Guitarist and founding member of Shooting Star Van McLain died after a three year battle with West Nile Virus on March 2 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Along with being a member of Shooting Star, McLain produced music for a number of musicians in Kansas City.

McLain and childhood friend Ron Verlin formed a band near Kansas City but the band broke up when McLain moved to a new school district.

In 1971 the duo met up again and began playing music as the Shooting Stars. Three years later they began playing original music. In 1978 a move to New York City’s CBGBs club brought a record deal and the release of four albums.

The band broke up briefly in 1986 only to reform a few years later only to go on hiatus in 1993 – performing only a few shows each year.

McLain was diagnosed with esophageal cancer but beat the disease and he began performing again.

But he again encountered health issues in 2015 when he began having persistent flu like symptoms. At one point, McLain spent eight months in the hospital as a result of what turned out to be the West Nile Virus.

Over the years, McLain has shared the stage with numerous musicians including ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Todd Rundgren, Jefferson Starship, Journey, REO Speedwagon, John Mellencamp, Robin Trower, Triumph, and the rock band Kansas.