Chapter no 8

Daisy Jones and The Six

197 7—19 7 B



In August 1977, the seven members of the band entered Wally Heider’s Studio 3 to begin the process of recording their third album.

Graham: Karen and I left her place that morning, heading over to Heider. I said to her, just as we walked out of the door, “Can’t we just drive over together?”

She said she didn’t want people thinking we were sleeping together.

I said, “But we are sleeping together.” She still made us take two cars.

Karen: You know how easy it is to screw up your entire life by sleeping with somebody in your own band?

Eddie: Pete and I drove over that morning. By that point, I think he and I were the only two still staying at the place in Topanga Canyon. Before he’d gotten back from the East Coast, I’d had the place all to myself.

I said to Pete on the way there, I said, “This should be interesting.”

And he told me to not take it all so seriously. He said, “It’s just rock ’n’ roll. None of this really matters.”

Daisy: When we all met up at the studio that first day, I brought this basket of cakes that someone had sent over to my place at the Marmont and my notebook full of songs. I was ready.

Eddie: Daisy showed up in a thin tank top and these tiny cutoff shorts. Barely covered anything.

Daisy: I run hot and I always have. I am not going to sit around sweating my ass off just so men can feel more comfortable. It’s not my responsibility to not turn them on. It’s their responsibility to not be an asshole.

Billy: I had written about ten or twelve songs so far. All of them in great shape. But I knew I couldn’t go in there and tell them that I’d written the album already. Like I did with the other two albums. I couldn’t say that.

Graham: It was kind of funny, to be honest. Watching Billy put on this act like he gave a shit what anyone else wanted on the album. God bless him. You could see the effort he was putting in. Talking all slow, thinking about his words.

Daisy: We were sitting around and I handed over my notebook. I said, “I’ve got a lot of good stuff in here to start from.” I thought maybe everyone could read it all and we could discuss it from there.

Billy: Here I am, holding back my twelve great songs, so that no one thinks I’m trying to control things, and Daisy’s just walking into a band she’s brand new to, expecting everyone to read a whole journal of ideas.

Daisy: He didn’t even flip through it.

Billy: If Daisy and I were going to write an album together, it needed to be just the two of us. You can’t give seven people a say in the words. Somebody had to take charge and control the process.

So I said, “Look, I wrote this song ‘Aurora.’ It’s the one I really believe in out of everything I’m working on for this album. The rest is up to us all. Daisy and I will write some songs and everyone will take a crack at the arrangements and once we’ve got a slate of great songs that we all love, we’ll narrow it down to the best of the best.”

Karen: Maybe it’s revisionist history, but I think when Billy played “Aurora” it felt clear that we could build an album around it.

Graham: We were all on board with “Aurora” as a great place to start—it was a great frickin’ song. After that, Daisy started talking about ideas for the album as a whole.

Warren: I wanted no part in writing. That morning felt like a waste of my time. Everyone’s sitting around, talking about shit I don’t care about. I finally just said, “Don’t you all think that Daisy and Billy should go write the songs and come to us when they have them?”

Karen: Teddy was really decisive about it. He handed Billy the keys to his guesthouse and said, “You two pop on over to my place, set up in my guesthouse, and get to writing. Everyone else is going to get to work on this new one.”

Eddie: Billy didn’t want us composing anything for that song without him. But he also didn’t want Daisy writing songs without him. So he had to choose whether he went with Daisy and got started writing or stayed with us and worked on the arrangement for his new song.

And he chose Daisy.

Billy: I got to Teddy’s pool house first and so I got settled. Made myself a cup of coffee, sat down, looked through my notes trying to decide what to show Daisy.

Daisy: By the time I opened the door, Billy’s already there, he’s got his notebook out to show me. Not so much as a hello. Just “Here, read my stuff.”

Billy: I told her the truth, I said, “I’ve got a lot of the album written already. Do you want to take a look at it and see where we can make adjustments together? See if maybe there’s some gaps

that we can fill in with some new stuff or the stuff you’ve written already?”

Daisy: I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was never gonna be easy with him, was it? I think I grabbed one of the bottles of wine I saw on Teddy’s counter and I opened it up and flopped myself down on the sofa and just started drinking it. I said, “Billy, that’s great that you’ve written a bunch of songs already. I have, too. But we’re writing this album together.”

Billy: The woman is drinking warm white wine before it’s even noon and trying to lecture me on how things should go. She hadn’t even read my songs yet. I handed my work over to her and I said, “Read it first before you go telling me I should throw it away.”

Daisy: I said, “Ditto then.” And I shoved my notebook in his face. I could tell he didn’t want to read it. But he knew he had to.

Billy: I read her stuff, and it wasn’t bad, but I thought it wasn’t The Six. She used so many biblical metaphors. So when she asked me what I thought, I told her that. I said, “We should start with my stuff as the backbone. We can refine it together.”

Daisy was sitting on the sofa with her feet up on the coffee table, which irked me. And then she said, “I’m not singing an entire album about your wife, Billy.”

Daisy: I really liked Camila. But “Señora” was about her. “Honeycomb” was about her. “Aurora” was about her. It was boring.

Billy: I said, “You’re writing the same song, too. We both know every song in this book is about the same thing.” Well, that got her upset. She put her hands on her hips and said, “What is that supposed to mean?”

And I said, “Every single one of these songs is about the pills in your pockets.”

Daisy: Billy got this smug look on his face—Billy had this face that he would make when he thought he was smarter than everyone in the room. I swear, I have nightmares still about that goddamn face. I said to him, “You just think everybody’s writing about dope ’cause you can’t have any.”

And he said, “You just go ahead and keep popping pills and writing songs about it. See where that gets you.”

I tossed his pages at him. I said, “Sorry we all can’t be sober and writing songs as interesting as wallpaper paste. Oh, here’s a song about how much I love my wife. And another! And another!”

He tried to tell me I was wrong but I said, “This whole pack of songs is about Camila. You can’t keep writing apology songs to your wife and making the band play them.”

Billy: So out of line.

Daisy: I said, “Good for you for finding some other shit to be addicted to. But it’s not my problem and it’s not the band’s problem and nobody wants to listen to it.” You could see it on his face. That he knew I was right.

Billy: She thought she was brilliant because she’d realized that I’d replaced my addictions. Like I didn’t already know that I clung to my love for my family to keep me sober. That just made me even more mad, that she thought she knew more about me than me.

I said, “You want to know your problem? You think you’re a poet but other than talking about getting high, you don’t have anything to say.”

Daisy: Billy’s one of those people who has a sharp tongue. He can build you up and he can take you down, too.

Billy: She said, “I don’t need this shit.” And she left.

Daisy: I started heading out to my car—getting more rip-roaring angry with every step I took. I had a cherry red Benz back then. I

loved that car. Until I crashed it by accident by leaving it in neutral on a hill.

Anyway, that day with Billy, I was headed out to that Benz and I had my keys in my hand and I’m ready to get as far away from him as I can and I realize that if I leave, Billy would just write the album himself. And I turned right back around and I said, “Oh, no you don’t, asshole.”

Billy: I was really surprised that she came back.

Daisy: I walked right into the pool house and I sat down on the couch and I said, “I’m not giving up my chance to write a great album just because of you. So here’s how it’s gonna go. You hate my stuff, I hate your stuff. So we’ll scrap it all, start from nothing.”

Billy said, “I’m not letting go of ‘Aurora.’ It’s going on the album.”

I said, “Fine.” And then I picked up one of his songs lying around where I’d thrown them and I shook it at him and I said, “But this shit isn’t.”

Billy: I think that was the first time I realized that there’s…There is no one more passionate about the work than Daisy. Daisy cared more than anybody. She was ready to put her whole soul into it. Regardless of how difficult I tried to make it.

And I kept thinking about Teddy telling me she was how we were going to sell out stadiums. So I put out my hand and I said, “Fine.” And we shook on it.

Daisy: Simone used to say that drugs make a person look old, but when I was shaking Billy’s hand—his eyes were already wrinkling at the corners, his skin was freckled, he looked weathered, and he couldn’t have been more than twenty-nine or thirty. I thought, It’s not drugs that make you look old, it’s sobering up.

Billy: It wasn’t very easy, thinking about writing together when we’d said what we’d said to each other.

Daisy: I told Billy I wanted to get lunch before we did much of anything. I wasn’t going to deal with the headache of trying to write with him before I had a burger. I told him I’d drive us to the Apple Pan.

Billy: I grabbed her keys just as she was about to get in her car and I told her I wasn’t letting her drive anywhere. She was half in the bag already.

Daisy: I grabbed my keys back and told him if he wanted to drive, we could take his car.

Billy: We got into my Firebird and I said, “Let’s go to El Carmen. It’s closer.”

And she said, “I’m going to the Apple Pan. You can go to El Carmen by yourself.”

I just could not believe she was being so goddamn difficult.

Daisy: I used to care when men called me difficult. I really did. Then I stopped. This way is better.

Billy: On the way there, I turned on the radio. Immediately, Daisy changed the station. I changed it back. She changed it again. I said, “It’s my car, for crying out loud.”

She said, “Well, they’re my ears.”

I finally put in an 8-track of the Breeze. I put on their song “Tiny Love.” Daisy started laughing.

I said, “What’s so funny?”

She said, “You like this song?”

Why would I put on a song I didn’t like?

Daisy: I said, “You don’t know anything about this song!”

He said, “What are you talking about?” He knew it was Wyatt Stone that wrote it, obviously. But he didn’t know the rest of it.

I said, “I dated Wyatt Stone. This is my song.”

Billy: I said, “You’re Tiny Love?” And Daisy started telling me this story about her and Wyatt and how she came up with those lines about “Big eyes, big soul/big heart, no control/but all she got to give is tiny love.” I loved the chorus of that song. I had always loved it.

Daisy: Billy listened to me. The whole way to the restaurant, as he drove, he was listening. For what felt like the first time since I met him.

Billy: If I had a great line like that, and someone else pretended it was theirs, I’d be pretty angry.

She made more sense to me after that. And, to be honest, it was harder to tell myself she had no talent. Because she clearly did. It was a real reality check. That voice that whispers in the back of your head, You have been acting like an asshole.

Daisy: It made me laugh. That to Billy I needed a reason to want an equal say in the art I created. I said, “Cool, man. Now that you dig it, maybe you can stop being such a dickhead.”

Billy: Daisy could really give you the grief you deserved. And if you took it in the spirit it was intended…she wasn’t so bad.

Daisy: We sat down at the counter and I ordered for both of us and then put the menus away. I just wanted to put Billy in his place a little bit. I wanted him to have to deal with me being in charge.

But of course, he couldn’t let it go, he said, “I was going to order the hickory burger, anyway.” I think I’ve rolled my eyes about five thousand more times in my life just on account of Billy Dunne.

Billy: After we both ordered, I decided to try a little game. I said, “How about I ask you a question, you ask me a question? No one can dodge the answers.”

Daisy: I told him I was an open book.

Billy: I said, “How many pills do you take a day?”

She looked around and fiddled with her straw. And then she turned to me and said, “No one can dodge the answer?”

And I said, “We have to be able to tell the truth to each other, to really be honest about ourselves. Otherwise, how can we ever write anything?”

Daisy: He was open to writing with me. That’s what I took from that.

Billy: I asked the question again. “How many pills do you take a day?”

She looked down and then back up at me and she said, “I don’t know.”

I was skeptical but she put her hands up and said, “No, really.

That’s the truth. I don’t know. I don’t keep track.” I said, “Don’t you think that’s a problem?” She said, “It’s my turn, isn’t it?”

Daisy: I said, “What makes Camila so great that you can’t write anything that isn’t about her?”

He was quiet for a really long time.

I said, “C’mon, now, you made me answer. You can’t weasel out of it.”

He said, “Would you wait a minute? I’m not trying to weasel out of anything. I’m trying to think about my answer.”

After another minute or two, he said, “I don’t think I am the person Camila believes I am. But I want to be that person so bad. And if I just stick with her, if I work every day to be the guy she sees, I’ve got the best chance at coming close to it.”

Billy: Daisy looked at me and said, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.” And I said, “What did I do to make you mad this time?”

And she said, “There’s just as much to hate about you as there is to like about you. And that’s annoying.”

Daisy: Then he said, “It’s my turn.” I said, “Out with it then.”

Billy: “When are you going to quit the pills?”

Daisy: I said, “Why are you so obsessed with the goddamn pills?”

Billy: I told her the truth. I said, “My father was a drunk who was never there for Graham and me. I never wanted to be that way. And then the first thing I do, my first act as a father, was to get all messed up in all the shit you’re messed up in—even heroin, too, I’m afraid—and I let my daughter down. Even missed her birth. I turned out to be exactly what I’ve always hated. If it wasn’t for Camila, I think I’d still be that way. I think I would have made all my own nightmares come true. That’s the kind of guy I am.”

Daisy: I said, “It’s like some of us are chasing after our nightmares the way other people chase dreams.”

He said, “That’s a song, right there.”

Billy: It wasn’t behind me. My addiction. I kept hoping it would feel like it was. Like I didn’t need to keep looking over my shoulder all the time. But that doesn’t really exist. At least not for me. It’s a fight you keep fighting, some times are easier than others. Daisy made it harder. She just did.

Daisy: I was paying the price for the parts of himself that he didn’t like.

Billy: She said, “If I was a teetotaler you’d like me more, huh?” And I said, “I’d like to be around you more. Yeah, probably.”

And Daisy said, “Well, you can just forget that. I don’t change for anybody.”

Daisy: I finished my burger and threw down some money and I got up to go. Billy said, “What are you doing?”

And I said, “We’re going back to Teddy’s. We’re gonna write that song about chasing our nightmares.”

Billy: I grabbed my keys and walked out after her.

Daisy: On the way back to Teddy’s, Billy was singing me this melody he’d had in his head. We were at a red light and he was tapping the steering wheel and humming along.

Billy: I had a Bo Diddley beat I was thinking of. Something I wanted to try.

Daisy: He said, “Can you work with that?”

I said I could work with anything. So when we got back to the pool house, I started sketching some ideas out. And he did, too. After about a half hour, I had stuff to show him but he said he needed more time. I kept hanging around, waiting for him to be done.

Billy: She was pacing around me. She wanted to show me what she was writing. I finally had to say, “Will you get the fuck out of here?”

And I…on account of how rude I’d been to her in the past I realized I needed to be clear that I just meant it the same way I’d say it to Graham or Karen, you know? I said, “Please, will you get the fuck out of here? Go get a donut or something.”

She said, “I ate a burger already.” That’s when I realized Daisy only ate one meal a day.

Daisy: I picked the lock to Teddy’s house, borrowed his girlfriend Yasmine’s bathing suit and a towel, and went for a swim. I was in there long enough to prune. And then I went back in, put the bathing suit in the wash, took a shower, and went back into the pool house and Billy was still sitting there, writing.

Billy: She told me what she did and I said, “That’s weird, Daisy. That you borrowed Yasmine’s bathing suit.” And Daisy just shrugged.

She said, “Would you have rather I skinny-dipped?”

Daisy: I took his pages from him and I gave him mine.

Billy: She had a lot of imagery of darkness, running into darkness, chasing darkness.

Daisy: When it came to the structure of the verses, his were better than mine. But he didn’t have a really fun chorus yet and I thought that I did. I showed him the part I’d written I liked the most and I sang it to him with his melody he’d given me. I could tell on his face, he knew it sounded good.

Billy: We went back and forth a lot on that song. Just hours of talking it out, playing with the melodies on the guitar.

Daisy: I don’t think any of our original lines made it into the final version.

Billy: But when we sang it—when we worked out the lyrics and who should sing what, and refined the melody of the vocal and that interplay between those two things—we started singing it together and fine-tuning it. You know what? I’ll tell you, it was a great little song.

Daisy: Teddy came in the door and he said, “What the hell are you two still doing here? It’s almost midnight.”

Billy: I did not realize how late it was.

Daisy: Teddy said, “Also, did you break into my house and use Yasmine’s bathing suit?”

I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “I’d love it if you didn’t do that again.”

Billy: I was going to leave then but I thought, You know what, let’s show Teddy what we’ve come up with. So Teddy sat down on the couch and we sat across from him.

I was saying, “This isn’t the final” and “We just came up with this.” And all that.

Daisy: I said, “Stop, Billy. It’s a good song. No disclaimers.”

Billy: We played it for Teddy and when we were done, he said, “This is what you two come up with when you’re on the same team?”

And we looked at each other and I said, “Uh, yeah?”

And he said, “Well, then, I’m a genius.” He sat there laughing, real proud of himself.

Daisy: It was like we all agreed not to discuss that Billy needed Teddy’s approval like a son needs his father’s.

Billy: I left Teddy’s that night and I rushed home because it was late and I was feeling guilty about it. I walked in the door and the kids were asleep and Camila was sitting in the rocking chair watching the TV on low volume and she looked up at me. I started apologizing and she said, “You’re sober, right?”

And I said, “Yeah, of course. I was just writing and I lost track of time.”

And that was it. Camila didn’t care that I hadn’t called her.

She just cared that I hadn’t relapsed. That was all.

Camila: It’s hard to explain, because I really do think it defies reason. But I knew him well enough to know that he could be trusted. And I knew that no matter what mistakes he made—no matter what mistakes I might make, too—that we would be fine.

I don’t know if I would have believed in that type of security before I had it. Before I chose to give it to Billy. And by giving it to

Billy, I gave it to myself, too. But saying to someone, “No matter what you do, we’re not over…” I don’t know. Something about that relaxed me.

Billy: All those weeks that Daisy and I worked on songs together, I’d work as late as I needed. I’d stay out with Daisy as long as we needed. And every night when I came home, Camila was in that chair. She’d get up when I got home and I’d sit down and then she’d sit in my lap and put her head on my chest and say, “How was your day?”

I’d tell her the highlights and I’d hear about her day and I’d hear about the girls. And I’d rock us back and forth until we went to sleep.

One night, I picked her up out of the rocking chair and I put her in bed and I said, “You don’t always have to wait up for me.”

She was half-asleep but she said, “I want to. I like to.”

And you know…no crowd cheering, no magazine cover ever made me feel even remotely as important as Camila. And I think the same goes for her. I really do. She liked having a man who wrote songs about her and carried her to bed.

Graham: When Billy was off writing with Daisy, it was the first time that the rest of us could be composing on our own.

Karen: “Aurora” was a great song with a great spine to it and we all had a lot of fun building it out.

Billy tended to want a more spartan keyboard. But I wanted to get into more atmospheric, lush sounds. So when we started working on “Aurora,” I came in with those sustained roots and fifths. I kept some of the melodic chords broken up a bit, to keep it moving. But I was pedaling a lot of the bass notes. Shifted from staccato to legato.

And because the keys shifted, that meant Pete shifted the bass a bit. Now it’s his bass that is keeping your foot tapping, the rhythm guitar is keeping you going.

Eddie: I wanted to do something a little faster, a little more propulsive. I was really into the Kinks’ new album. I wanted to move more in that direction. I thought Warren should hit harder on the drums, really using the drum and bass as counter-rhythms. Plus, I had this idea of a simple drumbeat for the intro.

We had it sounding really good.

Graham: When Billy checked in at the studio whatever day it was, he said he wanted to hear what we had so far on “Aurora.”

Eddie: We played it for him. I mean, we weren’t set up in the studio yet. Hadn’t recorded anything. But we got in there and played it out for him.

Billy: I never would have come up with what they came up with in a million years. I could barely even keep a neutral face as I was listening. It felt odd and wrong and uncomfortable. Like putting on someone else’s shoes.

Every bone in my body was saying, This is not me. This is not right. I need to fix this now.

Graham: I could tell he hated it.

Karen: Oh, he hated it. [Laughs] He definitely hated it.

Rod: Teddy took him aside and they went for a drive.

Billy: Teddy made me get in his car and we drove to get lunch or maybe it was dinner. And I was lost in thought, just hearing my own song being ruined over and over in my head.

I started talking the minute we sat down and Teddy put his hand up to stop me. He insisted on ordering first. He ordered basically everything fried on the menu. If it was battered, Teddy would eat it.

Once the waitress left, he said, “Okay, go ahead.” I said, “Do you think it sounds good?”

And he said, “Yes, I do.”

I said, “You don’t think it should be a bit less…congested?” And Teddy said, “They are talented musicians. Just like you.

Let them show you what you can’t see in your own stuff. Let them

lay down all the tracks. And then you and I will go in and pull back where we need to and sweeten and all that. If we have to have everybody come in one at a time and overdub, then we do that. We can change the whole song piece by piece if we have to. But as the spine of the song, yes, I think they are doing a great job.”

I thought about it. And I could feel my chest was tight. But I said, “All right. I trust you.”

And he said, “That’s good. But trust them, too.”

Rod: When Billy came back in, he had very simple notes. All good stuff.

Karen: Billy changed an octave, wanted me to jump from a one- five repetition to a one-four-five. But in general, he was very


Graham: The early take of that song is one we never would have come to if it had all gone Billy’s way. By having us all involved, we were evolving.

Billy: I decided, with every song on that album, to give only the feedback that felt really necessary. Because I’d go back with Teddy when we were mixing it and that’s when I could really refine.

Daisy: I went into the studio to hear everybody play “Aurora” for the first time and I was blown away by it. I was really excited. Billy and I played with the vocals a bit and found a great balance for it all.

Artie Snyder: We miked everything. We must have messed with the setup a thousand times to get it just right. We had Karen and Graham on the side, Pete and Warren in the back, Eddie was toward the front, and then Billy and Daisy were in iso booths but they could still see everybody.

I had Teddy in the control room next to me. He kept smoking cigarettes, letting the ash get on my boards. I kept wiping it away and he just kept dropping it.

When everything was perfectly in place, I said, “All right, ‘Aurora,’ take one. Somebody count it off.”

Daisy: We played it the whole way through. All of us together. We just played it over and over. As a band. A real band.

I looked at Billy at one point and we smiled at each other and I thought, This is happening. I was in a band. I was one of them. The seven of us, playing music.

Billy: As Daisy and I were singing it, I had to do a few takes in a row to really warm up but Daisy hit it right out of the gate. She really…Daisy was a natural. And if you’re going up against somebody like Daisy, then yeah, that’s annoying. But if she’s on your team…wow. Powerhouse.

Artie Snyder: I was still getting a feel for how the album would sound and my team was still tinkering with the setup. The early takes sounded a little tinny, and that’s what I was focused on. When you start off on an album, with new people and different sounds, in a new studio and all of that…you really have to get your levels right, your mikes right. I was obsessive about that stuff. Until it was coming through clean on the cans, I could not focus on anything else.

But, even knowing that about myself, looking back on it…I can’t believe I had no idea. We were making a massive hit record. And I had no idea.

Daisy: I knew it was gonna be huge. I really think, even then, I knew.

Daisy: A few days later, I’m going through my journal, back at my place. I think maybe it was a weekend. And I find one of Billy’s songs in there. One that he wrote for the album. “Midnights.” I think maybe at the time it was called “Memories.” I must have packed it up with my things by mistake when we were back at Teddy’s. So I started rereading it. I probably read it ten times in a row, sitting there.

It was pretty sickeningly sweet. All about how Billy has these happy memories with Camila. But there were a few good lines in there. So I started scribbling on top of it. Playing with it.

Billy: The next time we met up at Teddy’s, Daisy handed me “Midnights.” I’d written it over the summer. It was pretty straightforward when I wrote it. But she handed it back to me, pen marks all over the place and I could barely read any of the words. I held the page in my hand and I said, “What did you do to my song?”

Daisy: I told him it was actually a great song. I said, “Turns out, it just needed a little bit of darkness to it.”

Billy: I said, “I understand what you’re saying but I can’t read what you wrote.” She got mad and snatched the paper out of my hand.

Daisy: I was going to have to read it to him. I started reading the first verse but then I realized that was dumb. I said, “Play the song as you wrote it.”

Billy: I got my guitar and I started playing and singing the words as I originally wrote them.

Daisy: I cut him off once I got the gist of it.

Billy: She put her hand on the neck of the guitar to shut me up. She said, “I get where you’re going. Start from the beginning. Give this a listen.”

Daisy: I sang him his song back, this time with my changes.

Billy: It went from a song about your best memories to a song about what you can and can’t remember. I had to admit it was more subtle, more complicated. Much more open to interpretation.

It was very similar to what I had envisioned when I wrote it, but just…[laughs] better than what I got on the page, frankly.

Daisy: I didn’t change a lot of his song, really. I just added in this element of what you don’t remember to highlight what you do remember. And then I restructured it, to include a second voice.

Billy: By the time she was done, I was really excited about it.

Daisy: Billy immediately went into writing mode. He took the paper from me, grabbed a pen, started reordering a little bit. That’s how I knew he liked it.

By the end, we’d taken this song that Billy had about Camila and we made it about so much more than that.

Billy: We played it for everybody down at the studio. Just her and me and the guitar, over in the lounge.

Graham: I dug the song. Billy and I started talking about a solo during the bridge. We were on the same page.

Eddie: I said to Billy, “This is good, let me get started on my piece on it.”

And Billy said, “Well, your part is written already. Just go with the guitar as I played it.”

I said, “Let me tinker with it.”

He said, “Nothing to tinker with. Daisy and I have been reworking this one back and forth. I’m telling you, play it like I played it.”

I said, “I don’t want to play it like you played it.”

He just patted me on the back and said, “It’s cool. Just play it like I played it.”

Billy: The rhythm guitar part was already done. But I said, “All right, man. Go ahead and try to see what you can come up with.” By the time we recorded it, he’d come back around to exactly what I played for him.

Eddie: I changed it up. He didn’t have it exactly right. There wasn’t only one way to play that song. I changed it up. And it was better. I knew how to play my own riffs. I knew what worked. We were all supposed to be taking our own shots. So I took my own shot.

Billy: It is very frustrating, when you know how something should be done but you have to pretend someone else has a good idea, when you know you’re just going to end up using your own. But that’s the price of doing business with somebody like Eddie Loving. He’s got to believe everything is his idea or he won’t do it.

And, look, it’s my fault. I told everybody it was an equal opportunity band. And I shouldn’t have done that. Because that is just not a sustainable system. Look at Springsteen. Springsteen knew how to do it. But me? I had to sit there and pretend people like Eddie Loving knew better than me how to play guitar on the songs I wrote on my guitar.

Karen: I didn’t see any of the tense stuff between Billy and Eddie on that song. I heard about it later from both of them but at the time I was…preoccupied.

Graham: You know what’s a good time? Giving your girl a roll in the closet at the studio while everybody else is recording and the two of you have to be so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

That was making love, man. It felt like love. It felt like we were the only two people in the entire world who mattered. Me and Karen. It felt like I could show her how much I loved her, right there in that tight space, not saying anything at all.

Warren: When we were messing around on that song, on “Midnights,” Daisy came up to me and suggested that I hold the drums on the bridge and I thought for a moment and I said, “Yeah, that’s a great idea.” Daisy and I always got along really well in that regard. We were about the only two people who could manage not to have too much ego with each other.

I once told her I thought she sang “Turn It Off” like she was in heat and she said, “I see what you mean. I think I’ll pull back on the chorus.” Just like that.

Some people just don’t threaten each other. And other people threaten everything about each other. Just the way it is.

Rod: I started to do some calculations. Could we replace Eddie if we needed to? Would Pete leave with him? What would that mean for us? I’m not gonna lie. I started putting feelers out for other guitarists. Started planning out whether Billy could just take over Eddie’s parts. I saw the writing on the wall.

Turns out I wasn’t reading exactly right. But I saw the writing on the wall.

Warren: Being proud that you predicted Eddie would leave the band is like saying, “I predicted the sun would come out today,” the day before a nuclear disaster. Yeah, man. Great guess. But you didn’t exactly notice the world was ending?

Daisy: At the end of that day, when Billy was going home, he said, “Thank you for what you did with this song.”

And I said something like “Yeah, of course.”

But then Billy stopped in place. He put his hand on my arm. He made a real point of it. He said, “I’m serious. You made the song better.”

I…That meant a lot. That meant a lot. Maybe meant too much.

Billy: I was starting to see, as Teddy had pushed me to, that sometimes you get to more complex places, artistically, when you have more people contributing. That’s not always true. But with Daisy and me…it was true.

I had to recognize that. With her, then, it was true.

Daisy: I really felt like I understood him. And I think he understood me. You know, things like that, that kind of connection with a person, it is sort of like playing with fire. Because it feels good, to be understood. You feel in sync with a person, you feel like you’re on a level that no one else is.

Karen: I think people that are too similar…they don’t mix well. I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was just like me.

I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.

Rod: The band was recording “Chasing the Night.” They had worked on it earlier in the day and it got toward the afternoon and Daisy wasn’t needed anymore so she went home.

Daisy: I decided to have some people over to my cottage. Some actress friends and a couple guys from the Strip. We were just going to hang out by the pool, a bit.

Rod: I had told Daisy to come back later. Because we were going to record her and Billy’s vocals on it a few times that night. I should have done a better job setting boundaries of when everyone was working or not working. We didn’t have set hours, really. It was just sort of a free-for-all.

But she was supposed to be at Heider at nine.

Billy: Graham and I were working on some licks. Laying down a few and going back over them, seeing what we liked better.

Artie Snyder: Billy and Graham were fun to work with when it was just the two of them together. They had a language all to themselves, sometimes. But I felt like I understood what they were going for. I did wonder, back then, though…I didn’t know how they could stand it. If I had to work with my brother I’d lose my mind.

Billy: I always felt really lucky that Graham was as good as he was. So talented, always had good ideas. He made it easy. People would often say, “I don’t know how you can work with your brother.” But I never knew how to do it any other way.

Daisy: It got later into the night and somehow Mick Riva shows up. He’d been staying at the Marmont, too. He was in his forties by then, I think. Married however many times, had like five kids.

But partied like he was nineteen. He was topping the charts even then. Everybody still loved him.

I’d partied with him a few times. He was always decent to me. But he was a real…There were always a lot of groupies with Mick. He could really get a party out of control.

Rod: Billy and Graham finished up and Graham left around eight or so. So Billy and I decided to go get some dinner. But we got back a few minutes after nine and Daisy wasn’t there.

Daisy: Suddenly, the whole place is packed. Mick’s invited everyone he knows, basically. He’s ordered bottles of liquor from the bar at the hotel, paid for it all.

I lost track of time. Forgot what I was doing. God only knows what I was on. I just remember champagne and cocaine. It was that kind of party. Those are the best parties. Champagne and coke and bikinis around the pool before we realized the drugs were killing us and the sex was coming for us, too.

Billy: We waited an hour before thinking anything of it. I mean, you know, it’s Daisy, and showing up on time is something she does by accident.

Simone: I was in town to do American Bandstand. Daisy and I had plans to meet up. I got to Daisy’s around maybe ten. And it was packed. Mick Riva was there, making out with two girls that couldn’t have been more than sixteen. Daisy’s laying out on a pool chair in a white bikini like she’s tanning, wearing a pair of sunglasses, when it’s pitch black out.

Daisy: I don’t remember anything that happened after Simone showed up.

Rod: Teddy and Artie were going to go home. They weren’t too worried about it. But I felt responsible for her. It didn’t seem like her. To ditch a session.

Simone: I said, “Daisy, I think it’s time to call it a night.” But she barely even heard me. She sat up real fast and looked at me and said, “Have I shown you the caftan Thea Porter’s people sent me?”

And I said, “No.”

And she got up and ran into her cottage. It’s full of people doing God-knows-what. They were barely paying attention to her. We walk into her bedroom and there are two men making out on her bed. It was like her house wasn’t even her own. She walks right past them and opens her closet and pulls out this dress, this caftan. It’s gold and pink and teal and gray. It was so beautiful. I mean, your heart broke looking at it, it was just so beautiful. Velvet and brocade and chiffon and silk.

I said, “That is stunning.”

And she takes off her bathing suit, right there in front of everyone.

And I say, “What are you doing?”

And then she steps into it and twirls around and says, “I feel like a sprite in it. Like I’m a sea nymph.”

And then…I don’t know what to tell you. One minute she was in my sight and the next minute, she’s way out past me, running back out to the pool, and then stepping into the water, one step at a time, in that gorgeous caftan. I could have killed her. That dress was art.

By the time I got to her, she was floating on her back, in the pool alone, all these people watching her. I don’t know who snapped the photo. But it is my favorite picture of her ever, I think. She just looks so much like herself. The way she’s floating, with her arms out to her sides, the dress floating with her. It’s so dark out but the pool is lit so the dress and her body are bright. And then there’s that look on her face, that way she’s smiling right at the camera. Gets me every time.

Rod: I called her at the Marmont about ten times and she wasn’t answering and I said to Billy, “I’m gonna head over there. Just to make sure she’s okay.”

Billy: Daisy loved the work of recording an album. I knew she loved it. I’d seen it. The only way Daisy would pass up an opportunity to record her own song is if she was doped up beyond all recognition.

It hurts to care about someone more than they care about themselves. I can tell that story from both sides.

So Rod and I went over there. We got to her cottage at the Marmont in about fifteen minutes, it wasn’t far. And we started asking where Lola La Cava is—she’s got an alias because of course she does. Finally someone says check the pool.

And when we get there, Daisy is in a pink dress, sitting on the edge of a diving board, surrounded by people, and she’s soaking wet. Her hair was slicked back and this dress was sticking to her.

Rod walked up to her and I didn’t know what he was saying but the moment she saw him, I saw this recognition in her eyes. She had forgotten where she was supposed to be until she saw him. It was exactly what we thought. Blotto. I mean, the only thing that was gonna come before her music was her dope.

As she’s talking to Rod, I see Rod point to me and Daisy’s eye follows his hand in my direction and she was…She looked sad. To see me there. Looking at her.

There was a guy next to me, some guy I would have told you was an old geezer except he was probably only forty. I could smell the whiskey in his glass, that smoky, antiseptic scent. It’s always been the smell for me. The smell of tequila, the smell of beer. Even coke. The smell of any of it. It takes me right back. To those moments when the night is just starting, when you know you’re about to get into trouble. It feels so good, the beginning.

There was that voice again, inside my head, that was telling me I was never going to be able to stay sober for the rest of my life. What is the point of getting sober at all if I know I’ll never kick it forever? I’ll fail one day anyway. Shouldn’t I pack it all in? Quit on myself? Quit on everybody? Spare Camila and my girls the heartbreak later and admit who I really am.

I looked over at Daisy, she was coming up off the diving board. She had a glass in her hand and she dropped it right there

on the side of the pool. I watched her step onto the broken glass, not realizing it was under her feet.

Rod: Daisy’s feet started bleeding.

Simone: There was blood mixing with the pool water on the concrete. And Daisy didn’t even notice. She just kept walking, talking to somebody else.

Daisy: I couldn’t feel the cuts on my feet. I couldn’t feel much of anything, I don’t think.

Simone: In that moment, I thought, She’s going to be the girl bleeding in a beautiful dress until it kills her.

I felt…lost, sad, depressed, sick. I felt really hopeless but also like I didn’t have the luxury of giving up. Like I was going to have to fight for her—fight for her against her—until I lost. Because there was no winning. I didn’t see how I could win the war.

Billy: I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t stay because when I looked at Daisy, wet and bleeding and out of it and half-near falling down, I did not think, Thank God I stopped using.

I thought, She knows how to have fun.

Rod: I was getting Daisy a towel to dry off when I saw Billy turn and leave. I’d driven us there so I wasn’t quite sure where he was going. I tried to catch his eye but he didn’t see me until the last moment, when he went around the corner. He just gave me a nod. And I understood. I was thankful he’d come up with me in the first place.

He knew how to take care of himself and that’s what he was doing.

Billy: I told Rod I was leaving and made sure he was all right to take a cab home because I’d driven us over. He was really supportive. He understood why I needed to leave.

When I got home, I got in bed right next to Camila, so thankful to be there. But I couldn’t sleep. I kept wondering what I’d be doing that very moment if I’d taken the whiskey out of that man’s hand. If I’d poured it down my throat.

Would I be laughing and playing a song for everybody? Would I be skinny-dipping with a whole bunch of strangers? Would I be puking my guts out watching somebody strap up and shoot heroin?

Instead, I was laying in the darkest quiet, listening to my wife snore.

The thing is, I’m a person who survives despite his instincts. My instincts said to run toward the chaos. And my better brain sent me home to my woman.

Daisy: I don’t remember seeing Billy there. I don’t remember seeing Rod. I don’t know how I made it to my bed.

Billy: I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep that night. So I got up out of bed and I wrote a song.

Rod: Billy comes into the studio the next day. Everybody else is there, ready to get to recording. I’ve even got Daisy there, relatively sober, drinking a coffee.

Daisy: I felt bad. I did not mean to blow off the recording session, obviously.

Why did I hurt myself like that? I can’t explain it. I wish I could. I hated it about myself. I hated it about myself and I kept doing it and then I hated myself more. There are no good answers about this.

Rod: Billy comes in and he shows us all a song he wrote. “Impossible Woman.”

I said, “You wrote this last night?” He said, “Yeah.”

Billy: Daisy reads it and goes, “Cool.”

Graham: It was clear, from the feeling in the room, that none of us, not even Daisy and Billy, were going to acknowledge it was about Daisy.

Billy: It’s not about Daisy. It’s about when you’re sober, there are things you can’t touch, things you can’t have.

Karen: After Graham and I heard Billy play it for the first time, I said to Graham, “That song is…”

And Graham just goes, “Yup.”

Daisy: It was a great damn song.

Warren: Didn’t care then, barely care now.

Karen: “Dancing barefoot in the snow/cold can’t touch her, high or low.” That’s Daisy Jones.

Billy: I decided to write a song about a woman that felt like sand through your fingers, like you could never really catch her. As an allegory for the things I couldn’t have, couldn’t do.

Daisy: I said, “This song is for us to sing?”

Billy said, “No, I think you should give it a shot on your own. I wrote it for your register.”

I said, “It seems more obvious that a man would be singing this about a woman.”

Billy said, “It’s more interesting if a woman is singing it. It gives it a haunting kind of quality.”

I said, “All right, I’ll take a stab at it.”

I took some time with it while everybody was lining out their parts. A few days later, I went in. I listened as everybody laid their tracks down. Just trying to find a way into it.

When it was my turn to get in there, I gave it my best. I tried to make it feel a little sad, maybe. Like I missed this woman. I was thinking, Maybe this woman is my mother, maybe this woman is my lost sister, maybe there is something I need from this woman. You know?

I thought, It’s wistful, it’s ethereal. That kind of a thing. But I was doing take after take and I could tell it wasn’t working.

And I kept looking to everybody, thinking, Somebody get me out of this mess. I’m flailing over here. And I didn’t know what to do. And I started getting angry.

Karen: Daisy has absolutely no formal training. She does not know the names of chords, she does not know various vocal techniques. If what Daisy does naturally doesn’t work, then you have to take Daisy off the song.

Daisy: I’m just hoping somebody saves me from myself. I say I want to take five. Teddy suggests I go for a walk, clear my head. I walk around the block. But I’m only making it worse because I just keep thinking I can’t do it and Of course I can’t do it and all that. And I finally just give up. I get in my car and I drive away. I couldn’t deal with it, so I left.

Billy: I wrote the song for her. I mean I wrote it for her to sing. So that made me mad. Her giving up like that.

Obviously, I understood why she was frustrated. I mean, Daisy is shockingly talented. Like it will shock you, to be near it. Her talent. But she didn’t know how to control it. She couldn’t call on it, you know? She just had to hope it would be there.

But giving up wasn’t cool. Especially not after trying for, you know, a couple of hours, tops. That’s the problem with people who don’t have to work for things. They don’t know how to work for things.

Daisy: That night, somebody knocks on my door. I was with Simone making dinner. I open the door and there’s Billy Dunne.

Billy: I went there with the express purpose of getting her to sing the damn song. Did I want to go back to the Chateau Marmont? No, I did not. But that’s what I had to do, so I did it.

Daisy: He sits me down and Simone is in the kitchen making Harvey Wallbangers and she offers Billy one.

Billy: And immediately Daisy blocks me and says, “No!” As if I was going to take the drink from Simone’s hand.

Daisy: I was embarrassed that Simone had offered it to him because I knew he already felt like I was a scummy boozehound drug addict. And if Billy thought I was going to knock him off the wagon, I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that wasn’t true.

Billy: It…surprised me. She had actually been listening to me.

Daisy: Billy said to me, “You have to sing this song.” I told him that I just didn’t have the right voice for it. We talked back and forth for a while, about what the song meant and whether there was a way into it for me and finally Billy just said that it was about me. That he had written it about me. That I’m the impossible woman. “She’s blues dressed up like rock ’n’ roll/untouchable, she’ll never fold.” That was me. And something kind of clicked in my head.

Billy: I absolutely never told Daisy the song was about her. I wouldn’t have done that because the song wasn’t about her.

Daisy: That felt like a breaking point into it. But I still said to him that I wasn’t sure I was the right sound.

Billy: I told her that the song needed a raw energy. It needed to feel like it crackled under the needle. It needed to feel electric. Like she was singing to save her life.

Daisy: That’s not my voice.

Billy: I said, “You need to go into the studio tomorrow and try again. Promise me that you will try again.” And she agreed.

Daisy: So I go in there the next morning and they had cleared out the place. The rest of the band wasn’t there. It was just Billy, Teddy, Rod, and Artie at the board. I walked in and I just…I knew this was going to be different.

Rod: I went out to smoke a cigarette as Billy pulled Daisy into the booth and started giving her a pep talk.

Billy: I knew how the song was supposed to sound and I just kept trying to think of how to explain it to her. What I realized, eventually, was that Daisy’s all about effortlessness. And this had to be a song that sounded like it hurt to sing, like it was taking all the effort in her body. I wanted Daisy to feel, after she was done singing it, that she had run a marathon.

Daisy: There is a grit to my voice but it’s not a deep-in-your-gut kind of grit. And that’s what Billy wanted.

Billy: I said something like “Sing it so hard, so loud, that you can’t control where your voice goes. Let your voice crack. Lose control of it.”

I gave her permission to sound bad. Think of how you sing when you’re singing to the radio at full volume. When you can’t hear yourself, you’re not afraid to really belt it out because you won’t have to cringe when your voice breaks or you veer off-key. Daisy needed that kind of freedom. That takes a crapload of confidence. And Daisy didn’t actually have confidence. She was always good. Confidence is being okay being bad, not being okay being good.

I said, “If you sing this song in a way where you sound good the entire time, you’ve lost.”

Daisy: He said, “This song isn’t meant to be pretty. Don’t sing it like it is.”

Rod: I came back in and Billy’s got Daisy in the booth with the lights dimmed, a Vicks inhaler, a steaming mug of tea next to her, a pile of lozenges and some tissues, a huge pitcher of water, I don’t know, you name it, it was in there with her.

And then Daisy sat down in a chair and Billy got right back up, jumped out of the control room, went into the booth with her again. He took the chair away, raised the mike. He said, “You need to stand up and sing so hard your knees buckle.”

Daisy looked terrified.

Daisy: He wanted me to shed every inhibition I had. Billy was saying that he wanted me to be willing to fail spectacularly in front of him—and Teddy and Artie. But I knew there was no moving past my own ego stone sober.

I said, “Can we get some wine in here?” Billy said, “You don’t need it.”

I said, “No, you don’t need it.”

Billy: Rod goes right in there with a bottle of brandy.

Rod: I’m not about to take away the easy stuff and have her running that much faster for the hard stuff.

Daisy: I took a few swigs and I looked at Billy through the window and I said, into the mike, “All right, you want it to sound a little ugly, right?” He nodded. And I said, “And no one’s gonna judge me if I end up sounding like a screeching cat?”

And I’ll never forget, Billy leaned onto the button, and said, “If you were a cat, your screech would bring every cat running to you.” And I liked that. The idea that just by being me, I was doing all right.

So I opened up my mouth and I breathed in deep and then I went for it.

Billy: None of us told Daisy this and I…I hesitate in even saying it now but…her first two takes were god-awful. I mean, wow. I was starting to regret what I’d told her. But we just kept encouraging her.

When someone is out on a ledge like that, especially when you’re the one that coaxed them out there in the first place, you don’t dare do anything to unbalance them.

So I said, “Great, great.” And then eventually after, I think, the third take, I said, “Go one octave deeper.”

Rod: It was either Daisy’s fourth or fifth take. I think maybe fifth. And it was fucking magic. I mean, magic. I don’t use that word lightly. But it felt like you were witnessing something that only happened a few times in a lifetime. She just wailed. The record that you hear, that was Daisy’s fifth take, start to finish.

Billy: She started so assured in the first verse, not quiet, necessarily, but even. Leveled. “Impossible woman/let her hold you/let her ease your soul.”

And she let that simmer a little bit, grew in intensity in this really subtle way through the next, you know, “Sand through fingers/wild horse, but she’s just a colt.” And on “colt” is where you really felt her start to amp up.

She went through another verse and then the first time she sang the chorus, I could see it in her eyes, she was looking right at me, and you could feel it building in her chest, “She’ll have you running/in the wrong direction/have you coming/for the wrong obsessions/oh, she’s gunning/for your redemption/have you headed/back to confession.” And it was when she repeated “confession,” then she really just let it fly.

Her voice breaks, in the middle of the word, it cracks just a little. And then she goes through most of the verses again. When she gets to the chorus a second time, she just unleashes her voice on it. It’s rocky and gritty and breathy and there’s so much emotion in it. It’s like she’s pleading.

And then she closes in on the end. “Walk away from the impossible/you’ll never touch her/never ease your soul.” Then she

added a couplet. And it was great. It was perfect. She sang, “You’re one more impossible man/running from her/clutching what you stole.”

She sang the entire song with such a heartbreaking lament.

She made that song so much more than what I’d given her.

Daisy: I opened my eyes after that take and I barely remembered doing it. I just remember thinking, I did it.

I remember realizing I had even more power in me than I had originally thought. That I had more to give, more depth and range, than even I knew about myself.

Rod: She was looking right at Billy the whole time she sang. And he was staring at her, nodding along with her. When she finished the song, Teddy started clapping. And the look on her face, the delight she felt, it was like watching a kid on Christmas. Truly. She was so proud of herself.

She pulled the headphones off and threw them down and ran out of the booth and—I kid you not—ran directly into Billy’s arms. He picked her up, just off the floor, and kind of swung her back and forth for a moment. And I could have sworn to you he smelled her hair before he put her back down.

Daisy: We were all in the studio recording one afternoon when Camila came in with the girls.

Graham: I had said to Camila, “Why don’t you bring everybody here more often?” Because Camila would stop by occasionally but it was always for a minute to drop off something to Billy. She never came and hung out. But we had so many people hanging out back then.

Of course, the time she comes in to hang out for a little while, one of the twins starts crying for what seemed like no reason. Wouldn’t stop. I don’t remember if it was Susana or Maria but Billy took her and held her and tried to shush her and she would not calm down. I took her, Karen took her. It didn’t matter what we all did.

Camila ended up taking both of the twins outside.

Camila: Babies and rock ’n’ roll don’t really go hand in hand.

Karen: I went for a walk with Camila and the girls one day at the studio. I said, “How are things going?”

And she just…opened up. Talking and talking like the words were tumbling out of her. The twins weren’t sleeping and Julia was going through a jealous period and Billy was never home. And then she stopped in place, as she was pushing the girls along with the stroller, and she said, “Why am I complaining? I love my life.”

Camila: What is it they say? The days are long but the years are short? Whoever said that was a mom with three kids under the age of three. Tired and cranky on an hourly basis, bursting with joy when you put your head on the pillow. Raising kids is hard work. It was work I was happy to do, though.

Everybody is good at something. I was good at motherhood.

Karen: Camila had said to me that day, something like “I’m living the life I want to live.” And there was an ease about her, as she said it.

Graham: While Camila and the twins were outside, Billy set Julia up in the control booth. She was there hanging out with Artie and Teddy and everybody while we all laid something down.

She had such a fun time in there. She was so cute with the cans on her ears and her tiny little dress. Her hair was still blond then. Her legs were so short, they didn’t even bend at the knee when she sat, just stuck straight out.

Karen: I decided to tell Camila about Graham. I needed her help figuring out what to do.

I had…I never told him this, but I saw a letter from his mom on his nightstand one morning. And I hadn’t meant to pry but it was right there and a few lines stood out. His mom was telling him that if he really loved this girl he was with then he should make it official. And that freaked me out.

Graham: I wanted a family. Not right then. But sure, I wanted what my brother had.

Karen: I said to Camila, “What would you think if I was sleeping with Graham?”

She took off her sunglasses and looked me right in the eye.

She said, “If you were sleeping with Graham?” I said, “Yeah, if.

Camila: He’d been in love with her since God only knows how long.

Karen: We kept talking in hypotheticals. Camila said I would have to be taking into account the fact that Graham had had feelings for me for quite a while. Which…I knew but I didn’t know, I guess.

Camila: I told her that if she was sleeping with Graham and wasn’t feeling about him the way I knew he felt about her…well, I think I told her to stop.

Karen: I believe she said, “Don’t hurt Graham or I’ll kill you.” I said, “Aren’t you worried about Graham hurting me?”

And she said, “If Graham broke your heart, I’d kill him, too. You know that. But we both know Graham’s not going to break your heart. We both know which way this is going to go.”

I got a little defensive but Camila never really backed down from too much. She was very good at knowing what everybody else should do and she had no problem telling you. It was really annoying. How right she always was. And she would tell you “I told you so.” You’d do something she told you not to do and it wouldn’t work out and you’d find yourself bristling around her, just waiting for that “I told you so” to come. And she’d always land it right when your defenses were down.

Camila: If you come to me and ask me for advice, and then you don’t take my advice, and it blows up in your face exactly like I told you it would, what do you expect me to say?

Karen: I told her, “Graham’s an adult. He can handle whatever he gets himself into. It’s not my job to make his decisions.”

Camila said, “Yes, it is.” And I said, “No, it’s not.”

Camila: I told her, “Yes, it is.”

Karen: And we just kept going on like that until I gave up.

Daisy: We were recording and Julia was in the booth. They had all come to visit Billy that day. And there was something wrong with my mike so I was sitting it out while everyone tried to fix it.

I went into the control booth and asked Julia if she wanted to get a cookie. She took her headphones off her head and said,

“Does my dad say it’s okay?” It was so sweet.

Teddy leaned on the talkback button and said, “Julia would like to know if she may have a cookie.”

Billy leaned in and said, “Yes, she may.” And then he added, “Just make sure it’s a…normal one.”

I took Julia by the hand and we went to the kitchen and we split a peanut butter cookie. She told me she liked pineapples. I remember that because I love pineapples and I told her that. She got really excited, that we had that in common. I told her we should split a pineapple sometime. And then Karen came into the kitchen and Camila was calling out for Julia and I brought her to her. Julia waved goodbye to me and Camila thanked me for watching her.

Camila: The whole way home, [Julia was] saying, “Can Daisy Jones be my best friend?”

Daisy: As soon as they left, Eddie called me and Karen back into the booth. And somebody, I don’t remember who, said I was good with kids. And then Eddie said, “I bet you’d make a great aunt.”

You don’t think to tell someone they will be a good aunt if you think they will be a good mom. But I knew as well as anybody, I wouldn’t be a good mom. I had no place thinking of being anybody’s mom.

I wrote “A Hope Like You” soon after that.

Billy: When Daisy showed me “A Hope Like You,” I thought, This could work as a piano ballad. It was such a sad love song. About wanting somebody you can’t have and knowing you’re going to want them anyway.

I said, “How do you hear it?”

She sang a tiny little bit of it and I just…I heard it. I heard what it should be.

Daisy: Billy said, “This is your song. It should be just you and the piano on the track, that’s it.”

Karen: That was a great song to record. I was really proud of it. Just Daisy singing and me on the keys. That’s it. Just two bitches playing rock ’n’ roll.

Billy: Daisy and I wrote a lot of good stuff after that. We’d be working in the lounge at the studio or back at Teddy’s pool house if we needed some peace and quiet.

I would come in with something I was working on and Daisy would help me refine it. Or vice versa. We’d work on one of Daisy’s ideas.

Rod: It seemed like there was a period of time where Daisy and Billy were coming in with new stuff every day.

Graham: It’s really exciting, when you’re constantly creating. We’d be working on tracks for “Midnights” or adding some layers to “Impossible Woman” and then Daisy and Billy would come in with a new one we were all excited about.

Karen: It felt a little manic, that period of time. So many people in the studio. So many songs coming in and out. Recording and recording and recording. Playing things a thousand times, always trying to improve upon the last one.

There was so much to do, so much to keep us busy. But we were all coming into the studio in the morning, still hungover from the night before. It was like zombies at 10:00 A.M. Until the coffee and the coke kicked in.

Rod: The early tracks were sounding great.

Artie Snyder: When the songs started coming together, we were realizing we had something really special on our hands.

Billy and Teddy would always stay late and listen to what we had. Listen to it over and over again. There was an energy to the control booth those nights. Super quiet in the rest of the studio, real dark outside. Just the three of us listening to rock getting made.

I was going through a divorce back then so I was happy to stay as late as they wanted. We’d be up in the studio at three in the morning sometimes. Me and Teddy slept there if we wanted to. Billy always went home. Even if it was just for two hours until he came back.

Rod: It was really starting to sound out of this world. I wanted to make sure Runner was prepared to back these guys up with some real money. This album deserved to make a big splash.

I was lobbying Teddy for a huge number at the first pressing. I wanted a clear hit single. I wanted rock and pop airplay. I wanted a massive tour lined up. I was getting very ambitious. I wanted big momentum out of the gate.

Everybody knew Daisy and Billy on tour promoting this album was going to sell out venues and it was going to sell records. You could feel it. And Teddy made sure everybody was on board. Even at Runner Records, you could feel the excitement.

Daisy: Billy and I did about four songs in a mad rush of writing over about a week or two. I mean, we actually did seven songs. But only four of them made it onto the album.

Rod: They turned in “Please,” “Young Stars,” “Turn It Off,” and “This Could Get Ugly” all within about a week.

Billy: The concept for the album took shape naturally. We—I mean, me and Daisy—we could see that we were writing about the push and pull between the lure of temptation and staying on the right path. It was about drugs and sex and love and denial and a whole mess of stuff.

That’s where “Turn It Off” came from. The two of us writing about how every time you think you’ve got something licked, it keeps rearing its head.

Daisy: “Turn It Off” was me and Billy at the pool house, him on the guitar, me pitching the line “I keep trying to turn it off/but,

baby, you keep turning me on,” and then it all just snowballed from there.

I’d say a line, he’d say a line. We’d be scribbling each other’s stuff out, writing over it. All just trying to get to the best version of the song.

Billy: Daisy and I got to a point where we could really tinker with something for a while. We had enough faith to keep working on something even if it didn’t come easy. “Young Stars” ended up developing like that.

Daisy: We worked on “Young Stars” in fits and starts. We’d have it and then lose it and pick it up days later. I think it was Billy who suggested the line “We only look like young stars/because you can’t see old scars.” That worked for me. We finally built around that.

Billy: We were using a lot of words that made you think of physical pain. Ache and knots and break and punch and all that. It started to fit in well with the rest of the album—how it hurts to be fighting your own instincts.

Daisy: “I’d tell you the truth just to watch you blush/but you can’t handle the hit so I’ll hold the punch.” That song ended up cutting so close to the heart, in a lot of ways. Maybe too close. “I believe you can break me/but I’m saved for the one who saved me.”

Billy: I mean, it’s hard to say what a song is about sometimes. Sometimes even you don’t know why you wrote that line, or how it came into your head, or even what it means.

Daisy: The songs that we were writing together…[pauses] I started feeling like a lot of what Billy was writing about was how he was actually feeling. It seemed clear to me that there were things unsaid that were being said in our work together.

Billy: They’re songs. You pull them out of wherever you can. You change the meanings to fit the moments sometimes. Some songs came more from my heart than others, I suppose.

Daisy: It’s so strange, how someone’s silence, someone’s insistence that something isn’t happening can be so suffocating. But it can be. And suffocating is exactly the word, too. You feel like you can’t breathe.

Karen: I think Daisy showed me “Please” before she showed it to anyone else. And I thought it was a cool song. And I said, “What’s Billy think?”

And she said, “I haven’t shown him yet. I wanted to show you first.”

I thought that was weird.

Billy: Daisy handed me the song, and I could tell she was feeling sort of nervous about it but I immediately liked it. I added a few lines myself, removed a few.

Daisy: It’s very vulnerable, being an artist, telling the truth like that, like we’re doing now. When you’re living your life, you’re so inside your head, you’re swirling around in your own pain, that it’s hard to see how obvious it is to the people around you. These songs I was writing felt coded and secret, but I suspect they weren’t coded and secret at all.

Billy: “This Could Get Ugly.”…That was one, we had the song before we had the lyrics done. Graham and I had come up with a guitar riff we liked and that song spiraled out of that. I actually went to Daisy and said, “Got anything for this?”

Daisy: I had this idea in my head. Of “ugly” being a good thing. I wanted to write a song about feeling like you knew you had somebody’s number, even if they didn’t know it.

Billy: Daisy and I met up at Teddy’s place one morning and I played it for her again and she threw some stuff out. She was talking about some guy she was seeing, I don’t remember who. And she had a few lines that really spoke to me. I really liked “Write a list of things you’ll regret/I’d be on top smoking a cigarette.” I loved that line.

I said to her, “What’s this guy putting you through to write a song like this?”

Daisy: Even then, I wasn’t sure if Billy and I were having the same conversation.

Billy: She was great at wordplay. She was great at flipping the meaning of things, of undercutting sentiment. I loved that about what she was doing and I told her that.

Daisy: The harder I worked as a songwriter, the longer I worked at it, the better I got. Not in any linear way, really. More like zigzags. But I was getting better, getting really good. And I knew that. I knew that when I showed the song to him. But knowing you’re good can only take you so far. At some point, you need someone else to see it, too. Appreciation from people you admire changes how you see yourself. And Billy saw me the way I wanted to be seen. There is nothing more powerful than that. I really believe that.

Everybody wants somebody to hold up the right mirror.

Billy: “This Could Get Ugly” was her idea, her execution and it was…excellent.

She had written something that felt like I could have written it, except I knew I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself. And that’s what Daisy did, with that song. At least for me.

I could do nothing but praise her for it. I didn’t change a single word.

Eddie: When they came into the studio with “This Could Get Ugly,” I thought, Great, another song that has got no room for me to try my own thing on.

I didn’t like who this was all turning me into. I’m not a bitter person. In almost every other situation in my life, I’m not this guy, you know what I’m saying? But I was getting so sick of it. Going into work every day feeling like a second-class citizen. That stuff messes with you. I don’t care who you are. It messes with you.

I said to Pete, I said, “Second-class citizen. First-class resort.”

Karen: It definitely became a club that we weren’t in. Daisy and Billy. Even the word down from Runner Records was keep Daisy and Billy happy. Keep Daisy and Billy stable.

Warren: Daisy was always skipping out on stuff she didn’t want to do. She was always coming in sauced. But everybody was acting like she was the goose that laid the golden egg.

Daisy: I honestly thought I was balancing all of it fine. I wasn’t. But I really thought I was.

Karen: I had thought she had the pills under control and I realized at some point while we were recording that album that she’d just learned to hide it better.

Rod: Billy and Daisy would seem like they were getting along like a house on fire and then Daisy would be late for something or she’d be outside with somebody and nobody could find her and Billy would get pissed.

Eddie: Daisy and Billy would be outside on the sidewalk, thinking we can’t hear them, and they’d be screaming at each other about something or other.

Karen: Billy got very angry when Daisy slacked off.

Billy: I don’t think Daisy and I fought very much back then. Maybe normal stuff. Just as much as I’d fight with Graham or Warren.

Daisy: Billy thought he knew better than me what I should be doing. And he wasn’t necessarily wrong. But I still wasn’t about to have anybody telling me my business.

I was caught in a whirl of my own ego. I had this validation I’d been looking for for such a long time. But on the other hand, I was so unsatisfied in so many ways.

Back then, I had an oversize sense of self-importance and absolutely no self-worth. It didn’t matter how gorgeous I was or how great my voice was or what magazine I was on the cover of. I mean, there were a lot of teenage girls that wanted to grow up and be me in the late seventies. I was keenly aware of that. But the only reason people thought I had everything is because I had all the things you can see.

I had none of the things you can’t.

And a lot of good dope can make it so you can’t tell whether you’re happy or not. It can make you think having people around is the same thing as having friends.

I knew getting high wasn’t a long-term solution. But God, it’s so easy. It’s just so easy.

But of course, it’s not easy at all, either. Because one minute you’re just trying to nurse a wound. And the next, you’re desperately trying to hide the fact that you’re now a jury-rigged, taped-up, shortcutted mess of a person and the wound you were nursing has become an abscess.

But I was skinny and pretty so who cared, right?

Rod: Teddy was always trying to keep Billy and Daisy calm. They were…Billy and Daisy together was like tending a little fire. Good if controlled. Just keep the kerosene away from it and we’ll all be fine.

Eddie: It takes a lot of work, keeping Billy sober, keeping Daisy level. I doubt Teddy Price would have been tripping over himself to make sure I didn’t step in a bar.

Graham: We started calling them the Chosen ones. I don’t know if they ever knew that. But…I mean, that’s what they were.

Rod: We were working to record the backlog of songs that Daisy and Billy had written. I think they had almost the entire album by that point. We were already talking about what could fit on the record and what couldn’t.

People don’t think about it anymore because the technology is so different but we had such a tight running time back then. You could fit twenty-two minutes on one side of a record most of the time.

Karen: Graham wrote a song called “The Canyon.”

Graham: I had written this song, the only lyrics I’d ever written that I really liked. Now, I wasn’t a songwriter. That was always Billy’s thing. But I’d scratched some stuff down from time to time. And I’d finally written a song I was proud of.

The song was about how, even though Karen and I were both living large by that point, I’d be happy living in a crappy house as long as I was with her. I based it on our old house we all lived in in Topanga Canyon. Where Pete and Eddie still lived.

You know, the heat barely worked and there was rarely hot water and one of the windows was busted and all that. But that didn’t matter if we were together. “There’s no water in the sink/and the bathtub leaks/but I’ll hold your warm body in a cold shower/stand there with you and waste the hours.”

Karen: I was a little skittish about it. I never promised Graham any future for us. And I was worried he was seeing one. But unfortunately, back then at least, I tended to just avoid problems I didn’t want to deal with.

Warren: Graham wrote a song and asked Billy to consider it for the album and Billy blew him off.

Billy: By the time Graham came in with this song he wanted us to record, Daisy and I had the album almost done. And the songs were complicated and nuanced and a little dark.

Daisy and I had talked about wanting to write one or two more songs and we wanted at least one of them to be a little harder, less romantic.

What Graham showed me…Graham wrote a love song. Just a simple little love song. It didn’t have the complexity that Daisy and I were chasing.

Graham: It was the first song I really wrote and I wrote it for the woman I loved. And Billy was so involved in his own shit he didn’t even know who I wrote it about and he didn’t ask. He read my song in about thirty seconds and said, “Maybe on the next album, man. We got this one now.”

I’d always had Billy’s back. I’d always been there for him.

Supported him through anything and everything.

Billy: We said, with this album, I wouldn’t tell anybody how to do their jobs. So I wasn’t going to listen to anybody telling me and Daisy what to sing. If we’re staying in our lanes, let’s stay in our lanes.

Karen: Graham sold it to the Stun Boys and they had a big hit off of it. I was happy about that. Happy how it all ended. I wouldn’t have wanted to have to play that song night after night.

I never understood people putting their real emotions into something they know they have to play on tour over and over and over again.

Rod: That was around the time that Daisy and Billy started recording their vocals together. On most of the tracks, they were in the booth at the same time, singing into the same mike, harmonizing in real time together.

Eddie: Billy and Daisy on the same mike in one of those small booths…I mean, we’d all kill to be stuck up that close to Daisy.

Artie Snyder: It would have been a lot easier for me to have them in two different booths so I could isolate their vocals. Them singing into the same mike made my job about ten times harder.

If Daisy had an area where she was soft, I couldn’t overdub it without losing Billy’s. It made cutting back and forth between takes almost impossible.

We’d have to record over and over and over again to get a take where they both sounded good at the same time. The band would go home for the night and Daisy and Billy and Teddy and I would still be there, burning the midnight oil. It really limited how polished I could make the tracks. I actually was pretty pissed off. But Teddy wasn’t backing me up.

Rod: I thought Teddy made the right call. Because it showed on the track. You could feel they were breathing the same air as they sang. It was…I mean, there’s no other word for it. It was intimate.

Billy: You know, when you have music that has all the knots sanded down and the scratches buffed out…where’s the emotion in that?

Rod: I heard this secondhand, from Teddy. So I can’t vouch for how true it is. But there was a night when Billy and Daisy pulled an all-nighter doing overdubs on “This Could Get Ugly.”

Teddy said during one of the takes, late at night, Billy didn’t take his eyes off Daisy for the whole take. And they finished and Billy caught Teddy watching. And Billy immediately stopped— tried to pretend he hadn’t been looking at all.

Daisy: Just how honest do we have to get here? I know I told you I’d tell you everything but how much “everything” do you really want to know?

Billy: We were at Teddy’s pool house. Daisy was wearing a black dress with the thin straps. What are those called?

We were working on a song called “For You.” We didn’t have much at first but it was about me getting sober for Camila. I mean, I never expressly stated that, because I knew Daisy would give me a hard time that I was writing about Camila. So I said it was about being willing to give up something for someone else.

Daisy had reminded me we had wanted to write something a bit harder and I had said we could do that later. Because I really liked this idea. I might have said, “This one has really been on my mind.”

Daisy: It was only about eleven in the morning but I was buzzed already. Billy was playing a song on the keyboard and I sat next to him. He was showing me the notes, I was playing a few with him. We were trying to figure out the right key. The few lines Billy had written already…I remember them exactly. “Nothing I wouldn’t do/to go back to the past and wait for you.” He sang that, sitting right next to me.

Billy: Daisy put her hand on mine, to stop me from playing. I looked at her and she said, “I like writing with you.”

And I said, “I like writing with you, too.”

And then I said something I shouldn’t have said.

Daisy: He said, “I like a lot about you.”

Billy: Daisy smiled when I said it, she lit up. This wide smile and this girlish laugh and I could see her eyes started to water just the littlest bit. Or maybe I was imagining it. I don’t know. It…it feels good to make Daisy smile. It’s…[pauses] I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m saying.

Daisy: I like a lot about you.

Billy: She was dangerous. And I knew that. But I don’t think I could recognize that the safer she felt to me, the more dangerous she was.

Daisy: Before I even really knew what I was doing, I leaned in to kiss him. I was so close to him I could feel his breath. And when I opened my eyes, his were closed. And I thought, This makes sense. It made sense in this deeply gratifying way.

Billy: I lost myself, I think. For a moment, at least.

Daisy: My lips barely grazed his. I could feel them only in the sense that I was aware of having almost felt them. But then he pulled back.

Billy looked at me. And his eyes were so kind when he said it. He said, “I can’t.”

My heart dropped in my chest. I don’t mean that figuratively.

I could actually feel it sinking in my chest.

Billy: I shudder thinking about it. About that time. How I could have made one small mistake that would have thrown my whole life away.

Daisy: After he turned me down, he sort of looked back at the keys, and I could tell he was trying to pretend that what had just happened hadn’t just happened. Probably for my sake. Although, I think a lot for his sake, too. It was excruciating. This lie he was trying to tell us both. I’d much prefer someone screaming at me than tensing up and staying still.

Billy: When Graham and I were kids, our mom used to take us to this community pool during the summer. And this one time, Graham was sitting on the edge of the pool, toward the deep end. And this was before he could swim.

And I stood there next to him, and my brain went, I could push him in. And that terrified the hell out of me. I didn’t want to push him in. I would never push him in but…it scared me that the only thing between this moment of calm and the biggest tragedy of my life was me choosing not to do it. That really tripped me out, that everyone’s life was that precarious. That there wasn’t some all-knowing mechanism in place that stopped things that shouldn’t happen from happening.

That’s something that had always scared me. And that’s how it felt being around Daisy Jones.

Daisy: I said to him, “I should go.” And he said, “Daisy, it’s okay.”

Billy: We both just wanted to pretend it hadn’t happened. I desperately hoped that one of us would stand up and walk away.

Daisy: I grabbed my coat and I grabbed my keys and I said, “I’m really sorry.” And I left.

Billy: Finally, I had to be the one to go. I told Daisy we’d pick it back up later in the week and I got in my car and I drove home to Camila.

She said, “You’re home early.”

And I said, “I wanted to be with you.”

Daisy: I drove to the beach. I don’t know why. I just had to drive somewhere, so I drove until the road ended. I drove until I hit the sand.

I parked my car and I was feeling so ashamed and so embarrassed and so stupid and so alone and lonely and pathetic and dirty and awful. And then, I got really mad.

I got mad at everything about him. That he’d pulled away, that he’d made me embarrassed, that he didn’t feel the way I wanted him to feel. Or, maybe it was that I suspected he did feel that way and he wasn’t admitting it. But any way you wanted to

spin it, I was angry. It wasn’t rational. I mean, what ever really is? But as irrational as it was, I was livid. I was furious. There was rage in my chest.

We are talking about probably the first man in my life who really saw me, who ever really understood me, who had so much in common with me…and he still didn’t love me.

When you find that rare person who really knows who you are and they still don’t love you…

I was burning.

Billy: It was early enough in the day, I looked at Camila and I said, “What if we get in the car and drive somewhere?”

Camila said, “Where?”

I turned to Julia and I said, “If you could do anything right now, what would you do?”

And she didn’t hesitate. She screamed, “Disneyland!” So we packed up the car and drove the kids to Disneyland.

Daisy: My car was parked along the PCH and I heard this line in my head. Regret me.

All I had in my car to use as paper was the back of my registration and a gas station napkin. And I searched high and low for something to write with. There was nothing in the door compartment. Nothing in the glove box. I got out of the car and I searched under the seats and under the passenger’s seat was a stick of eyeliner.

I started writing. Lightning fast, maybe ten minutes.

Beginning to end I had a song.

Billy: I was watching Julia in the teacups with Camila and I’m watching them go around and around. And the twins are asleep in the stroller. And I’m trying to put the morning out of my head. But I’m losing my mind because…well, it was complicated, obviously.

And then, you know what I realized? It wasn’t very important. How I felt about Daisy. History is what you did, not what you

almost did, not what you thought about doing. And I was proud of what I did.

Daisy: Did Billy’s actions really warrant the song? Probably not. I mean, no. They didn’t. But that’s the thing. Art doesn’t owe anything to anyone.

Songs are about how it felt, not the facts. Self-expression is about what it feels to live, not whether you had the right to claim any emotion at any time. Did I have a right to be mad at him? Did he do anything wrong? Who cares! Who cares? I hurt. So I wrote about it.

Billy: We left Disneyland really late. I mean, they were shutting down the park.

Julia fell asleep on the way home. The twins had been asleep for a while. As we were driving back up the 405, I put KRLA on low volume and Camila put her feet up on the dashboard and her head on my shoulder. It felt so good, her head on my shoulder. I held my back straight and didn’t move an inch, just so she’d keep it there.

There was this unspoken thing between Camila and I back then.

I mean, she knew Daisy was…She knew that things were… [pauses] I guess what I’m saying is that in some marriages you don’t need to say everything that you feel.

I think saying everything that you think and feel…well, some people are like that. Camila and I weren’t. With Camila and I, it was much more…we both trusted each other to handle the details.

I’m trying to think of how to explain it. Because when I say it now, it seems crazy, that Camila and I never discussed the fact that I…It seems crazy that Camila and I didn’t have this open conversation about Daisy. Because clearly, she was a big factor in our lives.

I know it might seem like maybe it was a lack of trust. That either I didn’t trust her to know just what was going on with Daisy or that she didn’t trust me enough to have been able to handle that. But it’s really the opposite.

Right around this same time—give or take a few years, I can’t remember—Camila got a call from this guy from her high school. Some guy that was on the baseball team and took her to the prom and all that. I think his name was Greg Egan or Gary Egan? Something like that.

She said to me, “I’m gonna go get lunch with Gary Egan.” And I said, “Okay.” And she went and got lunch with him and she was gone for four hours. No one eats lunch for four hours.

When she got back, she gave me a kiss and she, you know, started doing the laundry or something and I said, “How was your lunch with Greg Egan?” And she said, “Fine.” And that’s all she said.

In that moment, I knew that what happened between her and Gary Egan—whether she still felt anything for him, how he felt about her, anything that might have taken place—all of that wasn’t my business. It wasn’t anything she wanted to share. That was a singular moment for her and it had nothing to do with me.

I’m not saying that I didn’t care. I cared a lot. I’m saying that when you really love someone, sometimes the things they need may hurt you, and some people are worth hurting for.

I had hurt Camila. God knows I had. But loving somebody isn’t perfection and good times and laughing and making love. Love is forgiveness and patience and faith and every once in a while, it’s a gut punch. That’s why it’s a dangerous thing, when you go loving the wrong person. When you love somebody who doesn’t deserve it. You have to be with someone that deserves your faith and you have to be deserving of someone else’s. It’s sacred.

I have no tolerance for people that waste other people’s faith in them. None at all.

Camila and I promised to put our marriage first. To put our family first. And we promised to trust each other in how best to do that. Do you know what you do with that level of trust? When someone says, “I trust you so much I can tolerate you having secrets”?

You cherish it. You remind yourself how lucky you are to have been given that trust every day. And when you have moments when you think, I want to do something that would break that

trust, whatever that is—loving a woman you shouldn’t be loving, drinking a beer you shouldn’t be drinking—do you know what you do?

You get your ass up onto your two feet, and you take your kids to Disneyland with their mother.

Camila: If I’ve given the impression that trust is easy—with your spouse, with your kids, with anybody you care about—if I’ve made it seem like it’s easy to do…then I’ve misspoken. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

But you have nothing without it. Nothing meaningful at all. That’s why I chose to do it. Over and over and over. Even when it bit me in the ass. And I will keep choosing it until the day I die.

Daisy: I called Simone that night, when I got back to my place. She was in New York. I hadn’t seen her in a month or so, maybe more, by that point.

And it was one of the first nights in a really long time that I spent alone, not hanging out with anybody, not partying with somebody somewhere. It was just me in my cottage. It was so quiet it hurt my ears.

I called her and I said, “I’m all alone.”

Simone: I could hear this deep sadness in her voice. Which is rare with Daisy if only because she’s usually hopped up on something. Do you realize how sad you have to be to be sad on coke and dexies? I knew, if she knew how often I was thinking about her, she wouldn’t feel lonely.

Daisy: Simone said, “Do me a favor. Picture a map of the world.” I was not in the mood. She said, “Just picture it.” So I did.

And she said, “And you’re in L.A. You’re a blinking light, you with me so far?”

And I said, “Sure.”

“And you know you blink brighter than anybody. You get that, don’t you?”

And I said, “Sure.” Just humoring her.

And then she said, “And then in New York today, and London on Thursday and Barcelona next week, there’s another blinking light.”

“And that’s you?” I said.

She said, “That’s me. And no matter where we are, no matter what time of day it is, the world is dark and we are two blinking lights. Flashing at the same time. Neither one of us flashing alone.”

Graham: Billy called me at three in the morning one night. Karen was with me. I only answered the phone because I thought somebody must have died if I’m getting a call at three in the morning. Billy didn’t even say hello, he just said, “I don’t think this is gonna work.”

And I said, “What are you talking about?” And he said, “Daisy’s gotta go.”

And I said, “No. Daisy is not gonna go.” But Billy said, “I’m asking you, please.”

And I said, “No, Billy. C’mon, man. We’re almost done with the album.”

And he hung up the phone and that was the end of it.

Camila: In the middle of the night one night, I heard Billy get up and pick up the phone. I was pretty sure he was talking to Teddy. I wasn’t sure.

I heard him say, “Daisy’s gotta go.” And I knew. I mean, of course I knew.

Graham: I just thought he was freaking out because he wasn’t the star of the album anymore. I mean, I knew things between Billy and Daisy were dicey. But back then I thought music was just about music.

But music is never about music. If it was, we’d be writing songs about guitars. But we don’t. We write songs about women.

Women will crush you, you know? I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that? Women are always still standing.

Rod: Daisy wasn’t scheduled to be in that day.

Karen: We were sweetening “Young Stars.” I was in the lounge when I saw Daisy come in. You could tell she was whacked out.

Daisy: I was drunk. In my defense, it was five o’clock. Or close to it. Isn’t that the international drinking time? No, I know. I’m aware it was absurd. Give me a little credit. I know how crazy I am.

Billy: I was in the control booth, listening to Eddie’s overdubs, trying to get him to slow his stuff down a little when Daisy whips open the door and says she needs to talk to me.

Daisy: He tries to pretend he has no idea why I want to talk to him.

Billy: So I say okay and I step out into the kitchen with her. She hands me a napkin and the back of a bill or something. And she’s scrawled all over it in black smudges.

Daisy: Eyeliner pencil smears easily.

Billy: I said, “What is this?”

She said, “This is our new song.”

I looked at it again and I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at.

She says, “It starts on the paper and then goes over to the napkin.”

Daisy: He reads it one time and then he says, “We’re not recording this.”

And I say, “Why not?”

We are talking by a window and it’s open and Billy leans over and he shuts the window. Just like, slams it shut. And then he says, “Because.”

Billy: When you write a song that may or may not be about someone, you can be pretty sure they aren’t going to ask. Because no one wants to sound like a jerk who thinks everything is about them.

Daisy: I said, “Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t record this song.”

He started talking and I interrupted him.

I said, “I’ll give you five good reasons we should.”

Billy: She put up her fist and then started counting her fingers off.

“One, you know it’s good. Two, you were just saying the other day we need something hard, something less romantic. This is that. Three, we need at least one more song. Did you want to write another one together? Because I’ll tell you right now, I sure don’t feel like writing together. Four, it’s written to the melody of that blues shuffle you’ve been working on so it’s already on its way to a finished song. And lastly, five. I relooked at the track list. This album is about tension. If you want it to have movement, thematically, you need something to break. So here you go. It’s all broken now.”

Daisy: I had rehearsed my speech on the way over.

Billy: It was hard to make a case against it but I still tried.

Daisy: I said, “There’s no reason not to record this song. Unless, there’s something else bothering you?”

Billy: I said, “There’s nothing bothering me, but I just say no.”

Daisy: “You aren’t the boss of the band, Billy.”

Billy: I said, “We write together, and I’m not writing that with you.” Daisy grabbed the papers and stomped out of the room and I thought that was that.

Daisy: I pulled everybody in the lounge. Everybody that was there.

Karen: Daisy literally dragged me by the sleeve.

Warren: I’m standing at the back door with a joint in my hand and I feel Daisy’s hand on my shoulder and she’s pulling me back into the studio.

Eddie: Pete was in the booth with Teddy. I’d been in the john. When I came out, Pete had come out, too. To see what was going on.

Graham: Pete and I were sitting in the lounge, working on something when suddenly, everyone’s standing in front of us.

Daisy: I said, “I’m going to sing you all a song.”

Billy: I found them all in the lounge. I was thinking, What the fuck is going on?

Daisy: I said, “And then we’re going to vote on whether it should get recorded and put on the album.”

Billy: I was so angry it was like I surpassed hot and went cold. Just frozen there, stunned. I could feel the blood drain out of me, like someone pulled the stop on a tub.

Daisy: I just went for it. Nothing accompanying me, just singing the song the way I heard it in my head. “When you look in the mirror/take stock of your soul/and when you hear my voice, remember/you ruined me whole.”

Karen: Her voice was guttural. Part of it was that she was clearly drunk or buzzed or something. And her voice was scratchy. But the combination of the two. It was an angry song. And she was angry singing it.

Eddie: It was rock ’n’ roll! It was rage, man. She thrashed. When I tell people what it’s like to make a rock album, I tell them about that day. I tell them about standing there in front of the hottest chick you’ve ever seen in your life, while she’s singing her guts out, and everybody’s feeling like she’s about to lose her goddamn mind. In the best way possible.

Warren: You know when she had me? When I knew that song was fucking great? When she said, “When you think of me, I hope it ruins rock ’n’ roll.”

Billy: When she finished, everyone was dead quiet. And I thought, Okay, good. They don’t like it.

Daisy: I said, “Who thinks the song should be on the album, raise your hand?” And Karen’s hand went straight up.

Karen: I wanted to play on that song. I wanted to rock out onstage with a song like that.

Eddie: It’s a scorned-woman song but it was a great one. I put my hand straight up. And Pete did, too. I think he liked that it really felt like dangerous stuff, you know? So much of what we were doing on that album sounded so soft.

Warren: I said, “Put me down as a yes,” and then I put my joint back to my lips and went back to the parking lot.

Graham: We wouldn’t have been voting if Billy liked the song, right? My instinct was to back him up. But it was also a great song.

Daisy: Everybody has their hands up but Graham and Billy. And then Graham put his up, too.

I looked at Billy in the back. I said, “Six against one.” He nodded at me, at everybody, and he walked away.

Eddie: We recorded it without him.

Rod: It was time to think about how we were going to market this album. So I set the band up with a photographer friend of mine, Freddie Mendoza. Real talented guy. I played him a couple of the early tracks from the album just to give him a sense of what we were going for. He said, “I see it in the desert mountains.”

Karen: For some reason I remember Billy saying he wanted to shoot the cover with us on a boat.

Billy: I’d thought we should do a shot of the sunrise. We’d already decided the album should be called Aurora, I think.

Daisy: Billy had decided the album should be called Aurora and nobody could really argue with him. But it was not lost on me. That this album I worked my ass off on was named after Camila.

Warren: I thought we should shoot the cover on my boat. I thought that would be cool.

Freddie Mendoza (photographer)I was told to get a picture of the whole band with Billy and Daisy as the focus. Really no different than any other band photo shoot, right? You have to be keenly aware of who you’re featuring and how to make it seem natural.

Rod: Freddie wanted a desert vibe. Billy said it was fine. So that was that.

Graham: We all had to be at this spot in the Santa Monica Mountains at the crack of dawn.

Warren: Pete was something like an hour late.

Billy: I looked at us all, as we were standing around waiting for the photographer to set up the shot, and I sort of stepped outside of myself a bit. I tried to see us as others would see us.

I mean, Graham was always a good-looking guy. Bigger than me, stronger than me. He’d grown a little rounder over the years we’d been living high on the hog but it looked good on him. And Eddie and Pete were gangly guys but they dressed well. And Warren had that mean ’stache that was cool back then. Karen was gorgeous in an understated way. And then there was Daisy.

Karen: We’re all gathering up there and we all pretty much just have on jeans and a T-shirt. That’s what Rod said, “Just wear what you’d normally wear.” And then Daisy comes in and she’s wearing cutoffs and a white tank top with no bra on. And she’s got her big hoop earrings, the bangles up her arms. Her shirt was thin, and white, and you could see her nipples clear as day. And she knew that. And suddenly it was crystal clear to me: This cover is gonna be about Daisy’s chest.

Daisy: I’m not apologizing for shit having to do with that album cover. I dress how I want to dress. I wear what I feel comfortable in. How other people feel about it is not my problem. I said that to Rod. I said that to Billy before. I had a lot of talks about it with Karen. [Laughs] She and I have agreed to disagree.

Karen: If we want to be taken seriously as musicians, why are we using our bodies?

Daisy: If I want to walk around topless, that’s my business. Let me tell you, when you’re my age, you’re gonna be glad you took a picture of them then, too.

Graham: Billy and Daisy hadn’t really spoken, that I could see, since “Regret Me.”

Billy: There was nothing to say.

Daisy: He owed me an apology.

Freddie Mendoza: Billy had this denim-on-denim look, right? And then Daisy had on a shirt that was barely a shirt. And I knew that was the photo. His denim and her tank top.

I put the band along the road, against the guard-rail that stood between the pavement and the steep drop-off of the canyon. There was a huge, looming mountain, a hundred feet behind them. And the sun was coming up.

Between the seven of them standing there, all in their various poses, I could tell we were getting something great. I mean, it was just so much Americana in one photo, right? You got the road, and the dust and dirt. You’ve got this band on a cliff—half of them scruffy, half of them beautiful. You’ve got the desert and forest of the Santa Monica Mountains, with just a little bit of trees cropping up in the pale tan ground. And you’ve got the sun, shining down on all of it.

Then you’ve got Billy and Daisy, right?

They had each veered to opposite ends of the group. But I kept trying to get everyone to mix it up. And at one point, I watched as Daisy leaned forward. She was looking at Billy. I just kept shooting. I always try not to call any attention to anything. I try to hang back and let people do what they are going to do. So I just kept snapping as Daisy was looking at Billy. And everyone else is looking at me, at the camera. And then, for a split second, bam, Billy turns and looks at Daisy just as she’s looking at him. And they locked eyes. And I caught it.

I thought, That’s good enough to be an album cover. As soon as I think I have something good, I immediately feel freer, right? I feel ready to try stuff and move people around and I feel like I can push people a bit further because if they get mad at me and walk off, it’s not a problem, right? So I said, “That’s great, guys. Now let’s go to the top of the mountain.”

Billy: We had already been out there in the hot sun taking photos for an hour or two by that point. I was ready to go.

Graham: I said, “We’re driving up. Not walking.” And the photographer and I went back and forth a few times and finally it was decided that I was right.

Freddie Mendoza: We ended up in the perfect spot.

Billy and Daisy got out of the car and they stood there on top of this mountain. With just a clear blue sky behind them, right? And the rest of the band lined up, and they started standing in between Billy and Daisy and I said, “Let’s do Billy, Daisy, Graham…” So I finally got Billy and Daisy next to each other and their body language was like they didn’t want a single atom of their bodies in contact. I tried to make conversation to loosen them up. I said, “How did Daisy come to join the band?” Because I didn’t know the story and I figured it would be easy to talk about.

Billy and Daisy both started talking at the same time and then they looked at each other again. I took a few shots and then I zoomed in on Billy and Daisy’s torsos, their chests, as they were talking to each other. They were angled in, and there was so much…the negative space between them felt…alive somehow. Electric. There was so much purpose behind the not touching, right?

I could tell as I was looking through the viewfinder. I knew it was a great shot.

Daisy: When we were up there on top of the mountain, the guy put Billy and me next to each other and asked us some dumb question and immediately—Billy and I have barely said five words to each other in days—the first thing out of Billy’s mouth is some dig at me.

Billy: It’s some nerve, coming into my band and taking over my album and being at the center of my album cover and then interrupting me when I’m trying to answer the guy’s question.

Karen: We were standing there, posing, the rest of us, and you could tell the camera wasn’t even aimed at us. The guy wasn’t even

pretending to take our photo. Do you know how stupid you feel posing for a picture nobody’s taking?

Warren: I accidentally sat on a rock that got loose and started tumbling down the hill. Almost knocked Eddie down with it. He had to jump out of the way.

Eddie: It was a long day. I was getting so sick of those fucking people.

Graham: I was standing on the top of a mountain, with the woman I loved, shooting a cover for an album we all knew was going to be a massive hit. I swear, I think about that day sometimes when I’m feeling low. I think about it to remind myself you never know what kind of crazy good shit is around the corner. But it’s hard not to remember, when I think about that day, that lots of crazy bad shit is often around the corner, too.

Freddie Mendoza: When I started developing the images I knew the one of the band against the guardrail with Billy and Daisy looking at each other…I knew that one was great, right? But then I pulled out the best one from the shots of Billy and Daisy’s torsos, and I just went, “Fuck yeah.” It’s the kind of great photograph that

—the moment you see it—you can’t help but have an emotional reaction.

He was in denim, you could see her chest. You knew who they were, even without seeing their faces. You could fill in the gaps yourself. With the clear blue sky between them, which was framed in a more or less straight line on Billy’s side and then on Daisy’s side it was curvy, because it ebbed and flowed with her body…it was masculine and feminine at the same time.

And then when you really looked, you could see there was something in her pocket. I didn’t know what it was for sure. It looked like a vial—I was assuming for pills or powder. And it just brought it all together. It was America. It was tits. It was sex. It was drugs. It was summer. It was angst. It was rock ’n’ roll.

So there it was, Billy and Daisy, their torsos on the front. And then the whole band with Billy and Daisy looking at each other on the back. A great fucking album cover. If I do say so myself.

Daisy: It was coke, in my pocket. What else would it be? Of course it was dope.

Billy: You know when you just can’t stop clocking where somebody is? Even when you tell yourself you don’t care? I just…I felt like I was always trying not to look at her. [Laughs] I swear that guy just caught the only two times I was looking at her. He caught me on the front cover and the back cover.

Graham: When Teddy showed us the full mock-up of the album sleeve, with Billy and Daisy on the front and then them looking at each other on the back…None of us should have been surprised. But it does sting a little, to know you’re not the main attraction. I mean, I’d been living in my brother’s shadow from basically the day I was born. I was starting to wonder how much longer I had to do that.

Eddie: Billy and Daisy always believed they were the most interesting people in the world. And that whole album cover confirmed it for them.

Billy: It’s a great cover.

Daisy: It’s iconic.

Karen: Recording was really starting to wind down. We were back in the studio putting finishing touches on stuff.

Eddie: I think it was sometime after we finished the overdubs on “This Could Get Ugly” and I was at the studio listening to some of the tracks with everybody. Well, not Warren and Pete or Billy. They weren’t there. And then Teddy left at some point. And then Rod. And I think even Artie left. And then I was gonna call it a night so I went out to my car to go home and I realized I forgot my keys so I came back real quick. And I heard two people screwing! And I thought, Who the hell is getting off in the bathroom?

And then I heard Graham’s voice. And I saw, through the crack in the door, Karen’s hair. And I just ran right out of there. Got in my car. Drove home. But when I got home, I realized I was still smiling. I was happy for them. They made a lot of sense together. I thought, I bet they get married. And I never thought that about anybody.

Warren: I think I finished my last tracks somewhere in December. I remember thinking I was ready for this album to be done so we could get back on the road. I wanted the crowds and cheering and the groupies and the drugs. Also, something they don’t tell you when you buy a houseboat…it’s very easy to get cabin fever. That’s really meant to be more of a weekend thing.

Karen: As we all got done with our parts on the album, we started taking off. Taking a much-needed break. When Graham and I had laid down everything we were supposed to, we rented a place in Carmel for a few weeks. Just the two of us, a cabin, the beach, the trees. Well, and shrooms.

Graham: I think Eddie and Pete went back to the East Coast for their mom’s birthday or something.

Eddie: I needed to let loose. After our parents’ anniversary party, Pete and Jenny stayed with our parents and I spent about two weeks in New York.

Daisy: There wasn’t anything left for me to do. I’d recorded my vocals. The album cover was done. Our tour dates weren’t set yet. I said, “Screw it, I’m going to Phuket.” I needed a trip to clear my head.

Billy: I took a little bit of time off but then I went back in the studio with Teddy and we went through that album second by second, track by track, and we remixed and remixed and remixed until it was perfect. Teddy, Artie, and I were in the control room for what felt like twenty hours a day for three weeks or something.

Occasionally, I’d get in there and rerecord some of the instruments when we felt like a riff wasn’t exactly right or we wanted to add tack piano or a Dobro or some brushes on the drums. Simple stuff.

Artie Snyder: It was one album when everyone left and when everyone came back it was…it was a different album. It was much more nuanced, layered, innovative. Teddy and Billy went in and filled in all the air. They added cowbells and shakers and claves and scrapers. I think at one point, we even recorded the sound of Billy’s fist hitting the side of the arm of a chair because we liked the hollow sound it made.

Teddy and Billy had a real vision. They had a keen sense for how the songs needed to build and Teddy had a real focus on momentum.

You take a song like “Regret Me,” which, when they started with it, was just the one vocal and a pretty simple shuffle and Teddy pretty much forced Billy to get in there and do a whole second vocal layer. Billy didn’t want to at first, but by the end of it, he’d put a big stamp on that song. He rewrote and recorded the main riff, he and Teddy pulled Warren’s drums back until the prechorus. I mean, they made it a new song.

On “Aurora,” Billy slowed it down, thinned out Karen’s keys, and turned Graham way up. It became much cleaner.

Teddy and Billy—and it got to be me, too—we had a shorthand. We were having fun with it. I think that really shows. I think it shows on the final cut. The final mix of that album is dynamite material.

Billy: When we had the songs how we wanted them, Teddy and I gave a lot of thought to the song order. People like it when you make them sad, I think. But people hate it when you leave them sad. Great albums have to be roller coasters that end on top. You gotta leave people with a little bit of hope. So we thought for a real long time about the track list. We had to get that just right. We ordered it, thematically and instrumentally.

You start big and bold, “Chasing the Night.”

Things start getting more intense with “This Could Get Ugly.”

Then “Impossible Woman” is wild and dark. It has a haunting quality to it.

“Turn It Off” takes off running. It’s an anthem. “Please” is desperate, there’s urgency and begging. You turn to side B.

“Young Stars” is tortured but up-tempo, it’s a little dangerous but you can dance to it.

And then you go right into “Regret Me,” which is hard and fast and raw.

And then come down off it with “Midnights,” which gets a little sweeter.

You lead into “A Hope Like You.” Slow, and tender and wistful and spartan.

And then, you know, the sun comes up at the end. You leave on the high note. You go out with a bang. “Aurora.” Sprawling and lush and percussive.

The whole album…it’s a great ride. Start to finish.

Simone: I was in Manhattan when I got a postcard from Daisy from Thailand.

Daisy: For the first few days I was in Thailand, I just wanted to decompress. I had this idea that I would go somewhere alone and maybe reflect on myself. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Two days in, I was going stir-crazy. I was almost about to book myself a flight home, five days early.

Simone: The postcard she sent just said, “Come to Phuket. Bring coke and lipstick.”

Daisy: But then I met Nicky.

I was laying outside at the pool, looking out over the water. High off my ass. And this incredibly handsome, tall, elegant- looking man came out and he was smoking a cigarette and I said, “Can you put that out please?” Because I hated smelling smoke unless I was smoking.

He said, “You think just because you’re gorgeous you get what you want?” And he had this fabulous Italian accent.

I said, “Yes.”

And he said, “Okay, then. You are right.” And he put out the cigarette. He said, “I’m Niccolo Argento.” And I thought that was such a great name. I kept saying it over and over. Niccolo Argento. Niccolo Argento. He bought me a drink. And then I bought him one. And then we did a line or two off the side of the pool, as you do, and then I realized he had no idea who I was. Which was sort of a novelty, at that point. Because most people at least knew “Honeycomb.” So I tell him about the band and he tells me about himself, that he travels from place to place, never staying anywhere for too long. He calls himself an “adventurer.” He says he’s in search of a “full life of experiences.” Then, it comes out that he’s a prince. He’s an Italian prince.

The next thing I know, it’s four in the morning and we’re in my hotel room, listening to records at full volume, and the hotel staff are telling us to keep it down and Niccolo has LSD and he’s telling me he loves me and I’m saying that I know it sounds crazy but I think I love him, too.

Simone: I wanted to see her and I had a few weeks off between gigs and I was a little worried about her, which at this point was just status quo. So I bought a plane ticket.

Daisy: Over the next few days, I told Nicky everything. I bared my soul to him. He loved the music I loved. And the art I loved. And the pills I loved. He made me feel like he was the only one that could ever understand me. I told him how lonely I was and how hard it had been to work on that album. And how I felt about Billy. I didn’t hide anything from him. I opened up and just let it pour out. And he listened to it all.

At one point, I said, “You must think I’m crazy.”

And he said, “My Daisy, everything about you makes perfect sense to me.”

It seemed like there wasn’t anything about me, any truth that I could tell him, that he wouldn’t accept. Acceptance is a powerful drug. And I should know because I’ve done ’em all.

Simone: I flew into Thailand and I was exhausted and jet-lagged and I got on a rickety bus to get to the hotel. I checked in. I asked the concierge what room Lola La Cava was in and…she’d checked out. She was gone.

Daisy: Nicky and I were out at this disco in Patong. And he got this idea that we should pack up and go to Italy. He said, “I have to show you my country.” I must have called somebody and booked two tickets to Florence at some point because these tickets just showed up at the door one morning.

So Nicky and I flew to Italy. And I swear I was halfway there before I remembered Simone was on her way to meet me.

Simone: I tracked her down by pretending to be her while talking to her credit card company.

Daisy: Nicky and I were in the Boboli Gardens in Florence when he said, “Let’s get married.” So then we flew to Rome and got married by some family friend of his who was a priest. We said I was Catholic. I lied to a Catholic priest. But I was wearing this gorgeous ivory off-the-shoulder cotton lace dress with huge bell sleeves.

I regret that marriage, but I do not regret that dress.

Simone: I finally found Daisy in this grand, massive hotel room overlooking Vatican City in Rome. In Rome! I had to fly halfway around the world and back to find her. And when I did, she was completely bombed, naked except for a pair of underwear. And she had chopped her hair off into this shaggy bob.

Daisy: That was a great haircut.

Simone: It was a really good haircut.

Daisy: I’ve always said, “The Italians know hair.”

Simone: Daisy didn’t even seem all that surprised to see me. Which just told me how messed up she was. And the first thing I noticed when I sat down was that she had a huge diamond ring on her hand. And this guy comes out—thin body, thick curly hair— and he had no shirt on. And Daisy says, “Simone, this is my husband, Niccolo.”

Daisy: Technically, marrying Niccolo made me a princess. That can’t be left out of the equation. I did like the idea of belonging to a huge royal family. Of course, that’s not what my life with Nicky was like at all. I should have known being with Nicky wouldn’t turn out the way he made it seem. Here’s a lesson for everybody, take it from me: Handsome men that tell you what you want to hear are almost always liars.

Simone: I tried to get her to come home but she wasn’t budging. Because when I would tell her there were things she had to do— you have to get ready to tour for your album or you should stop doing so many drugs at one time or you should try to spend a little time sober—there was Nicky telling her she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do. He was there, amplifying all of her bad instincts. All the time. He was like a bird chirping in her ear, validating every impulse.

Karen: When we all met back up in January, Daisy wasn’t anywhere to be found.

Graham: We are sitting in Teddy’s office over at Runner with Rich Palentino and we’re all gonna give the final mix a listen. And we were all expecting to…Well, we all figured we knew exactly what we’d recorded, give or take.

Warren: I was hungover and there was no coffee in either of the coffeepots at Runner’s offices. I said to the secretary at the front desk, “What do you mean there’s no coffee?”

And she said, “The machine is broken.”

I said to her, “Well, I’m sure as shit not gonna be alive in this meeting then.”

She said, “You’re too much.” And then she seemed a little bit mad, like I couldn’t get a read on her. And I was really hungover.

I said, “Wait, I haven’t slept with you, have I?” I had not.

Karen: The album starts playing, we’re all sitting around the table…

Eddie: First song, out of the gate, “Chasing the Night,” he changed my fucking lick. He changed my motherfucking lick.

Billy: I don’t think I realized, until we were listening to it all together…I don’t think I realized just how many things Teddy and I had changed.

Eddie: It just got worse from there. He changed the tuning on “Please.” Completely changed it and rerecorded it. As if I wasn’t going to notice he’d shifted to Nashville tuning. Like I’m not going

to notice that the song has to be played on a different goddamn guitar. And everybody else, they saw it! They could see what he’d done. But no one was going to speak up, you know what I’m saying? Because Teddy and Runner were so happy with the record that they were talking about booking stadiums and pressing over a hundred masters and all this shit. They’re saying they want to release “Turn It Off” as soon as possible and they think it can hit number one. So everybody had dollar signs in their eyes and nobody said much of anything to Billy. Or Teddy.

Karen: He’d pulled my keys off of two songs. And I was mad, of course I was mad. But what were we gonna do? You’ve got Rich Palentino so excited about the album, he’s spitting when he talks.

Warren: I’d have respected it a lot more if Billy hadn’t tried to pretend he wasn’t producing the album with Teddy. I don’t like underhanded shit. I don’t like saying one thing and doing another.

But I was also the drummer in a successful rock band that everybody was saying was headed to the top of the charts. I’ve always had a good sense of perspective. If I do say so myself.

Rod: That’s when the whispering started. Everybody stopped talking to each other and all started whispering to me.

Karen would say, “He took out my keys and he didn’t even run it by me.”

And I’d say, “You have to talk to him about it.” And she wouldn’t.

And Pete would say that the record was too soft now. That he was embarrassed by it. And I’d say, “Talk to Billy about it.”

I’d say to Billy, “You need to talk to your bandmates.” He’d say, “If they want to talk to me, they’ll talk to me.”

And everybody’s wondering when Daisy’s coming back, but I’m the only one willing to try to track her down.

Graham: It was a strange reminder that things were changing. That we weren’t the same band we were a few years ago. A few

years ago, if Billy was going to rerecord Eddie’s tracks, he would have talked to me about it. He would have bounced the idea off of me. Instead, he was talking to Teddy. But that was true of a lot of things between Billy and me. I had Karen. He had Camila and his girls. And when he wanted to talk about ideas…well, at least throughout the recording of Aurora…he had Daisy. I’m not going to say I was feeling like Billy didn’t need me anymore. That’s dramatic. But maybe I was feeling like we weren’t a team all the time anymore. That we’d outgrown that.

You know, I think a lot of how I defined myself was in relation to him. I always—my whole life until around that point—I always felt like Billy Dunne’s little brother. And that was when it occurred to me that he probably never defined himself as Graham Dunne’s older brother. Would never have thought to.

Billy: In hindsight, I can see why they were mad. But I don’t regret any work I did on that album. The work speaks for itself.

Karen: It’s so complicated. Was the album our best one because Billy was forced to let us in on the composing and arranging from the outset? I think so. Was it the best one because Billy ultimately took the reins back? Because Teddy knew when to make Billy listen to other ideas and when to let him run the show? Was it only the best because of Daisy? I have no idea. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and I have no idea.

But when you’re a part of something as big as that album ended up being…you want to know if you were an integral part. You want to believe they couldn’t have done it without you. Billy never did put much effort into making everyone feel integral.

Billy: All bands have trouble with this stuff. You know how hard it is to get this many people to agree on anything this subjective?

Artie Snyder: I heard little inklings of grief, later. That some of the band weren’t happy with the changes. Or maybe the way the changes were handled. But I thought it was sort of odd, the way everyone was getting upset at Billy as if he was in charge. Teddy

was in charge. If Billy redid Eddie’s tracks, it’s because Teddy thought Billy should redo the tracks. I never once saw Billy do anything Teddy wasn’t backing.

I even made a joke once, when Teddy was out of the room. Billy had wanted to take out the Dobro on some song but Teddy wanted it in. When Teddy was gone, I said, “Should we just go ahead and take it out and see if he notices?”

Billy shook his head, really serious. He said, “Biggest hit we’ve had was a song I thought I hated. Teddy’s the only one that saved it.” He said, “If it comes down to his opinion or my opinion, we go with his opinion.”

Simone: I finally got Daisy to agree to buy a plane ticket to be back in L.A. for the start of rehearsals.

Daisy: When I told Nicky that it was time for me to go back to L.A., he wasn’t very supportive. The band had to do press and prerelease stuff. We had to get ready to head out on tour. And he knew that. I had told him all of that when we met. But he said, “Don’t go. Stay here. The band doesn’t mean anything.” And that hurt. Because the band meant everything. This thing that felt like all of my worth…he treated it like it was nothing. I’m embarrassed to say he almost had me. I almost didn’t leave for the airport.

Simone knocked on the door and Nicky said, “Don’t answer


I said, “It’s Simone. I have to answer it.” She was standing

there and she had this furious look on her face, and I’ll never forget, she said, “Get. Your. Fucking. Suitcase. And. Get. In. The. Cab. Now.” I’d never seen her like that. And something just sort of clicked in me.

You have to have one person in your life that you know would never do anything to steer you wrong. They may disagree with you. They could even break your heart, from time to time. But you have to have one person, at least, who you know will always tell you the truth.

You need one person who, when the shit hits the fan, grabs your stuff, throws it in a suitcase, and gets you away from the Italian prince.

Simone: I dragged her ass home.

Karen: Daisy comes back from this monthlong vacation and she’s somehow ten pounds lighter than when she left, which, you know, Daisy didn’t have ten pounds to lose. And she’s cut all of her hair off and she’s got a diamond ring on, and she’s a princess.

Billy: I was floored—I mean absolutely positively floored, my jaw about hit the floor—when she showed up married.

Daisy: What did he care? Honestly, what did he care? That’s what I was thinking. He was married. I couldn’t be married?

Warren: Let’s not go crazy here. She married the son of a prince. When she got back I asked her how many people had to die before this guy was king and she said, “Well, technically, the Italians don’t have a monarchy anymore.” So…that doesn’t sound like much of a prince to me.

Rod: We were slating the album for release that summer. As it got closer, we started sending the finished record out to critics and magazines. We had a lot of requests for interviews.

We wanted a big, splashy magazine cover to hit the stands right as the album came out. Obviously, we wanted Rolling Stone. And Daisy, specifically, wanted Jonah Berg again. So I made the call and he agreed to do it.

Jonah Berg: The plan was that I was going to hang out with them during rehearsals.

I did feel a certain connection with them, the band, because I knew that it had been my article that had pushed them into doing an album together. So if I thought the album sucked, that would have been a little embarrassing. But I was really blown away by it. Lyrically, there was a lot going on. Billy and Daisy were credited equally. And some of the most gripping songs were ones where they were credited together. So I was coming into the situation assuming that the story here was that Billy and Daisy had an intense collaborative chemistry.

Karen: The first few days of rehearsal, it was really subtle, but if you were paying attention, you’d notice that Billy and Daisy never actually spoke to each other.

Graham: As we were talking about the set for the show, we were all sitting around on the stage, but Billy and Daisy wouldn’t address each other directly. I remember Billy suggested we not play “Honeycomb” anymore, even though it was a big hit for us. He suggested sticking to Aurora—and maybe one or two other songs.

Daisy looked at me and said, “What do you think, Graham? I think people will expect it. We don’t want to disappoint them.” I could not understand why she was directing it to me.

Before I could even answer, Billy looked at me and said, “But it’s slow. We have to keep in mind we’re playing bigger venues. We need stuff that plays to a crowd.” I was about to ask Billy if that meant he didn’t want to do “A Hope Like You” either, because that’s also a slow one. But before I could, Billy said, “So that settles it then.”

And Daisy said, “Well, what does everybody else think?”

And the whole time, they weren’t even making eye contact. We were all standing around, watching them talk near each other.

Billy: The first day we rehearsed, I came in with a good attitude. I said to myself, This is somebody I need to work with. Forget whatever chaos is going on. This is a professional relationship. I tried to put my personal issues with her aside. And you know what? I was still mad about her calling for a vote on “Regret Me.” Yeah, I was. But it was water under the bridge. It had to be. So I made sure that my tone was kind and I kept my nose to the grindstone.

Daisy: I was ready to put all of that crap between Billy and me in the past. I was married now. I was trying to keep my focus on Nicky. I was really trying to make it work.

Nicky had finally agreed to join me as we went into rehearsals. He flew in from Rome and moved into my place at the Marmont.

He even had dinner with my folks. I almost never had dinner with my folks. But I asked them if they wanted to meet him and they invited us out to Chez Jay. He was incredibly polite and sweet

and really impressed them. He pulled out the whole “Yes, Mrs. Jones. No, Mr. Jones” thing and they liked that and then the minute we got to my car afterward, he said, “How can you stand those people?” And I smiled about as wide as humanly possible.

I liked being married. I liked the idea of us being a team, of being tied to this one person. I had somebody who asked how my day was, every day.

Simone: In theory, marriage made a lot of sense for Daisy. She needed stability back then. I mean, she has always been my best friend. Always will be. But she wanted someone to share her life with. Someone who loved her and cared about her and worshipped her. She wanted someone that, when she wasn’t home by a certain time, would wonder where she was. So…I understood what she was trying for. I wanted that for her, too.

She just picked the wrong person for the wrong reasons.

Daisy: Obviously there were a lot of signs that I’d made a wrong turn. Niccolo was deeper in the dope than I was. I was the one telling him to slow it down. I was the one turning down heroin. I was the one noticing just how much we were putting on my credit cards. And he was very threatened by Billy. He was jealous of anyone that I had previously dated or had feelings for and anyone that he perceived as someone I might possibly sleep with. At the time, I chalked it up to newlywed problems.

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest and I really took that to heart back then. I wish someone had told me that love isn’t torture. Because I thought love was this thing that was supposed to tear you in two and leave you heartbroken and make your heart race in the worst way. I thought love was bombs and tears and blood. I did not know that it was supposed to make you lighter, not heavier. I didn’t know it was supposed to take only the kind of work that makes you softer. I thought love was war. I didn’t know it was supposed to…I didn’t know it was supposed to be peace. And you know what? Even if I did know that, I don’t know that I would have been ready to welcome it or value it.

I wanted drugs and sex and angst. That’s what I wanted. Back then I thought that the other type of love…I thought that was for other types of people. Honestly, I thought that type of love didn’t exist for women like me. Love like that was for women like Camila. I distinctly remember thinking that.

Simone: Niccolo had a lot of good qualities. He did. He cared about her. He made her feel secure, in his own way. He used to make her laugh. They had inside jokes I never understood. Something about the game Monopoly. I don’t know. But he genuinely made her laugh. And Daisy had such a great smile, and she’d been unhappy for a while.

But he was possessive. And you can’t own anybody, let alone somebody like Daisy.

Warren: I met Niccolo and I went, Oh, okay, got it. This guy’s a con artist.

Eddie: I kind of liked Niccolo. He was always real cool with me and Pete.

Billy: Niccolo came down to the studio to hear us rehearse a lot. There was one day when Daisy and I…we were rehearsing the vocal harmonies and it wasn’t jibing. We had a few moments of downtime and I said to her, “Maybe we need to shift this into a different key.” That was more than I’d said to her in I don’t know how long. But Daisy just said it was fine the way it was. I said, “If you can’t hit the note exactly, we have to change something.” She rolled her eyes at me. And I apologized. Because I didn’t want to make a scene. I said, “Okay, I’m sorry.” I figured it would work itself out.

But she just said, “I don’t need your apologies, all right?” I said, “I’m just trying to be nice.”

She said, “I’m not interested in your nice.” Then she shivered. And it was cold in the studio and she was wearing basically nothing. She looked cold to me.

And I said, “Daisy, I’m sorry. Let’s just be on good terms, all right? Here, take my shirt.” I had on a T-shirt and then a button- down over it. Or maybe I was wearing a jacket or something. Anyway, I took it off and I put it around her arms.

And she shrugged it off and she said, “I don’t need your fucking jacket.”

Daisy: Billy always knows best. He knows when you’re not singing right. He knows how you should fix it. He knows what you should be wearing. I was so sick of being told by Billy how things were going to go.

Billy: I was sick and tired of being treated like was her problem. She was my problem. And all I tried to do was give her my jacket.

Daisy: I didn’t want his coat. What did I want his coat for?

Graham: Daisy was raising her voice a little bit. And the minute she did, Niccolo just came running in.

Karen: He was over by the couches we had in the corner, next to the cooler of beers. He always wore blazers over his T-shirts.

Warren: That fucker was drinking all the good beers.

Billy: He came running in toward me and grabbed me by my shirt. He said, “What’s the problem here?” I knocked his hand away and I could tell, by the look on his face when I did it, that he was trouble.

Graham: I was watching it happen—this fight brewing—and I was thinking, At what point do I step in here?

I’m worried Billy’s gonna clock him.

Karen: You wouldn’t have thought, at first, that Niccolo was tough. Because he was so smarmy. And he wasn’t muscular or anything. And he was supposedly some prince or what have you.

But I watched him puff out his chest a bit and, look, Billy’s a formidable guy. But you just got this sense that Niccolo was a little bit unhinged.

Warren: There’s a code to two men fighting it out. You don’t punch the nuts. You don’t really kick. You never bite. Niccolo would have bitten. You could just see it.

Billy: Could I have taken him out? Maybe. But I don’t think he wanted a fight any more than I did.

Daisy: I was not quite sure what to do. I think I just waited, watching it happen.

Billy: He said, “You stay away from her, okay? You work together and that’s it. You don’t talk to her, you don’t touch her, you don’t even look at her.” I thought that was bullshit. I mean, sure, this guy can try to tell me what to do. But he shouldn’t tell Daisy what to do. I turned and I looked at Daisy and I said, “Is this what you want?”

And she looked away for a moment and then she looked back at me and said, “Yes, that’s what I want.”

Daisy: Oh, the tangled messes I’ve created in my life.

Billy: I couldn’t believe it. That she would…I had trusted her when all signs said that I shouldn’t. And I was done doing that. Completely done doing that. She was exactly who I’d thought she was. And I felt like I’d been an idiot for thinking otherwise. I put my hands up and I said, “All right, man. You won’t hear a peep from me.”

Eddie: I couldn’t believe it. Somebody had actually put Billy Dunne in his place.

Karen: It was that afternoon or maybe the next day that Jonah Berg came by for the first time. I was on pins and needles. I think we all were. Because Billy and Daisy wouldn’t even look at each other. We rehearsed “Young Stars” all afternoon, and even when they were singing together, in harmony, they weren’t looking at each other.

Jonah Berg: I show up and I’m expecting this warm atmosphere. I mean, this is a band that has just finished a great album. One where they are clearly all on the same page, working together seamlessly. Or so I thought. But I walk in, and they are in the middle of a song, and Daisy and Billy are about as far away from each other as two people can be, while still on the same stage. It was, visually, very jarring. You don’t realize how often singers stand close to one another until you see two people facing forward, fifteen feet between the two of them, not even looking at each other.

Graham: I kept thinking, Just get it together while this guy is here.

Karen: In this instance, I’d say it was on Daisy to fix what had just happened. And she wasn’t gonna do that.

Jonah Berg: But even with this tension in the room, the band sounded great. And the songs they were playing were great. That’s one thing that The Six has always done, and they did it even better when they had Daisy on board. They made music that—it could be the first time you heard a song—but you were tapping your foot along with them. That’s a testament to the work of Warren Rhodes and Pete Loving. Daisy Jones & The Six get a lot of credit for the intrigue of their lyrics—and certainly everyone’s paying attention to Billy and Daisy, as well they should—but that was one hell of a rhythm section.

Billy: I asked Rod, at some point, if we could reschedule Jonah to another day.

Rod: It was too late to move Jonah. He was already there watching them rehearse.

Daisy: I didn’t see why Billy had to make such a big deal out of it. We could easily have just made nice in front of Jonah Berg.

Jonah Berg: After a few songs, they take a break, they all come say hi to me at various points. I shared a cigarette with Warren outside and I figured he was my best chance at the truth. I said, “Level with me. Something’s up here.”

And he said, “Nothing’s up.” Just kind of shrugged his shoulders like he had no idea what I was talking about. And I trusted him. I believed that nothing out of the ordinary had happened, that this was just the way they worked together. Billy and Daisy just truly didn’t get along. And probably never really had.

Billy: I think it was that night that Jonah wanted to take us all out for a beer but I had told Camila I’d be home to help her get the kids in the bath, so I asked Jonah if he could do the next night and it didn’t seem to be a problem for him.

Eddie: We’re all supposed to be putting this band first, and Billy blows off the first night we’re supposed to be hanging out with Rolling Stone for the cover.

Daisy: I figured it was good news Billy was going home. I could take the first swing at the interview without worrying about him being around.

Jonah Berg: I appreciated that Daisy made herself available to me. So often, you go into a situation and you have certain band members that won’t really talk to you. Daisy made it easy to get a story.

Rod: Daisy didn’t want to go home. You know when you’re with someone and it’s clear they want to just keep hanging out, keep partying all night, keep working all night, keep doing whatever it is all night, because they don’t want to go and face whatever they have waiting for them at home?

That was Daisy when she was married to Niccolo.

Jonah Berg: We all go out that night, everybody but Billy. First, we head out to this Bad Breakers show over on the Strip. And it seems really obvious to me that Karen and Graham must be sleeping together. And I say to them, I said, “Are you two an item?” And Graham says yes and Karen says no.

Graham: I didn’t understand. I just didn’t understand Karen.

Karen: Graham and I could never last, it was never…I just needed it to exist in a vacuum, where real life didn’t matter, where the future didn’t matter, where all that mattered was, you know, how we felt that day.

Jonah Berg: Warren seemed busy hitting on every woman he could find. And Eddie Loving was talking my ear off, talking about tuning or something. Pete was off with some girl he was seeing. So I decided to focus on Daisy. She was who I wanted to get the most from anyway.

Now, I will say this: A lot of people were getting high on whatever they could get their hands on back then. That wasn’t anything new. And even as a journalist, there wasn’t much you couldn’t allude to in the pages of a magazine, certainly one like Rolling Stone. You could imply all sorts of stuff about what everybody was getting up to. But there were some people who didn’t seem like they were snorting things for fun. There were some people out there who were getting high because they couldn’t hold it together without it. And it was my personal opinion, that the drug habits of those people were sort of…off- limits. A lot of people in my position felt differently. A lot of them behaved differently, wrote differently.

I certainly got into a few situations over the years where I felt pressured—or was pressured, I should say—to out those people in the interest of selling magazines. So I tended to not even write down what I observed, or tell a single person what I saw, if I thought somebody I was interviewing had a serious drug problem. It was a very “see no evil” sort of thing. For me.

When I’m with Daisy that night, we are hanging out in the back of the crowd. And I look over and Daisy is rubbing her gums. And at first I thought it was coke but I realize she was snorting amphetamines. She did not seem like a recreational user, I guess is what I’m saying. And there seemed a significant difference in the Daisy I met on tour the year before and this Daisy now. She was more frenetic, less eloquent. Sadder, maybe. No, that’s not it. Less joyful.

She said to me, “Do you want to go outside?” I nodded and we went into the parking lot and we sat on the hood of my car. And Daisy said, “All right, Jonah. Let’s do this. Ask your questions.”

And I said, “If you don’t want to go on the record now, because you’re…not in the right state of mind, you need to say so.”

And she said, “No, let’s talk.”

I had given her an explicit out. And she turned it down. That’s all I felt obligated to do. So I said, “What’s going on between you and Billy?”

Then it all just started pouring out of her.

Daisy: I shouldn’t have said what I said. And then Billy shouldn’t have gone and done what he did.

Billy: I come into the rehearsal space the next day and everybody’s there and they are all talking and messing around and Jonah says, “When should we set aside some time to talk?”

And I say, “Let me see when Daisy’s free.”

And he says, “Well, I want to get some time just the two of us, if you’re good with that.” That’s when I started to get worried. Just the way he said it…I sort of had this feeling like, What did she do? I looked over at her and she was up at the mike, talking to somebody. And she had on tiny shorts again in this cold studio. And I just thought, Put some fucking pants on. That’s what I was thinking. You’re cold. Stop dressing like it’s gonna be hot in here. You know that it’s cold in here every day. But of course she was hot, she was sweating bullets from all the drugs in her body. I knew that.

Daisy: I think that if I had gone up to Jonah that day, after talking to him that night, and tried to take it all back, he might have let me. And I considered it. I really did.

Jonah Berg: I absolutely would not have agreed to let Daisy rescind her comments. People have asked it before. I’ve always said no. That’s why I’m very clear at the beginning, when I start recording. I make sure people understand what they are doing when they talk to me.

I gave Daisy plenty of outs. She moved forward. At that point, the question of integrity shifts from being my problem to her problem.

Billy: So we rehearse for the morning and Daisy and I just can’t get the harmony right in the last verse of the song but I don’t want to get into a fight with her in front of Jonah. I also don’t want to be performing this poorly in front of him either. The last thing I want is an article that says that we don’t have what it takes live. So when

we break, I ask Graham to talk to her and he agrees. And Daisy and I, for at least the rest of that session, just sort of communicated through Graham.

Graham: I mean, how was I supposed to keep track of their bullshit? Who’s not talking to who when and for what goddamn reason? I’ve got my own problems. I’ve got my own heart cracking, man. I’m in love with a woman that I am starting to think doesn’t love me and I’m not telling a single soul about it and you don’t see me asking for intermediaries to save me from my own brand of crap, do you?

Billy: After we call it a day, I go out with Jonah and I’m sitting there, banging the 57 on a bottle of ketchup, when he says, “Daisy says you spent your first tour cheating on your wife and dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction, possibly a heroin addiction. She says you’re in recovery now but that you missed the birth of your first daughter because you were in rehab.”

Warren: I don’t consider myself to be very high on the list of good people. But you don’t tell other people’s stories.

Daisy: I did so many stupid things back then. Basically for all of the seventies. I did a lot of things that hurt people or hurt myself. But that one has always stuck out to me as one I particularly regret. Not just because of Billy. Although, I did feel badly that I shared something he told me in confidence. But I regret it more because I could have hurt his family.

And I just…[pauses] I would never want to do that. Truly.

Billy: You know, one of the things you learn in recovery is that self-control is the only control we have. That all you can do is make sure your own actions are sound because you can’t control the actions of others. That’s why I didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was take the bottle of ketchup and throw it at the window. And I did not reach across the table and wring Jonah Berg’s neck.

And I did not get in the car, find Daisy, and start screaming at her. I did not do any of those things.

I stared right at him, and I could feel my breath growing really hot. I could feel my chest expanding up and down. I felt like a lion, like I was capable of destroying him. But I closed my eyes and I stared at the back of my own eyelids and I said, “Please do not print that.”

Jonah Berg: That confirmed for me that it was true. But I said, “If you can give me something else to write about, then I won’t.” I mean, I told you. I don’t like printing secrets when they’re sad. I got into journalism to tell rock ’n’ roll stories. Not to tell depressing ones. Give me rock stars sleeping with groupies, give me the crazy shit you did on PCP. Great. But I’ve never liked publishing depressing shit. People’s families falling apart and all that. I said, “Give me something rock ’n’ roll.” That felt like a win- win.

And Billy said, “How about this? I can’t fucking stand Daisy Jones.”

Billy: I will tell you exactly what I said. It’s right there in the article. I said, “She’s a selfish brat who’s been given everything she wants her entire life and thinks it’s because she deserves it.”

Jonah Berg: When he said, “Talent like Daisy’s is wasted on people like Daisy,” I went, Oh, wow. Okay. Here is a great article. It was a way more interesting story to tell, in my opinion. What’s gonna sell more copies? Billy Dunne used to be an alcoholic and now he’s reformed? Or the two lead singers in this hip new band loathe each other?

It was no contest. The world was filled with Billy Dunnes. So many men in this world missed their daughters’ births or stepped out on their wives or whatever else he did. Sorry to say it but that’s the world we live in. But not many people are so creatively in sync with someone they despise. That was fascinating.

My editor loved the idea. He couldn’t have been more amped about it.

I told the photographer what I wanted for the cover and he said it would be easy enough to splice together from the photos he had taken. So I went back to New York and I wrote that article in forty-eight hours. I never write articles that fast. But it was just so easy. And those articles are always the best ones—the kind you swear wrote themselves.

Graham: The entire point of having Jonah Berg out with us was so that he could write an article about what a smart move it was to have Daisy join the band. And, instead, he writes about Billy and Daisy hating each other.

Eddie: It felt like those two assholes let their own personal crap taint the band and the music and all the hard work we’d all put into it.

Rod: It all landed so perfectly. The band just couldn’t see it. They couldn’t see how great it was.

We released “Turn It Off” as the first single. We booked the band on Midnight Special. We had them doing radio spots all over the country leading up to the album dropping. And then, the same week Aurora hits the shelves, so does the Rolling Stone cover.

Billy’s profile shot on one side, Daisy’s on the other, their noses almost touching.

And it says, “Daisy Jones & The Six: Are Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones Rock ’n’ Roll’s Biggest Foes?”

Warren: I saw that and I just had to start laughing. Jonah Berg always thinks he’s one step ahead when he’s two steps behind.

Karen: If there was any chance that Billy and Daisy were going to put the pettiness behind them and work together, really work together, over the course of the tour, I think that magazine interview ended it. I don’t think there was much coming back from it.

Rod: Is there any headline that is going to make you want to see Daisy Jones & The Six perform live more than that?

Billy: I didn’t care if Daisy was mad at me. I didn’t care one bit.

Daisy: We both did things we shouldn’t have. When someone says your talent is wasted on you and he says it to a reporter knowing full well it’s going to make it into print, you aren’t really inclined to mend fences.

Billy: You can’t claim the high ground when you go around throwing other people and their families under the bus.

Rod: There’s no diamond record without that Rolling Stone article. That article was the first step in their music transcending the limits of music. It was the first step toward Aurora not only being an album, but an event. It was the last kick it needed to blast off.

Karen: “Turn It Off” debuted at number 8 on the Billboard


Rod: Aurora came out June 13, 1978. And we didn’t hit with a splash. We hit with a cannonball.

Nick Harris (rock critic)This was an album people had been waiting for. They wanted to know what would happen when you put Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones together for an entire album.

And then they drop Aurora.

Camila: The day the record hit the shelves, we took the girls down to Tower Records. We let Julia buy her own copy. I was a little wary of it, to be honest. It wasn’t exactly child-friendly. But it was her dad’s album. She was allowed to have her own copy of it. When we left the store, Billy said, “Who’s your favorite member of the band?”

And I said, “Oh, Billy…”

And Julia pipes up and goes, “Daisy Jones!”

Jim Blades: I was playing the Cow Palace the day Aurora came out, I think. And I had a roadie go down to the record store and get it so I could listen to it. I remember sitting there, before we

were about to go on, listening to “This Could Get Ugly,” smoking a cigarette thinking, Why didn’t I think to get her to join my band?

The writing was on the wall. They were gonna eclipse all of us.

With that cover, too. That cover was perfect California summer rock ’n’ roll.

Elaine Chang (biographer, author of Daisy Jones: Wild Flower)If you were a teenager in the late seventies, that cover was everything.

The way Daisy Jones carried herself, the way she was in full control of her own sexuality, the way she showed her chest through her shirt but it felt like it was on her own terms…it was a seminal moment in the lives of so many teenage girls. Boys, too, I understand. But I’m much more interested in what it meant for girls.

When you’re talking about images in which a woman is naked, subtext is everything. And the subtext of that photo—the way her chest is neither aimed at Billy nor at the viewer, the way her stance is confident but not suggestive—the subtext isn’t that Daisy is trying to please you or the man she’s with. The subtext isn’t “My body is for you.” Which is what so many nude photos are, what so many images of naked women are used for. The subtext—for her body, in that image—it’s self-possession. The subtext is “I do what I want.”

That album cover is why I, as a young girl, fell in love with Daisy Jones. She just seemed so fearless.

Freddie Mendoza: It’s funny. When I shot the album cover, I thought it was just a gig. Now, all these years later, it’s all anybody asks about. That’s what happens when you do something legendary, right? Ah, well.

Greg McGuinness (former concierge, the Continental Hyatt house)Once “Turn It Off” came out, everybody in town was talking about that record.

Artie Snyder: The week it came out—the very week it came out— I got three job offers. People were buying that album, listening to it, loving it, and they wanted to know who mixed it.

Simone: Daisy just blew up. She went from being well known to being an absolute sensation. She was it.

Jonah Berg: Aurora was a perfect album. It was exactly what we all wanted it to be, but better than we anticipated. It was an exciting band putting out a confident, bold, listenable album from start to finish.

Nick Harris: Aurora was romantic and brooding and heartbreaking and volatile all at once. In the age of arena rock, Daisy Jones & The Six managed to create something that felt intimate even though it could still play to a stadium. They had the impenetrable drums and the searing solos—they had songs that felt relentless in the best way possible. But the album also felt up close and personal. Billy and Daisy felt like they were right next to you, singing just to each other.

And it was deeply layered. That was the biggest thing Aurora had going for it. It sounds like a good-time album when you first listen to it. It’s an album you can play at a party. It’s an album you get high to. It’s an album you can play as you’re speeding down the highway.

But then you listen to the lyrics and you realize this is an album you can cry to. And it’s an album you can get laid to.

For every moment of your life, in 1978, Aurora could play in the background.

And from the moment it was released, it was a juggernaut.

Daisy: It’s an album about needing someone and having them love someone else.

Billy: It’s an album about the push and pull of stability and instability. It’s about the struggle that I live almost every day to

not do something stupid. Is it about love? Yeah, of course it is. But that’s because it’s easy to disguise almost anything as a love song.

Jonah Berg: Billy and Daisy was our biggest-selling issue of the seventies.

Rod: Rolling Stone did a lot to get people to buy the record. But the real money was in how many people bought tickets to the show because of that article.

Nick Harris: You heard the album and you read about Billy and Daisy in Rolling Stone and you wanted to see it for yourself.

You had to see it for yourself.

You'll Also Like