I could release an album of my own stuff. He called it “a goal for us all to work toward.”

I said, “I want to release my own stuff now.

And that’s when he got testy with me. He said, “Do you want to be a professional groupie? Is that what you want? Because the way it looks from here is that you have a chance to do something of your own. And you’d rather just end up pregnant by Bowie.”

Let me take this opportunity to be clear about one thing: I never slept with David Bowie. At least, I’m pretty sure I didn’t.

I said, “I am an artist. So you either let me record the album I want or I’m not showing up. Ever.”

Teddy said, “Daisy, someone who insists on the perfect conditions to make art isn’t an artist. They’re an asshole.”

I shut the door in his face.

And sometime later that day, I opened up my songbook and I started reading. I hated to admit it but I could see what he was saying. I had good lines but I didn’t have anything polished from beginning to end.

The way I was working then, I’d have a loose melody in my head and I’d come up with lyrics to it and then I’d move on. I didn’t work on my songs after one or two rounds.

I was sitting in the living room of my cottage, looking out the window, my songbook in my lap, realizing that if I didn’t start trying—I mean being willing to squeeze out my own blood, sweat, and tears for what I wanted—I’d never be anything, never matter much to anybody.

I called Teddy a few days later, I said, “I’ll record your album.

I’ll do it.”

And he said, “It’s your album.” And I realized he was right.

The album didn’t have to be exactly my way for it to still be mine.

Simone: One day, when I was back in town, I went over to Daisy’s place at the Marmont and I was in the kitchen and I saw one piece of paper, with a bunch of lyrics scribbled on it, taped to the fridge.

I said, “What’s this?”

Daisy said, “It is my song that I’m working on.” I said, “Don’t you normally have dozens?”

She shook her head and said, “I’m trying to get this one just right.”

Daisy: It was a big lesson for me when I was young—being given things versus earning them. I was so used to being given things that I didn’t know how important it is for your soul to earn them.

If I can thank Teddy Price for anything—and to be honest, I have to thank him for a lot of things—but if I had to pick one it’s that he made me earn something.

And that’s what I did. I showed up at the studio, I tried to stay relatively sober, and I sang the songs they told me to sing. I didn’t sing them the way they wanted all the time, I gave a little pushback—and I do think the album is better for my having held on to a little bit of my own style. But I did what was asked of me. I played the game.

And when we were done, ten ballads in a pretty little package, Teddy said, “How do you feel?”

And I told him I felt like I’d made something that wasn’t exactly what I’d envisioned, but it was maybe good in its own right. I said it felt like me but it didn’t feel like me and I had no idea whether it was brilliant or awful or somewhere in between. And Teddy laughed and said I sounded like an artist. I liked that.

I asked him what we should call it and he said he didn’t know. I said, “I want to call it First. Because I plan on making a lot more of these.”

Nick Harris: Daisy Jones put out First at the beginning of 1975. They marketed her as a Dusty Springfield wannabe. On the cover, she’s looking in a mirror placed over a pale yellow background.

It wasn’t groundbreaking material, by any means. But looking back on it, you can start to see the grit and the edge under the surface.

Her first single, a version of “One Fine Day,” was more complex than most other takes of the song, and her second single

—she recorded a take of “My Way Down”—was warmly received.

I mean, the album is fairly middle of the road but it did what it needed to do. People knew her name. She did a spot on American Bandstand, she did a great spread in Circus with her trademark hoop earrings.

She was gorgeous and outspoken and interesting. The music wasn’t there yet but…you knew Daisy Jones was heading somewhere. Her moment was coming.

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