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    McLain, Van (3 May 195?  Present)

    Composer, guitarist, producer, recording engineer and vocalist who co-founded the power-pop group Shooting Star in the 1970s and has been performing and recording with them off and on ever since.  McLain and co-founder Ron Verlin were childhood chums who were inspired by The Beatles' legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and promptly learned how to play guitar and started their own band.  McLain and his family moved to a different school district, however, and Shooting Star might never have been had the two of them not been re-united in high school, where The Shooting Stars were unofficially born, with dancing girls The Galaxys in tow.  The Shooting Stars were a cover band who hopped on the '50s nostalgia bandwagon and didn't hop off until 1974 when singer-songwriters were in vogue, and McLain hunkered down and started seriously crafting pop songs.  In the interim, McLain played guitar on Gary Apple's 1973 LP The First One's Free.  Shooting Star did not actually record their eponymous debut until 1979, with producer Gus Dudgeon, no less.  They were the first American band signed by Virgin Records.  They recorded an album a year until 1983 and broke up a couple of years later.  In addition to playing guitar and singing background vocals and sometimes lead vocals, McLain also wrote or co-wrote most of the band's repertoire.  In 1984, the band was asked to contribute a couple of songs to the goofball comedy Up the Creek.  Their music also appears in 1985's Thunder Alley and 1990's I Come in Peace.  A best-of package was released in 1989.  Its success in concert with popular demand encouraged McLain and Verlin to get the old band together and the result was 1991's ironically titled It's Not Over.  In the '90s, McLain was diagnosed with esophageal cancer which he gamely battled and in 1998 he appeared at a cancer benefit which re-ignited his desire to perform and the band re-united yet again for 2000's Leap of Faith.  They also offered support on 2001's Winston Apple Sessions.  The same year saw McLain and Verlin opening for Zebra at a concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The band has continued to perform sporadically throughout the first decade of the new millennium, and recently released a CD entitled Circles.  McLain's production has drawn mixed reviews, although he produces for other bands, including Cruise Control and Ricochet.  He also mastered Big Metal Rooster's self-titled album in 2004.  A couple of confusing bits:  His birthday is listed as 3rd May 1953 or 1955, depending on where you look, and Van McLain is sometimes listed as Van McElvain, although he appears as Van McLain on the recordings below.

     

    Shooting Star recordings

    Preview (Instrumental)/Straight Ahead (Van McLain/Gary West)

    Straight Ahead (Van McLain/Gary West)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.shootingstarmaniacs.com/node/4
    2. http://www.brainyhistory.com/events/1953/may_3_1953_114524.html
    3. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1809089605
    4. http://www.xtrememusician.com/info/artists/profiles/2364.html
    5. http://www.nehrecords.com/shop/ShootingCircles.htm
    6. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/shooting_star
    7. http://www.thelyricarchive.com/album/237179/It's-Not-Over
    8. http://www.smhtp.com/artist/Van-McLain/?key=P000104437
    9. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088333/soundtrack
    10. http://www.metal-rules.com/zine/index2.php?option=content&task=view&id=647&pop=1&page=0
    11. http://www.thelyricarchive.com/album/237175/Hang-on-for-Your-Life
    12. http://www.geocities.com/sunsetstrip/alley/3800/main.htm
    13. http://www.mininova.org/tor/356208
    14. http://www.answers.com/topic/the-live-album-2004-album-by-ricochet?cat=entertainment
    15. http://www.strutter.8m.com/SHOOTINGSTARINTERVIEW.htm
    16. http://www.electricscotland.com/history/today/0503.htm
    17. http://www.indie-music.com/bands/bands/2009/
    18. http://cdbaby.com/cd/winstonapple3
    19. http://www.thedoor.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8986&page=4
    20. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,44493,00.html
    21. http://www.answers.com/topic/big-metal-rooster-2004-album-by-big-metal-rooster?cat=entertainment

                

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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