Open main menu

Janice Lynn "Jan" Kuehnemund (/ˈknəmənd, ˈkjuː-, ˈk-/; November 18, 1953[1] – October 10, 2013) was an American lead guitarist who founded the all-female hard rock/glam metal band Vixen.

Jan Kuehnemund
JanKuehnemund1974.jpg
Kuehnemund in 1974
Background information
Birth nameJanice Lynn Kuehnemund
Born(1953-11-18)November 18, 1953
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedOctober 10, 2013(2013-10-10) (aged 59)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
GenresHard rock, glam metal, pop rock
Occupation(s)Guitarist, vocalist
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1971–74, 1980–2013
Associated actsLemon Pepper/Genesis (1971–73), Vixen (1974, 1980–92, 2001–13), Population 361, Drawing Down the Moon, Jeff Paris

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Kuehnemund formed an all-female band known as Genesis in St. Paul in 1971, initially as a quintet under the name Lemon Pepper.[2] Her father Carl served as a roadie[3] during her band's earliest days. Genesis was later renamed Vixen to prevent confusion with the same-named English band before breaking up in 1974.[4] A bandmate of hers during that year was Nancy Shanks. After a six-year hiatus she reformed Vixen and shortly moved her band to Los Angeles in 1981,[5] and, in 1983, singer Janet Gardner joined her. The band gained notice by appearing in the 1984 teen film Hardbodies under the on-screen name Diaper Rash.[6] They were also a quintet at the time. She eventually added Roxy Petrucci on drums and fellow Minnesotan Share Ross, then known as Share Pedersen,[7] on bass, the lineup that signed to EMI Records. They released their self-titled debut, Vixen, in 1988. It was released by Manhattan Records in the U.S. and Canada. The band toured with the Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, and Bon Jovi, and appeared in Penelope Spheeris' 1988 film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years,[8] although only Gardner, Pedersen, and Petrucci appeared in the film.

The album Rev It Up followed in 1990, along with tours with Kiss and Deep Purple. The band's album sales declined and they were dropped from their record label. Vixen disbanded in 1991, but formed again in 1997 without Kuehnemund,[6] while she was working on side project Drawing Down the Moon. Kuehnemund sued and won the rights to the band's name.[9] She then continued the band in 2001 with new members, and toured and released Live & Learn in 2006. Gardner, Petrucci, and Ross (née Pedersen) formed their own band JanetShareRoxyGina (aka JSRG) with 1997 Vixen guitarist Gina Stile. The group's most well-known lineup did briefly reunite in 2004 to perform for VH1's Bands Reunited.[8]

Kuehnemund died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on October 10, 2013, after a 10-month-long battle with cancer. Gardner, Ross, and Petrucci claimed a reunion was in the works until Kuehnemund's diagnosis which she never disclosed publicly and after her death they decided to use the Vixen name again "in her honor". In a 2011 interview then-frontwoman Jenna Sanz-Agero confirmed that a second album featuring the 2001 line-up was in the works and revealed the existence of a track called "I Understand" along with other new recordings and outtakes from Live & Learn.[10] These recordings are unlikely to be ever released due to Vixen not having a single member from Kuehnemund's 2001–13 line-up anymore.

DiscographyEdit

Studio albums
Live albums
  • Extended Versions (Live in Sweden) (2006)
  • Live in Sweden (2013)
Compilation albums
  • The Best of Vixen: Full Throttle (1999)
  • Rare Vintage (2018)[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VCNT-C6F : 6 May 2014), Janice Lynn Kuehnemund, 18 Nov 1953; from "Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing Ramsey, Minnesota, United States, Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis.
  2. ^ ECM Publishers (November 9, 2013). "Janice Kuehnemund". The Post Review. Hometownsource.com.
  3. ^ "Jan Kuehnemund's Vixen Guitar". mnhs.org. Minnesota Historical Society. November 10, 2014.
  4. ^ "A Brief Background of Vixen". Ivaxen.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Reimenshneider, Chris (October 18, 2013). "Obituary: Jan Kuehnemund - St. Paul rocker led Vixen to MTV". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Raihala, Ross (November 11, 2013). "Memorial for Vixen guitarist this week in North Branch". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  7. ^ In a biography the correct name at the time of the event must be used.
  8. ^ a b Stingley, Mick (October 11, 2013). "Jan Kuehnemund, Guitarist for All-Girl Metal Band Vixen, Dies at 51". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  9. ^ "VIXEN Guitarist Talks About Band's New Lineup". Blabbermouth.net. June 28, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Sanz-Agero, Jenna (July 23, 2011). "Vixen – Exclusive Interview with Jenna Sanz-Agero" (Interview). Interviewed by Rock Express.
  11. ^ "Rare Vintage by Vixen". music.apple.com. Apple Inc.

External linksEdit