80s, All- Girl Rockband, Cryin, Demolition Records, Edge of a Broken Heart, EMI, Full Throttle, Gina Stile, Jan Kuehnemund, Janet Gardner, Jenna Sanz-Agero, Kat Kraft, Live & Learn, Love Is A Killer, Lynn Louise Lowrey, Macime Petrucci, Mötley Crüe, Rana Ross, Rev It Up, Roxy Petrucci, Scorpions, Share Pedersen, Sweden Rock Festival, Tangerine, Unplugged, Vince Neil, Vixen
Facing the sad loss of one of our leading ladies of Rock & Metal, guitarist and founding member of Vixen, Jan Kuehnemund it seems about time to take a look back on the history of this female powerhouse: The Queens of Metal, the Female Bon Jovi, however you have heard Vixen described, one of the things you will definitely know is that they were one of the most successful female rock bands in the world. Massive hits like ‘Edge Of A Broken Heart’ and ‘Love Is A KillerÄ heralded their position in the rock charts, and made them a permanent fixture on all the most popular rock compilation albums of the 90s. Vixen was founded in Minnesota by Jan Kuehnemund, and brought to Los Angeles in the mid 80s where they continued to gig and build up an impressive following, finally cracking the big time in the late 80s.
After the birth of Vixen around 1980/81 many changes followed until the line up of Janet Gardner (Vocals), Jan Kuehnemund (Guitar), Roxy Petrucci (Drums) and Share Pedersen (Bass) was reached. Their debut album ‘Vixen’ in 1988 which went Gold in the US and sold in excess of one million copies worldwide. They followed that up with an even better album – both on their record deal with EMI – , ‘Rev It Up’, in 1990 but then in 1991 Share and Janet split off from the band to pursue a different musical direction. The band toured constantly, including some prestigious supports to the Scorpions and Bon Jovi amongst others.
Former band members of Vixen pursued various other projects until eventually Roxy found guitarist Gina Stile and hooked back up with Janet for a Vixen reformation, touring the States in 1997 with Rana Ross on bass. As a 3 piece, Janet, Roxy and Gina recorded ‘Tangerine’ (released May 1998), which was a departure from Vixen’s previous sound, but is still an album of the highest quality.
They added Roxy’s sister Maxine (who played with Roxy in Madam X) on bass, and toured for a while after the album’s release.
98 tour line up :
Janet Gardner – Vocals
Gina Stile – Guitar
Roxy Petrucci – Drums
Maxine Petrucci – Bass
The band called it a day in 1991, although Jan reformed the band in 2001 to undertake the Voices of Metal tour with Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe fame. A few problems beset the band, not least the fact that the line up changed completely mid tour. Once sorted though, this line up remained strong and is the same line up that have just recorded their new studio album, the follow-up to ‘Rev It Up’, called ‘Live & Learn’. Vixen is Jan Kuehnemund (Guitars), Jenna Sanz-Agero (Vocals), Kat Kraft (Drums) and Lynn Louise Lowrey (Bass).
In 2004 the EMI era line-up got back together for VH1’s Bands Reunited program. Jan, Share, Roxy and Janet were ‘ambushed’ and asked if they would participate in a reunion. After some persuading they all agreed to do so and met up for the first time in many years. Following brief rehearsals, they performed a special one-off show on August 3rd at SIR Studios in Hollywood. The program was initially aired on VH1 in the US on November 9th.
Whilst recording the new album, the band took a trip over to Europe, to give the fans a chance to not only see the classic songs performed, but also to gauge how the fans would accept the new songs. The result; a resounding success, which culminated in the recording of the band’s first live album and DVD at their stage headlining show at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2005. This live album was released in the US by Sony/BMG on July 18, 2006.
‘Live & Learn’ was released in Europe by Demolition Records in November 2006, and in the US in January 2007.