Forty years ago this week, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, a record that would go on to be one of the best selling albums of all time. Recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, the tumultuous year-long project cemented the band’s place in rock history with classics like “The Chain,” “Dreams,” and “Gold Dust Woman.”
Celebrating its legacy this Friday is the Rumours Rave presented by Fleetmac Wood, a party and remix project by Lisa Jelliffe, aka Roxanne Roll, and partner Alex Oxley, aka Smooth Sailing. We caught up with Roxanne Roll to learn about the duo’s remixes, international destinations, and having a party you can bring your parents to.
Fleetmac Wood presents Rumours Rave takes place this Friday [2/3], at Public Works.
SF Weekly: For those that aren’t familiar, what’s the history behind Fleetmac Wood?
Roxanne Roll: Fleetmac Wood is essentially a dance party and a remix project. We DJ, produce, and curate a night where we only play edits, remixes, and originals from the band. The concept is polarizing which makes the crowd part of the experience. People have very strong emotional connections to these songs and being able to dance and let go in a great club environment, like the Public Works, is a great release for people.
SFW: With five years of this party under your belt, which remixes do you find the audience responds most to?
RR: The edits and remixes we play reflect the genres we like to dance to, which is disco, house, and some techno. Overall, we like a more cosmic sound, as that reflects the music of the band for us. Fleetwood Mac has such an extensive back catalog that everyone has a different favorite. “The Chain” is probably universally loved, as there is such a dramatic build from slow to fast with the best bass line in the history of rock. And Psychemagik’s “Everywhere” edit never fails to get big smiles and arms in the air.
SFW: You’ll be playing on the actual night Rumours was released. Why do you think the album is so relevant and popular to this day?
RR: We’re so excited that we can play in the city that birthed this album on its 40th birthday. When the clock strikes midnight, we’ll be celebrating with (almost) all the hedonism of 1977. Why is Rumours such a masterpiece? It’s alchemy of sorts. Blues revivalists blended with a Californian folk /country duo; master musicians coming together at the right time and the worst time with their personal relationships. Perhaps the greatest hedonism afforded by the ‘70s was the illicit substance we simply can no longer afford: studio time. No distractions. No social media. Just your instruments, a room full of some of the most talented and ambitious musicians in the world, and a good supply of “transcending” stimulants at hand.
SFW: With the vast richness of Fleetwood Mac’s catalog, what tracks are your personal favorites?
RR: We are unearthing buried treasure all the time. A lot of people don’t know that the blues band Fleetwood Mac have quite a history before teaming with Buckingham and Nicks. “Gypsy,” “Silver Springs,” “Big Love,” the list goes on.
SFW: Tell us about your latest Fleetmac Wood Vol. 5.
RR: We combined a mix of remixes and edits that we have found and created and added snippets of interviews to help tell the story of this band. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale, and there really is so much to discover in their back catalog of music and personal history. We’re working on new remixes right now for Friday’s party, so they will probably be part of Fleetmac Wood Vol. 6 — coming soon!
SFW: How are the crowds similar and different in each international city you play?
RR: To us, Fleetwood Mac fans globally seem to be joyful hedonists. Emotionally vibrant, expressive and open. All ages and flavors.
SFW: What do you love most about the San Francisco crowd?
RR: We love the crowd here. So many friendly, positive people who know how to let loose in a stylish way. We love the flamboyance and the diversity of this city.
SFW: Has there ever been confusion by an attendee of what kind of party they’re at?
RR: There have been a few confused people here and there, who may have stumbled into the party without knowing what it’s about but usually everyone is there for the love of the music. We do suggest that if you don’t like Fleetwood Mac, don’t come, and don’t drag a friend along who doesn’t like them. For us, the right crowd allows for people to let go and enjoy themselves more. If they want to close their eyes and dream they are twirling in the stars with Stevie Nicks then we want to create that conductive environment.
SFW: What’s the typical crowd like at a Fleetmac Wood party?
RR: Music lovers who like to dance and have fun. Sometimes people bring their parents, which we love. Everyone is welcome.
SFW: What are your favorite lyrics of theirs?
RR: That’s easy right now with the state of the world: “I have no fear. I have only love.” It’s such a beautiful high point that Stevie reaches in the song “Gypsy.”