Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Van McClain

Van is one of the best guys I know and a cat that I don't speak with enough. For those who don't know, I have had a very strong relationship with the band "Shooting Star"since New Year's eve 1979, when I saw them for the first time at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. Van is the guitarist. Also on the bill that night was "Missouri", another decent band that came from KC at that time. While I thought Missouri was OK, the buzz in my circle of friends was of Shooting Star who played before Missouri that night, which was billed as "The Last Concert of The Decade". Damn, the guys were good, really great songs about everyday people and the ultimate triumph to rise above.

Great stuff and I was a certified fan. I then became great friends with Van and Steve Thomas(the drummer), who's father I adored. Mr. Thomas was a cameraman at WDAF TV, which was in the same building as KY. He was there late at night and so was I. .

Van called me today and says he reads the blog. You're a knucklehead. The band is playing Sturgis this summer. Sturgis? They are coming through St. Louis and we will definately get them on the air at KMOX and have fine merriment with Van, Ron, Steve and the rest. It got me thinking though, about some of my favorite Shooting Star songs. Here they are now (I especially love You've Got What I Need, that's just about the time I jumped on the bandwagon).
We were so young....

"You've Got What I Need" (original line up featuring the late, great, dearly missed Bill Guffey on keyboards)


"Summer Sun" (one of my faves)


"Tonight" (another great song that I played the shit out of in my career)


"Last Chance" (their Stairway To Heaven)


And lastly for some fun...

Did they ever play you guys on MTV? Thanks for making my life better,man. And I will play Del Shannon for you Saturday night.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always loved Hang on for your life tonight and running wild in the streets. Great Rockin songs.
Charles was a good friend as well.

~Beth~ said...

Good stuff, now IF I hadn't moved away from the Quad Cities in February of 1979, MAYBE I could have been the lucky one to go to their concert with you New Year's Eve 1979..................

You were such a famous rock dj, who would not commit, oh well here we are now and I treasure your friendship more than you know..................

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy,

Lemme know if those tomato trees really work...I love maters!

Mizz Steele

Anonymous said...

Shooting Star is my favorite band and in no small part, thanks to you.

Here's a You Tube link that a fan recently took of Van, Steve and Dennis -

http://www.youtube.com/user/jimsvideos2

I can't wait to see the band in August, and PLEASE let us know when you're going to have them on the air at KMOX!

Mike S - St. Louis

Brian Holland said...

I stupidly resisted Shooting Star for a long time, thinking the old KY was hyping them so much simply because they were local and not because they were good, and I have to admit I was completely wrong! It finally hit me that the band was legit when their 'III Wishes' album was available in the Columbia Record & Tape Club!

Shooting Star was one of the few missing links in my massive CD collection until about a year ago when I got their greatest hits CD, and I apologize profusely to Van and the rest of the band for dogging on them all those years. Although I still prefer the Rainmakers when it comes to KC bands who "made it", after further review, Shooting Star was much better than I ever gave them credit for.

dr sardonicus said...

Good memories. Shooting Star put out their share of good stuff (my favorites were "Straight Ahead" and "Train Rolls On", a couple of their later songs). I never quite understood why they didn't make it big when Styx, REO, and Kansas were breaking out of the Midwest in the late 70's/early 80's.

RR said...

They had such incredible bad luck with the record companies they recorded for. Their first album was on Virgin, that soon folded, and it went on and on. They are huge in some markets, unknown in others. I remember reading a review of the first album in Billboard magazine which said "This is the best debut album by ANY band since Boston". Wow, THAT'S how good they were

Bridgette said...

Is it just me or does the song last chance sound a lot like the rock ballad Sponge bob and Bikini Bottom played...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX5oqEfAydg

At least I think Shooting Star every time that episode is on

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