It’s rare for the San Fernando Valley to host a rock concert featuring some major figures in rock music history, but it’s happening Saturday at Woodley Avenue Park in Van Nuys.
Radio station KLSX-FM, in association with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, will present a free concert from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring Fleetwood Mac plus Roger McGuinn, former leader of the Byrds.
This is the fourth year that KLSX has sponsored its free Classic Jam concert. Almost 30,000 people attended last year’s event, which featured Stephen Stills, Kansas, Dave Mason and Greg Lake.
Fleetwood Mac, which started in the late 1960s as a blues band and evolved through many personnel and style changes over the years, enjoyed its greatest success in the mid-1970s and early ‘80s with a mellow pop-rock sound.
That lineup--which, besides mainstays Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, included Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsay Buckingham--broke up in the late 1980s. But it briefly reunited to perform one tune at the Clinton inaugural in January, 1993: Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” Clinton’s unofficial campaign song.
Nicks and Buckingham have long since pursued solo efforts.
Christine McVie will not appear Saturday, but Fleetwood said she’s still involved with the band in a songwriting capacity.
“She’s recording the album with us,” Fleetwood said. “She just doesn’t want to go out on the road.”
Filling the void is Dave Mason, a singer and guitarist formerly of Traffic and author of hits such as “Feelin’ Alright” and “Only You Know and I Know”; singer Bekka Bramlett, daughter of the 1970s rock duo Delaney & Bonnie (Bramlett); and Billy Burnette, son of 1950s rock pioneer Dorsey Burnette.
Fleetwood said the band has been in the studio for about eight months, but took a brief summer break for a short tour with Crosby, Stills and Nash. The band played about five nights a week for two months, about 40 dates.
“It gave everyone a bit of confidence, especially Bekka, who is an unknown quantity,” Fleetwood said. “But, every night out on the road before a lot of people, I’ve seen this young lady has the goods.”
Fleetwood said the time on the road convinced him about this latest incarnation of the “Mac.”
“It’s really the only way to do it: You get out there and you play, and if you’re not going over, you have to get something happening,” he said. “It was a calculated risk, but we found this band can go out and cut the mustard.”
Opening the show will be McGuinn, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member.
The Byrds, featuring McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman, created a hybrid folk-rock sound in the mid-1960s with such hits as Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” McGuinn’s electric 12-string guitar provided the band’s signature sound.
He later helped expand the boundaries of rock again by incorporating elements of country music into the Byrds’ repertoire.
McGuinn was nominated for a Grammy last year for his performance with Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Dylan on Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary album.
His performance Saturday will include the old and new. “I’m going to be doing a timeline,” McGuinn said. “A musical history of my career.”
The KLSX Classic Jam, featuring Fleetwood Mac and Roger McGuinn, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Woodley Avenue Park in the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area, 6330 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys. Admission is free. Call (800) 448-KLSX for parking and other information.
CLASSICAL PICKS: San Fernando Valley classical music fans will have several concerts to choose from in the next few weeks, including the Glendale Symphony Orchestra’s debut Oct. 22 at the newly refurbished Alex Theatre, Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” Oct. 21 to 30 at Cal State Northridge, and Valley Symphony Orchestra’s concert Wednesday evening at Valley College.
The Valley Symphony Orchestra’s program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G and “Diversions for Orchestra” by composer Irving Fine.
“The two symphonies (Mozart and Dvorak) were written 101 years apart,” said Robert Chauls, the Valley Symphony Orchestra’s musical director. “They’re each one of the finest examples of each composer’s art.”
Chauls says his ensemble is a community orchestra based at Valley College but not limited to the college’s students.
The Valley Symphony Orchestra performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Little Theatre , Valley College, 5800 Fulton Ave., Van Nuys. Admission is free. Call (818) 781-1200, Ext. 349.