First, 1974-1975 – SevenEightNine, 1975-1976 

First, 1974-1975

Simone finds international success with her R&B dance hits and leaves on a European tour. Daisy has been refusing to show up to any of her recording sessions, preferring to spend her time by the pool and getting high. Teddy visits her to convince her to record, and she insists she only wants to record her own music. Teddy tells her that her songs are good but none of them are finished. He convinces her that she must work to make good art, and she agrees to record the album that the label wants her to record while she works on perfecting her songs. After having so many things handed to her, she realizes the value of hard work. 

SevenEightNine, 1975-1976  

Billy starts writing songs again after rehab, but when the record execs hear the work, they don’t feel confident the album has any number-one singles. On hearing this, Eddie complains that Billy has taken the album in a direction that is too soft and not rock ‘n’ roll enough. Billy is proud of a romantic song he wrote for the album called “Honeycomb,” which is about his promise to Camila to settle down and grow old together in a large farmhouse in North Carolina. Billy believes “Honeycomb” stands out on its own, but Teddy suggests that turning it into a duet with the addition of a woman vocalist could make it a hit. They start floating names for the duet, and Teddy suggests Daisy Jones.  

Daisy loves the album Billy is working on, which becomes SevenEightNine, and especially loves the vulnerability in Billy’s voice. She describes Billy’s voice as a worn-in pair of jeans, recognizing that their voices complement each other and offer things the other lacks. She feels excited about working on “Honeycomb,” in part because she feels the song is missing something and that she can be of use. Daisy meets the band for the first time and most of them notice her physical beauty. Billy is immediately offended by her because she won’t accept his offer to practice ”Honeycomb” together, though he does not know she has already been practicing the song with Teddy for a few days. Daisy goes into the recording studio and changes the words to the song, making it darker and less sure of itself. Billy has been fighting for Camila and for his sobriety and has been trying to convince himself of a steady future with her, so he does not like Daisy’s changes to the song. Billy explains that Daisy turned his song about security into a song about insecurity.  

Billy is angry about these changes and interrupts Daisy’s initial recording, but Daisy doesn’t understand what he has against her. Karen observes that the music industry is a man’s world that usually requires a man’s approval, and that Daisy breaks that mold for women. Karen recounts the ways she has changed herself in order to make it in the music industry, but Daisy doesn’t want to follow her lead. She doesn’t flirt or act like one of the guys in order to fit in. She is exactly who she is. Billy is used to being in charge, so he struggles when Teddy and the other record execs overrule him and choose Daisy’s version of the song. When Billy tells Teddy that he hates the new “Honeycomb,” Teddy tells him that he needs to get over himself and that having a song top the charts will help him. Teddy is right: SevenEightNine is a good album, but “Honeycomb” is the standout, and it marks the beginning of the band’s meteoric rise to the top. 


The song “Honeycomb” represents both Billy’s hope for a stable, happy future with Camila and the doubts that Daisy brings him that threatens his hope. Billy writes “Honeycomb” for Camila during the rocky period in their relationship when he is just getting sober. He’s inhabiting his role as husband and father for the first time and is filled with deep regret about the profound mistakes he’s already made. He writes “Honeycomb” as a promise to Camila to grow old with her in a farmhouse in North Carolina with their kids. This is a promise to be stable and true and to be the man she’s put her faith in. When Daisy joins The Six for the duet, she immediately introduces an element of doubt into his vision of a rock-solid future. For example, she turns his statements into questions, so that Billy’s promise of a romantic future becomes riddled with insecurity. Karen describes this as Daisy pulling the tablecloth out from under the dishes, suggesting how destabilizing Daisy is to Billy’s domestic vision. This illustrates that from her very first creative act with the band, Daisy threatens the stability and love that Billy has built. 

There is power and danger in defying gender roles, as seen through the actions of Daisy and Karen. When Daisy joins The Six, Karen is the only other woman at the studio and the only person who recognizes the often invisible (especially to men) gender dynamics at play. For example, Daisy is used to being stared at when she was a young ingenue in the music scene, which teases at the inherent power and danger in the male gaze. Karen almost reflexively tries to protect Daisy from this gaze. No one listens to Karen, but when Daisy herself asks for space, the men listen and leave. This illustrates that the two women sit on different sides of the gender divide. Karen says that music is a man’s world and describes how she had to change herself to get ahead, but Daisy benefits from transcending or ignoring many of the industry’s gendered roles. The two women’s clothing comes prominently into this picture. While Karen refrains from dressing sexily so she’ll be taken seriously as a keyboardist, Daisy dresses however she wants to and ignores the reactions her fashion choices elicit. Their friendship also helps the women navigate the way gender operates in the male-dominated music business, as they are immediately attuned to and advocate for each other’s needs. 

Additionally, throughout the novel, Daisy serves as a mirror to Billy, often reflecting back truths about himself that he would rather not see. From their very first meeting, Billy is offended by Daisy’s take-charge attitude and by the fact that she seems to need nothing from him. However, according to his bandmates, Billy often treats people as though they have nothing to offer him, bossing them around and dictating their artistic performances. Thus, Billy recoils from Daisy, who is treating him the way he often treats others. Billy also rejects Daisy because he’s threatened by the truths that she gives voice to. For example, the reason Daisy rewrites the lyrics to “Honeycomb” is that she is responding to the pleading tone in Billy’s voice when he sings the song, which makes her think he doesn’t quite believe the promises he makes in the lyrics. By rewriting the statements in “Honeycomb” as questions, Daisy holds a true mirror up to Billy and shows him (and everyone listening) the doubts that he has about himself. Billy is often upset and angry with Daisy and rejects her because he’s uncomfortable with the truths she reveals about him both to himself and to others.