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.”