Back To The Past (13):



The story of VIXEN started way back in 1980/1981, when guitarist Jan 'Lynn' Kuehnemund formed her first band and called it VIXEN. Jan was born on November 11, 1961 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She started out in Minnesota and played with her band all around the USA and finally worked her way to Los Angeles. On their way touring across the country, Jan saw a great vocalist playing at a club in Los Angeles and this vocalist was Janet 'Patricia' Gardner. Janet was born on March 17, 1962 in Juneau, Alaska. The voice was perfect for VIXEN and so Jan 'stole' Janet for her band.
In 1984, the band got a chance to play in a real movie, called "Hardbodies". It's about making love at the beach and having parties all day. VIXEN plays at those parties and they do six tracks for the movie: "Computer Madness" (Jan Kuehnemund), "Maria" (Tamara Ivanov), "Be With Me" (Gail Ericksen & Keith Krupp), "Mr. Cool" (Gail Ericksen), "Give It A Chance" (Janet Gardner & Jan Kuehnemund) and "Runnin'" (Cindy Boetticher). The line up of the band in the movie is: Jan Kuehnemund (lead guitar), Janet Gardner (vocals), Tamara Ivanov (rhythm guitar), Pia Miacco (bass) and Laurie Hedlund on drums (note from the author: If there is a soundtrack album available, please email us at metalmaid@globalxs.nl).

Soon the band went through some personal changes to get the right ingredients for VIXEN. And it was only a few months later, when they saw a band called MADAM X with a great female drummer, named Roxy Petrucci (her sister Maxine played guitar in MADAM X, by the way). MADAM X did one LP ("We Reserve The Right") and one single ("High In High School"/"Metal In My Veins"), both produced by Rick Derringer. After hearing that MADAM X were splitting up, VIXEN sent a demo tape to Roxy Petrucci, who was born on March 17, 1962 in Rochester, Michigan. She did a few jam sessions with the band and very shortly became the new drummer of VIXEN. The band (now a four piece with Jan, Janet, Roxy and on bass, Steve Vai's wife, Pia Miacco) got picked up by Left Bank Management and they made a three track demo tape (tracks: "Leave Me Alone", Waiting For You" and "You Oughta Know By Now"). This demo was sent to EMI, who couldn't believe they were girls and invited them for a showcase.

From that day on, EMI was behind them all the way and they signed the band immediately up for a record deal. In the meantime, Pia Koko got replaced by new bassplayer Sharon (or short 'Share') Pedersen, who was born on March 21, 1963 in Glencoe, Minnesota. Share had been discovered by Janet after playing at a small club in Hollywood. In 1988, VIXEN released their self-titled album and the first single "Edge Of A Broken Heart" was written by Richard Marx. The record was produced and arranged by Marx and further by David Cole, Rick Neigher and Spencer Proffer. With their help and also with the help of Jeff Paris, VIXEN did a great debut album. It went straight into the charts and so did "Edge Of A Broken Heart". Two other singles followed; "Cryin' " (written by Gregg Trip and Jeff Paris) and "Love Made Me" (written by John Keller, Marci Levy and Michael Caruso). Both were major hits. VIXEN started touring around the world. On stage they got help from an old friend of the band, Michael Alemania, on keyboards. They toured with THE SCORPIONS, BAD COMPANY, OZZY OSBOURNE, etc and in 1989 they played at the Milton Keynes Festival with BON JOVI and a few other huge names. A live concert in DŁsseldorf (Germany) was broadcasted on television on Jan.5, 1989 and the band did a lot of shows during that time.

In 1990 VIXEN released their second album. "Rev' It Up" has much more own written material (10 out of 11 songs!!) and it was produced by Randy Nicklaus. The first single "How Much Love" is a good rock song, while the second one, the ballad "Love Is A Killer", shows the band from a more sensitive side. "Not A Minute Too Soon" is the last single ever from VIXEN. In September '90 VIXEN did a 40 minutes video, entitled "Revved Up!". There you'll find all six video clips, from "Edge Of A Broken Heart" to "Not A Minute Too Soon" plus some really nice interviews with the band members. On August 11, 1990 VIXEN did an unplugged session for MTV.

However, a year later, after the European tour with DEEP PURPLE (April 1991), the band split up due to management problems and musical differences. VIXEN [line up: Janet Gardner-lead vocals; Gina Stile-guitars; Maxine Petrucci-bass and Roxy Petrucci-drums] reformed one more time in 1997 and recorded a third album called "Tangerine" on Eagle Records in '98. The album was a mix of the modern grunge style of the nineties mixed with some ballads, but had nothing to do with the old VIXEN sound. Sadly, the album was a fiasco and the girls decided to call it quits forever.......

Updates: In May '91 Share Pedersen did a record with Michael Schenker (UFO/MSG), Tracii Guns (LA GUNS), Richard Black (SHARK ISLAND) and Bobby Blotzer (RATT) under the name CONTRABAND. This self-titled album contained ten cover songs, u.w. the single "All The Way From Memphis" (IAN HUNTER) and "Hang On To Yourself" (DAVID BOWIE). After that she did a few jobs around L.A. in '93 with HAVANNA 3AM (a gig at the Coconut Teaser) and she was involved with her own band called THE EX's. Share is currently playing in BUBBLE with her husband Bam [line-up: Share (ex-VIXEN/CONTRABAND)-guitar/vocals; Bam (DOGS D'AMOUR/WILDHEARTS)-drums/vocals and Brian (DIRTY LOOKS)-drums/vocals] and they released two CDs. She also recently joined DOGS D'AMOUR (who have reformed!). The other VIXEN members went their seperate ways, too. Jan played guitar on the JEFF PARIS album "Lucky This Time" (Now & Then Records '93) and she joined the band POPULATION 361 in 1999. Early 2001, she formed DRAWING DOWN THE MOON and released the album "Angel In My Dream" in 2004. Roxy collaborated again with her sister Maxime under the name TITANIA. They will release their debut CD in the summer of 2005. Janet is working on a solo album and there are rumours that Share will be collaborating on this. Fact is, Janet has recently married DEEP PURPLE's manager Bruce Payne and moved to Connecticut.

By: Andreas Goetsche and Rita van Poorten/copyright Metal Maidens.

VIXEN line up 1988-1991:
Janet Gardner - vocals/guitar
Jan Kuehnemund - guitar/backing vocals
Share Pedersen - bass/backing vocals
Roxy Petrucci - drums/backing vocals

Discography VIXEN:
(Albums)
VIXEN (EMI '88)
REV IT UP (EMI '90)
TANGERINE (Eagle Records '98)
FULL THROTTLE (Greatest Hits collection)(EMI '99)

(Singles)
EDGE OF A BROKEN HEART/CHARMED LIFE (EMI '88)
CRYIN'/DESPERATE (EMI '88)
LOVE MADE ME/GIVE IT AWAY (EMI '89)
HOW MUCH LOVE/WRECKING BALL (EMI '90)
LOVE IS A KILLER/STREET IN PARADISE (EMI '91)
NOT A MINUTE TOO SOON/FALLEN HERO (EMI '91)

(Videos)
REVVED UP! (EMI MVP9912503 '90)

(Movies)
HARDBODIES (Columbia Pictures Ind. Inc. '84)

Related recordings:
(Albums)
MADAME X: WE RESERVE THE RIGHT (Jet '84; Roxy on drums)
CONTRABAND: CONTRABAND (EMI '91; Share on bass)
BUBBLE: BUMB SHOTS (indie '97; Share on vocals/guitar)
BUBBLE: HOW ABOUT THIS? (indie '00; Share on vocals/guitar)
BUBBLE: TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION ('02; Share on vocals/guitar)
BUBBLE: ROCK N ROLL HELL ('04; Share on vocals/guitar)
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON: ANGEL IN MY DREAM ('04; Jan on guitar)
MAXINE: TITANIA (indie '05; Roxy on drums)

Website links:
Offical VIXEN page: http://www.vixenrock.com/
Roxy Petrucci: http://www.roxypetrucci.com/
MAXINE: http://www.maxattacks.com/
Planet BUBBLE: http://www.planetbubble.com/
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON: http://www.drawingdownthemoon.net/