I was saddened to read this morning that Jan Kuehnemund, lead guitarist for the all-women rock band Vixen, has passed away. Recently – in the last week or so – I had shared with some friends this video of Vixen playing their hit “Edge of a Broken Heart” since it’s a really excellent live performance. I’ve been a fan of the song for many years, ever since I first saw the original music video playing on VH1’s nightly “Metal Mania” program. In both the music video and in live concert, it is empowering to see a rock group made solely of women rocking just as hard as men.
In the live performance in particular, I’m fascinated by the image of lead singer Janet Gardner sporting a Scorpions shirt. Would a male frontman be so willing to wear the shirt of a female-fronted band? Something to think about. In any case, there’s no doubt that Jan Kuehnemund does an awesome job with the guitar work. Yes, the song is more pop and commercial than really “hard” rock, but you can’t deny how talented she was.
Vixen’s “Edge of a Broken Heart” was a big part of my preteen/early teen years. It’s a great song and RIP Jan Kuehnemund.