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      ............ ..Shooting Star (band) .. Shooting Star is a rock band from Kansas City... .. They were formed in the late seventies. After quickly gaining enormous popularity in the Kansas City area, Shooting Star became the first American group to be signed with Virgin Reco... read more

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      May 14 River City Casino Saint Louis, Missouri
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      ..Shooting Star (band) ..
      Shooting Star is a rock band from Kansas City...
      ..
      They were formed in the late seventies. After quickly gaining enormous popularity
      in the Kansas City area, Shooting Star became the first American group to be
      signed with Virgin Records. They recorded their 1979 debut album in England
      with legendary producer Gus Dudgeon, best known for his work with Elton John
      and David Bowie. The band gained national exposure when a number of songs garnerd
      moderate air-play on Album-oriented rock radio stations in the US...
      ..
      Their initial line-up included Van McLain on guitar and vocals, Charles Waltz
      ..boards and vocals, Bill Guffey ..boards, Gary West on guitar and vocals,
      Ron Verlin on bass, and Steve Thomas on drums...
      ..Early history..
      The Shooting Star story began one winter day in 1960 when 5 year old Ron Verlin
      moved into 5 year old Van McElvain's neighborhood in suburban Kansas City. They
      lived one block apart from each other and became good friends...
      ..In February 1964 when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show they, like
      so many other kids around the country, were hooked, and they drove their parents
      crazy begging to take guitar lessons. They put a band together with their brothers
      Craig McElvain and John Verlin and played along to Beatles records in Ron's
      dad's garage. They named the band The Shooting Stars, a name inspired by Bill
      Haley & the Comets. Two years later Van and his brother Craig moved away
      to a different school district, and their garage band split up...
      ..Upon entering Shawnee Mission South High School, Van and Ron met up again.
      With the 50's nostalgia craze of 1971 brewing, they jumped at the opportunity
      to put together a band that played classic 50's hits. After seeing Sha Na Na
      in the movie Woodstock they added three dancers to the act and called the band
      The Shooting Stars featuring The Galaxy's. The band played their first gig at
      a local school. Sock Hops were so popular they began receiving offers during
      the next three years to play frat parties, country clubs and schools throughout
      the midwest...
      .. Off to England..
      By 1974, Van had begun serious song writing, and the band decided to stop playing
      cover songs and perform their own music. Later that year they recorded a four
      song demo tape and planned a trip to London, England, to shop their songs for
      a record deal. On January 6, 1975, they embarked on a journey to London in search
      of fame and fortune. After three weeks of shopping their music to different
      record labels they were thrilled to be offered a recording contract with Arista
      Records...
      ..Upon signing, The Shooting Stars were then offered the opportunity to play
      a showcase performance at the legendary Marquee Club in London. The club was
      the birthplace of such bands as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Rod Stewart and
      the Faces, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and many others. The band then made their
      way to Morgan Studios to record their first single, Take the Money & Run.
      Shortly after this record was cut, Steve Miller released his title of Take the
      Money & Run which became a huge hit. Arista Records then released The Shooting
      Stars from their contract, and they returned to Kansas City after having lived
      in London for several months...
      ..In 1976 the boys persuaded fellow musician Gary West to join the group as a
      singer and song writing partner for Van. Gary had been a member of the premier
      Kansas City rock band of the 60's, The Chesmann Square. He had left the quartet
      and moved with the Chesmann's lead guitarist Jim McAllister to New York City
      in 1974. There they formed the group The Beckies with songwriter Michael Brown,
      formerly of the group The Left Bank, and former Kansas Citian Scott Trusty.
      The Beckies released one album on Sire Records. Upon Gary's return to Kansas
      City he and Van began songwriting in earnest. With Ron on bass, they added Steve
      Thomas on drums, Bill Guffey ..boards and Charles Waltz on violin and vocals...
      ..In 1977, they shortened their name to Shooting Star and started recording demo's
      in Gary's garage, all the while playing gigs around the midwest. After saving
      up enough money and putting a press kit together, they decided to roll the dice
      one more time and try to secure another record deal in New York City. Through
      connections that Gary had made while a member of The Beckies, the band booked
      a showcase at the now infamous punk rock club CBGB's. A New York management
      firm was among the crowd who saw the band that night, and they offered them
      a contract. Shooting Star returned to Kansas City with management deal in hand
      to continue to write new material...
      .. Virgin Records..
      Six months later, in 1978, the band's management arranged for them to play another
      showcase at the famous New York club, Tracks. After that successful show three
      different record companies, Atlantic Records, Virgin Records and A&M Records,
      began a bidding war over Shooting Star. They all made offers to sign the band,
      but Virgin Records prevailed. Virgin, then a small British record label, was
      looking for a rock group to break into the US market. For that purpose, Shooting
      Star was their first American signing...
      ..In May of 1979 they returned to London to record their self-titled debut album
      with producer Gus Dudgeon of Elton John fame. In January 1980 the album Shooting
      Star was released, and they embarked on a national tour opening for Robin Trower.
      With their impressive debut the band gained popularity with songs "Last
      Chance," "Tonight," "You've Got What I Need" and "Bring
      It On."..
      ..With radio success, Shooting Star returned to the studio in 1981 to record
      Hang On For Your Life with producer Dennis McKay. The album generated hits with
      "Flesh & Blood," "Breakout," "Hollywood" and
      "Hang On For Your Life." In support of this record the band toured
      extensively with ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Todd Rundgren, Jefferson Starship and
      Journey. They did the radio shows Rock Line, King Biscuit Flower Hour, The Source
      and Westwood One. They also began headlining showcase clubs across the United
      States, setting attendance records as they went...
      ..In 1982 the band began recoding their third album, III Wishes, at the legendary
      studio Caribou Ranch outside Boulder, Colorado. At the helm of this record was
      Journey producer Kevin Elson. Without missing a beat, they returned to touring
      with such acts as REO Speedwagon, John Mellencamp, Jefferson Starship, Kansas
      and others...
      ..1983 saw their continued collaboration with Kevin Elson on their fourth album,
      Burning. This record produced radio hits "Straight Ahead," "Winner"
      and "Train Rolls On." While touring in support of this record, the
      band witnessed the departure of bassist Ron Verlin who had become disenchanted
      with the music industry...
      ..In 1985 bassist Norm Dahlor was recruited to take over for Ron, and the band
      began to record their fifth record, Silent Scream, with producer Ron Nevison.
      This effort produced the radio hit, "Summer Sun." After completing
      this record the band was asked to record two songs for the movie soundtrack
      Up the Creek. The songs were "Get Ready Boy" and "Take It."
      Van, Norm and Steve were also the backing band on Ian Hunter's single Great
      Expectations. The band then toured with Heart, Bryan Adams and ZZ Top...
      .. Calling it quits..
      In 1986, after eight years of touring and five albums, Shooting Star decided
      to call it quits. Over the next several years fans from around the world were
      frustrated by not being able to find Shooting Star records, now all out of print,
      while the band continued to receive radio airplay...
      ..In July of 1989 V&R Records acquired the rights to The Best of Shooting
      Star. This release marked the first time that any Shooting Star record appeared
      on CD. The CD also includes two previously unreleased songs, the Christmas song
      "Christmas together," which had previously appared on Kansas City
      radio, and a new song by Van called "Touch Me Tonight." Enigma Records,
      a metal company that was starting to branch out into more mainstream artists,
      bought the rights to the album and retitled it "Touch Me Tonight: The Best
      of Shooting Star." In the November 4, 1989 issue of Billboard, the album
      secured a trivial place in history, becoming the first album to reach that magazine's
      pop albums chart without being available on vinyl record...
      .. A Return... with Enigma..
      With the success of The Best Of, and fans' desire for new material, Shooting
      Star was offered a new recording contract with Enigma Records. Returning to
      the group were original members Ron Verlin and Van McLain To fill out the band,
      they recruited Dennis Laffoon ..boards, Rod Lincoln on drums and vocalist
      Keith Mitchell. The band then flew to Los Angeles to make a video for "Touch
      Me Tonight." The video received extensive airplay on MTV and rose to 67
      on the Billboard Hot 100. This was the highest charting single of the band's
      career. The song's video also made the MTV request chart. The song also appeared
      in the Dolph Lundgren movie I Come In Peace...
      ..In 1990 the band recorded their sixth album, It's Not Over. This album received
      critical acclaim throughout Europe and helped broaden the Shooting Star audience.
      The band toured with Bad English, Bryan Adams and 38 Special. After the release
      of this album, and with the general decline of classic rock music, the band
      went into semi- retirement, resurfacing every few years to play occasional concerts...
      ..In 1998, after recovering from a fight with esophogeal cancer, Van was asked
      to perform at a cancer benefit concert in Chicago. On stage were members of
      Night Ranger, Cheap Trick, Survivor and 38 Special. Van received a heartfelt
      response from the fans and his friends on stage, sparking his interest in playing
      again. Upon retuning home from the show, Van began writing songs and contemplated
      recording...
      ..In the summer of 1999, while vacationing in Nashville, Tennessee, Van was reunited
      with producer/engineer Kevin Beamish. Among many others, Kevin's list of credits
      include REO Speedwagon, Jefferson Starship, Elton John and Clint Black. Kevin
      and Van had met 20 years earlier while Shooting Star was recording their first
      album. At the time Kevin was a young engineer for Gus Dudgeon. Out of this chance
      meeting grew the plans to record and release Shooting Star's seventh album,
      Leap of Faith. The recording took place at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville,
      Tennessee from December 1999 through February 2000...
      .. 20 Years and counting..
      Shooting Star celebrated their 20th year as recording artists in the new millennium, with the release of Leap of Faith and a fall tour. The band continues to display its resilience and its love of music, while never forgetting this could be your Last Chance!

      In 2006, the group released the album Circles with Keven Chalfant (ex-707 and Storm) handling the lead vocals.

      Original keyboardist Bill Guffey (William Guffey III) died on April 12, 2007. Shortly afterward, vocalist Ronnie Platt joined the band to take over where Kevin Chalfant left off.

      Violinist Shane Michaels left the band in June 2008 to concentrate on another one of his projects, "Flannigan's Right Hook."

      Janet Jameson (Kansas City legendary violinist) stepped in to join the band upon Shane's departure.

      Their current lineup is Steve Thomas (drums), Janet Jameson (violin), Ron Verlin (bass), Van McLain (guitar), Dennis Laffoon (keyboards), and Ronnie Platt (lead vocals).
      ..


      ..
      .. Discography:..
      Shooting Star, 1979 ..
      Hang on for Your Life, 1981 ..
      Ill Wishes, 1982. ..
      Burning, 1983. ..
      Silent Scream, 1985. ..
      Best of Shooting Star, 1989. ..
      It's Not Over, 1991. ..
      Shooting Star Live, 1996. ..
      Leap of Faith, 2000. ..
      Best of...V2, 2001. ..
      Tonight DVD, 2002. ..
      Circles, 2006. ..
      Anthology, 2007,..
      Live CD/DVD On Demand 2008....


      .. Producers:..
      Gus Dudgeon..
      Kevin Elson..
      Kevin Beamish..
      Van McLain..
      Dennis McKay..
      Ron Nevison..
      Greg Ladanyi..
      Spencer Proffer..
      Tim Ivy, DVD..



      ........

      Categories: Music | Rock

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