Vixen is an American rock band. They achieved commercial success during the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of the Los Angeles, California glam metal scene. They were sometimes described as "the female Bon Jovi."
Vixen in 2014
|Also known as||Lemon Pepper (1971)|
Diaper Rash (1984)
|Origin||St. Paul, Minnesota, United States|
|Genres||Glam metal, hard rock, pop rock|
|Years active||1971–1974, 1980–1992, 1997–1998, 2001–present|
|Labels||EMI, Manhattan, CMC International, Eagle, Demolition|
|Associated acts||Madam X, Poison Dollys, Phantom Blue, Contraband, Bubble, Rocktopuss, Envy, Femme Fatale, Richard Marx|
|Past members||Jan Kuehnemund|
Vixen was formed in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1971 by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund while still in high school. They were the first all-female rock band from the Twin Cities. (Têtes Noires was the first all-female rock band from Minneapolis a decade later).
Alex Henderson, writing for AllMusic, said they started in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. In 1984, an early version of the band with Kuehnemund, singer Janet Gardner and bassist Pia Maiocco (who later married guitarist Steve Vai) appeared in the movie Hardbodies, as the on-screen band Diaper Rash. They were a quintet at that time, playing in a pop rock style. In 1985, the band moved to the inner areas of Los Angeles to join the L.A. rock scene.
Lineup changes happened during the following years until the "classic lineup" of Jan Kuehnemund (b. Janice Lynn "Jan" Kuehnemund, November 18, 1953 – October 10, 2013) – lead guitar, backing vocals, Janet Gardner (b. Janet Patricia Gardner on March 17, 1962 in Juneau, Alaska) – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, Roxy Petrucci (b. Roxanne Dora Petrucci on March 17, 1962 in Rochester, Michigan) – drums, backing vocals, and Share Ross (then known as Share Pedersen; b. Sharon June Howe on March 21, 1963 in Glencoe, Minnesota) – bass guitar, backing vocals, was formed. This lineup of Vixen was interviewed in 1987 along with many other rock artists of the day by Penelope Spheeris for her film The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years.
In 1988 the band was signed to EMI Manhattan, and they began recording their self-titled debut album Vixen, which was released in September 1988. Singer-songwriter Richard Marx co-wrote with Fee Waybill and arranged their signature hit, "Edge of a Broken Heart" and produced the song. Rumor was he was asked to assist the all-female band by EMI to produce their first major hit. Marx had nothing to do with their follow-up CD, since he was becoming more of a mainline singer than songwriter. Vixen spent the next year touring the world, supporting acts such as Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and Bon Jovi, as well as headlining their own shows. The band returned to the studio in late 1989/early 1990 to record their follow-up album, Rev It Up, which was released in July 1990. A year of touring followed, including headlining their own shows and supporting acts such as KISS and Deep Purple. After the tour concluded in mid-1991, the group disbanded in 1992 due to musical differences.
In 1997, drummer Roxy Petrucci reformed Vixen, with Janet Gardner and recruited Gina Stile (b. January 19, 1965; ex-Poison Dollys and ex-Envy), and Rana Ross (ex-Phantom Blue; bass). This lineup toured the United States in 1997, and in 1998 Gardner, Stile, and Petrucci recorded the album Tangerine, which eventually became Stile's only album and Gardner's last during their respective tenures in the band. After the release of the new album, Roxy's sister Maxine Petrucci was brought in to play bass on a US tour during 1998, but they were sued for trademark infringement by Kuehnemund.
In 1999, Share Ross joined her husband's band, the Dogs D'Amour, who reformed after a long hiatus. She appeared on their 2000 album, Happy Ever After, playing bass, keyboards, and backing vocals. Share and her husband, Bam, also had their own band, Bubble, which was very popular in L.A.
In 2001, Vixen was reformed by Kuehnemund with a lineup consisting of herself, Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and new bassist Pat Holloway. This lineup toured the US as part of the Voices of Metal tour. Unfortunately, halfway through the tour, disagreements with management caused the band to split-up, with only Kuehnemund remaining.  Kuehnemund quickly recruited Jenna Sanz-Agero (Jenna Piccolo), Lynn Louise Lowrey, and Kathrin "Kat" Kraft to complete the tour. They released two new albums in 2006, a live album, recorded at a live show in Sweden, called Extended Versions, and a studio album, Live & Learn.
In 2004, VH1 approached the four members of the "classic lineup" to appear on their show, Bands Reunited. The show was recorded in August 2004, and broadcast in the US in November 2004. Following the broadcast of the VH1 show, EMI re-released the first two Vixen albums, Vixen and Rev It Up.
Vixen also won the sixth annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop vote for Best Hard Rock/Metal Song for "I Try".
At the end of 2012, Jan Kuehnemund was planning to reunite the classic Vixen line-up with Janet Gardner, Share Ross, and Roxy Petrucci, who had since reunited in JSRG with guitarist Gina Stile. However, in January 2013, just days before they were about to make the official announcement of their reunion, Kuehnemund was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer diagnosis forced them to delay the announcement indefinitely, until possibly when Kuehnemund was fully recovered and cancer-free. Unfortunately, the plans of a full-fledged reunion became impossible as on October 10, 2013, after nine months battling cancer, Jan Kuehnemund died at the age of 59.
In December 2013, the three surviving classic line-up members of the band decided to carry on under the Vixen name in honor of late guitarist Jan Kuehnemund.
They played several gigs in 2014 in the US, Spain and Canada. In October 2014, drummer Roxy Petrucci told in an interview that Vixen was working on a new album, featuring one song dedicated to Jan Kuehnemund.
In March 2017, Vixen parted ways with lead guitarist Gina Stile and chose Britt Lightning (b. Brittany Denaro) to succeed Stile. Lightning previously played in Jaded, another all-female band that is defunct. In a June 2018 interview, Petrucci said that the band's new album will come out in 2019.
On January 16, 2019, Gardner confirmed in a Facebook post that she definitely left Vixen to devote more time to family and prioritize her solo career. The band later released a statement on their official Facebook page stating they plan to continue without Gardner and that a new studio album is in the works for a 2019 release. If this album is released, it will become Vixen's first album of new studio material in more than a decade and it will be Lightning's first as the band's guitarist. On January 22, they announced that Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatale, also an all-female band since 2013, became their new singer, starting with a performance on February 9, 2019, in Clearwater, Florida.
|1988||"Edge of a Broken Heart"||26||24||51||Vixen|
|"Love Made Me"||—||—||36|
|"Edge of a Broken Heart"||—||—||59|
|1990||"How Much Love"||44||11||35||Rev It Up|
|"Love Is a Killer"||71||—||41|
|1991||"Not a Minute Too Soon"||—||—||37|
- The Best of Vixen: Full Throttle (1999)
- Rare Vintage (2018)
- Extended Versions (2006)
- Live in Sweden (2013)
- Live Fire (2018)
- Hardbodies (1984) with the songs "Runnin'", "Give It a Chance", "Mr. Cool", "Be with Me", "Maria", and "Computer Madness"
- Beverly Hills, 90210: "Slumber Party" (1991) with the song "Streets in Paradise"
- Beavis and Butt-Head: "Wall of Youth" (1994) with the song "Edge of a Broken Heart"
- ECM Publishers (November 9, 2013). "Janice Kuehnemund". The Post Review. Hometownsource.com.
- "A Brief Background of Vixen". Ivaxen.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- Henderson, Alex. "Vixen". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "VIXEN Guitarist Addresses Rumors Behind Band's Split". Blabbermouth.net. March 4, 2007.
- Kuehnemund, Jan (October 13, 2013). "A CMS Tribute To Jan Kuehnemund (made with Spreaker)". The Classic Metal Show (Podcast). YouTube. The question is asked at 19:52.
- "Vixen members ressurect band". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- Petrucci, Roxy. "Vixen recording new album" (Interview). Interviewed by Hèctor Prat and Albert Perera. Metaladies.com. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "VIXEN Parts Ways With Guitarist GINA STILE, Announces Replacement". Blabbermouth.net. March 26, 2017.
- Petrucci, Roxy (June 9, 2018). "ROXY PETRUCCI Says A 'Classic VIXEN Record' Will Surface In 2019" (Excerpt). Totally Driven Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Bay Ragni. Blabbermouth.net.
- Gardner, Janet (January 16, 2019). "After much soul searching and many sleepless nights, I have decided that it's time for me to step aside and let Roxy and Share pursue their vision for the future of Vixen..." Facebook.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 389. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Hardbodies (1984) - Soundtracks
- "Beverly Hills, 90210" Slumber Party (TV episode 1991) - IMDb
- Vixen - IMDb
- "Beavis and Butt-Head" Wall of Youth (TV episode 1994) - IMDb