Vixen Biography

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Not to be confused with the Yorkshire, England-based Vixen, this glossy, female US rock quartet evolved from Genesis, the band formed by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund (St Paul, Minnesota, USA) in the mid-70s. Changing the name of the band to Vixen in the early 80s, the early line-up featured Liza Carbe on bass. The band which appeared in the 1984 movie Hardbodies comprised Kuehnemund, Janet Gardner (b. Juneau, Alaska, USA; vocals), Pia Koko (bass; wife of Steve Vai), Tamara Ivanova (rhythm guitar), and Laurie Hedlund (drums). Further line-up changes saw the recruitment of bass player Share Pedersen (b. Glenco, Minnesota, USA) and drummer Roxy Petrucci (b. Detroit, Michigan, USA; ex-Madam X). The band now had a wealth of musical ability and a strong visual image, and finally landed a recording contract with EMI Records. Their 1988 debut album included material by outside writers, most notably Richard Marx and Jeff Paris, and launched the band in the USA. Marketed as the female equivalent of Bon Jovi, they specialized in four-minute pop rock anthems and the occasional obligatory power ballad, with memorable choruses, including the two US Top 30 hits, ‘Cryin’’ and the Marx-composed epic ‘Edge Of A Broken Heart’. Rev It Up was largely self-penned, and included the minor hit ‘How Much Love’.

Petrucci would later work with Lorraine Lewis (ex-Femme Fatale) in a new all-female outfit. Petrucci and Gardner reunited in 1997, and with the addition of Gina Stile (guitar; ex-Poison Dollys) and Rana Ross (bass) completed a tour of the US. Gardner, Petrucci and Stile then recorded 1998’s relatively sedate Tangerine, and embarked on a promotional tour with the addition of Maxine Petrucci on bass. They worked together briefly in 2000 but are at present only contemplating another reunion.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.