The It Girl: 1972-1974 – Debut: 1973-1975 

The It Girl: 1972-1974

Daisy is determined to establish her own identity beyond the Sunset Strip scene, so she takes up songwriting. She compiles a songbook of over a hundred original songs while continuing to socialize with other musicians. Daisy begins dating a rockstar and, while he performs a show, she hesitantly joins his band on stage to sing a cover of "Son of a Preacher Man." Though she’s initially reserved, she gradually unleashes her powerful voice and has the audience in the palm of her hand by the end of the song. 

Daisy begins performing in clubs throughout L.A. and gains notoriety. People often try to convince her to create a demo, but she’s skeptical of the industry and protective of her art. Ultimately, she chooses Hank Allen to be her manager because he focuses on her songs instead of just her, which she appreciates. She agrees to record a demo but resists pressure from the record execs to sing like everyone else because she refuses to be someone she isn’t. Daisy leaves during the recording because Hank asks her to sing a song differently. The move lands her a record deal with Runner Records, but Daisy is crestfallen to discover that the record executives aren’t interested in her original songs and only want to release an album of covers. She rips up her contract never having read it. 

Daisy is heartbroken that record execs aren’t interested in what she has to say, so she goes to Simone’s place after leaving the studio. They commiserate as Daisy drinks champagne straight from the bottle in Simone’s bathtub, and after Daisy gets drunk, Simon carries her out of the bath and puts her to bed. The next day, Hank meets Daisy at her room at the Chateau Marmot and attempts to convince her to stick with the plan and fulfill her contract. During their conversation, Hank gives her Seconal for the first time. Daisy, who has suffered from insomnia her entire life, is finally able to sleep because of the pill. 

Debut: 1973-1975  

The band rents a house together as The Six prepare to record their debut album. Billy is ecstatic to have Camila with him and he feels like everything is golden now that they’re engaged. Karen describes how powerful and persuasive Camila is and how deftly she gets her way. Meanwhile, Billy begins using more drugs as he immerses himself in songwriting and perfecting the album. He takes on the role of the leader of the band as it starts working on the album and begins dictating how everyone should sound. Teddy gives Billy his full support and mentors him by encouraging him to be himself. The debut is promising. 

Just before Billy goes on tour for the debut album, Camila tells him she’s pregnant. Billy is happy but also terrified, and he wonders how he can be a father when he himself didn’t have a father growing up. Billy insists that they get married before he leaves on tour, so they throw an impromptu wedding at the house. Though the wedding goes well, Billy is filled with doubt and fear when he leaves for the tour in the morning. After the first show of the tour goes badly, Billy gets drunk and cheats on Camila with another woman. Distraught, Billy vows not to do it again but does not tell Camila. Camila later admits in an interview that she suspected he would.  

Karen and Graham are increasingly upset and worried about Billy as he continues to party during the tour. Billy ends up going on a bender, drinking, doing drugs, and sleeping with other women. Camila surprises Billy by traveling to see him at one of the tour locations and catches him with another woman. She confronts him but leaves when he tries to take another bump of drugs. On her way out of the hotel, Camila asks Graham to give Billy a letter that says he has until the day before the baby is due to get his act together. In response, Billy begins to use drugs even more than before, believing he will be able to get clean later on, and he takes heroin for the first time. When Camila goes into labor early, Billy can’t face her, so Camila gives him an ultimatum: Billy can come meet his daughter or go to rehab. Billy chooses to go to rehab, and after he gets clean, he meets his daughter, Julia, two months later. Camila forgives him. 


​​​In this section, both Daisy and Billy use substances to control emotions that feel overwhelming. Daisy gets drunk to numb the feelings she’s experiencing about the souring of her record contract; she thought she was getting a chance to record her own music, only to discover that the record company wants her to sing other people’s songs. Daisy self-medicates to avoid the feelings that she’ll never be taken seriously as an artist—a move that nearly costs her the opportunity to make her first record. In a parallel narrative, Billy starts using drugs more heavily to escape the terror he feels about becoming a father. He worries that he doesn’t know how to raise a child because he didn’t have a father growing up, and through his drug use and cheating, he starts to go down the path he most fears. In fact, it’s because he’s self-medicating with drugs that he misses the opportunity to see his daughter’s birth. Both Daisy and Billy use drugs and alcohol to avoid realities that they know they need to face, and this strategy ends up nearly costing both of them the lives they want. 

Daisy struggles with the ways her physical beauty can both be an asset and an impediment to getting the recognition she wants. Daisy commands the attention of a room, in part because of her physical beauty. It is repeatedly the first thing people comment on when they encounter her. Her beauty gets her access to the places she wants to be, such as the music clubs she wants to enter as a teenager, and allows her to connect with people who can help her career, such as Jim Blades. Blades says that Daisy’s biggest asset is that people can’t take their eyes off her. Though Daisy is offended by this, she also believes that, though her beauty will get her in the door, once she’s there, people will be interested in what she has to say. She feels objectified when the record executives at Runner are more interested in hearing her covers than her original songs. It’s as though the record execs see nothing but her beautiful surface. However, Daisy successfully wields this double-edged sword of her physical beauty through her ascension to stardom. 

This section explores the motif of temptation. Early in his career and in his marriage to Camila, Billy is overwhelmed by the temptations of fame and fails to resist the lure of drugs and of being unfaithful. There are multiple reasons why he gives into temptation during this period in his life. First, he’s terrified by how quickly his life has changed, and though he wants to be a good husband and father, he has no model for how to do it. Secondly, he hasn’t navigated life as a rockstar or life as a married man before, and the newness of both roles is overwhelming to him. Thirdly, he’s separated physically from Camila during a crucial point in their relationship, far from her when he needs her most. All of this creates a perfect storm in which Billy is vulnerable to his worst impulses. But rather than contributing to his shame and feelings of isolation, Camila decides to put her faith in him, which allows him an escape from temptation. Though Billy continues to struggle, Camila’s faith steadies him, and he’s able to take the steps to make himself stronger so he can resist temptation in the future.