November 15, 1961 – October 1, 2013
Jan Kuehnemund is perhaps best remembered as the founding lead guitarist for Vixen, an all-female glam metal band who achieved a worldwide fan base during the late ’80s. Originally formed with Kuehnemund was in high school in 1974, the band quickly split up but then reformed in 1980. After settling in Los Angeles, the group – often referred to as “the female Bon Jovi” started building a sizable following throughout the flourishing Sunset Strip scene. In 1987, they appeared in Penelope Spheeris’ acclaimed rock doc, The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years. That was quickly followed by a recording contract with EMI Records who released their self-titled debut in 1988. The album, which included the Richard Marx-penned hit single “Edge Of A Broken Heart,” rose to #41 on the Billboard charts and was nearly as chart-successful in the UK. Rev It Up followed in 1990, while the band was taking the hair metal world by storm. Throughout those couple of years, the band toured with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Deep Purple, KISS, and Scorpions. The band split up in the middle of 1991 and then reformed a few times over the next several years with Kuehnemund not coming back to the fold until 2001. A version of the band with just Kuehnemund from the original line up released two albums in 2006. The classic late ’80s/early ’90s edition got together for VH1’s Bands Reunited series in 2004. Jan Kuehnemund passed away following a courageous battle with cancer on October 10, 2013. She was 51.
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