Janet Gardner

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Janet Gardner
Vixen Stuttgart 2018 048.jpg
Gardner in Stuttgart, Germany, October 21, 2018
Background information
Birth nameJanet Patricia Gardner
Born (1962-03-17) March 17, 1962 (age 57)
Juneau, Alaska, U.S.
GenresHard rock, glam metal, pop rock
Occupation(s)Musician, vocalist, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, tambourine
Years active1983–92, 1997–98, 2001, 2004–present
Associated actsVixen

Janet Patricia Gardner (born March 17, 1962) is an American rock singer. She is best known as the former lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the all-female glam metal band Vixen joining in 1983. She was the band's longest serving vocalist having performed on three of the band's four studio albums. When Vixen broke up in 1992 she quit singing to pursue personal endeavors. She briefly unofficially reformed Vixen in 1997 with drummer Roxy Petrucci. She briefly returned to Vixen in 2001, later studying to become a dental hygienist. In 2004 she took part in a Vixen reunion for a one-night-only gig as part of VH1's Bands Reunited TV show. She returned to Vixen full-time in 2012.

In 2017 she released her self-titled debut solo album and in 2019 decided to leave Vixen to focus on her solo career definitely.

Background[edit]

Gardner was born in Juneau, Alaska, and her birthday is listed as March 17, 1962.[1] Her father, Rulon B. Gardner was a civil engineer who worked for the United States Forest Service in Utah, Alaska, and Michigan before taking a job in Bozeman, Montana, at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory at Montana State University in 1964, where Gardner grew up. Her mother Margaret was a piano player and church organist.[2] Her parents were of the Mormon faith.[2] Janet was the only girl in a family with four brothers.[2] She sang in school choirs and learned to play piano and guitar.[3]

Musical career[edit]

Vixen in 2014: (l-r) Share Ross, Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Gina Stile

Gardner became the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the all-woman hard rock band Vixen. She joined the band's early lineup in 1983. In 1984, the band appeared in the movie Hardbodies as Diaper Rash before moving to Los Angeles to further their career, playing in the pop rock genre. After some initial changes, the primary lineup of Vixen consisted of Gardner, Jan Kuehnemund, Roxy Petrucci, and Share Ross, then known as Share Pedersen.[4] Vixen signed with EMI's Manhattan Records and recorded their self-titled debut album which was released in September 1988. Gardner described the pressure of recording as "We were just girls from Minnesota and Montana who loved playing live, so it was a bit of a rude awakening."[3]

Their lead single "Edge of a Broken Heart" became their signature hit song. It was co-written, arranged, and produced by Richard Marx. Vixen would go on worldwide tours in support of Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and Bon Jovi along with their own headline shows. Vixen recorded and released their second album Rev It Up in July 1990. They toured for another year alongside KISS and Deep Purple before the band split up in 1992 citing musical differences.

In 1997, Gardner and Petrucci reformed Vixen with Rana Ross and Gina Stile for a US tour. In 1998, they recorded a third Vixen album titled Tangerine without Ross. The album would be a shift in styles going to a more late 90s grunge sound rather than the 80s hair metal sound of the previous two albums. Tangerine eventually became the last studio album for Gardner during her tenure with Vixen. Roxy Petrucci's sister Maxine joined the group as bassist for a tour until they were sued by original member Jan Kuehnemund over trademark infringement involving the use of the Vixen name.

In 2001, Kuehnemund decided to reform the band this time with Gardner and Petrucci, adding Pat Holloway on bass. The newly reformed Vixen toured the United States as part of the Voices of Metal tour until disagreements once again caused the band to split in the middle of the tour.[5][6] Kuehnemund quickly replaced the band with three new members to finish the tour and they continued under the Vixen name.

VH1 contacted the original Vixen lineup in 2004 and got them to appear on the show Bands Reunited. The show featured a one-time reunion of the original group that aired in November 2004 coinciding with the re-release of the first two Vixen albums.

Gardner mostly stayed out of the spotlight until making a few special appearances singing with the band Scrap Metal in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Share Ross and Roxy Petrucci, along with Gardner, contacted Jan Kuehnemund about reuniting the original Vixen, however Kuehnemund declined stating that she was happy with her new band. Soon after, it was announced that Gardner, Ross, and Petrucci would form their own band along with Gina Stile. They originally named the band "VXN" but decided to change it to avoid any possible lawsuits, thus they became known as simply JanetShareRoxyGina (or JSRG for short).

JSRG began playing shows at the end of 2012, followed by touring on the Monsters of Rock cruise in March 2013. After a long battle with cancer, Kuehnemund died on October 10, 2013.[7] Consequently, in December, JSRG decided to carry on as Vixen to honor Kuehnemund's legacy.[8]

Gardner released a self-titled solo album, produced by her husband, on Pavement Entertainment on August 18, 2017.[9]

In late May 2018, after recovery from surgery for a subdural hematoma, Gardner toured the UK.[10] Earlier in March, she was substituted by Femme Fatale's Lorraine Lewis during a show in Oklahoma.[11]

On January 16, 2019, Gardner confirmed in a Facebook post her resignation from Vixen.[12] Her last appearance with the band was at the Mohegan Sun Casino Wolf Den in Uncasville, Connecticut, during the previous November.[13] Her former bandmates eventually named Lewis as her successor.[14]

Personal life[edit]

It became known that Gardner was punched in the face during the 2001 tour by her former husband and tour manager Andy Katz after apparently being flirtatious to Slaughter's Blas Elias, whose band was also on the bill. When a podcast titled The Classic Metal Show interviewed Jan Kuehnemund and asked her about the alleged assault she confirmed the incident to be true but refused to elaborate on it.[5][6] It is currently unknown when Gardner divorced her first husband.

After her forced departure from Vixen during that tour, Gardner attended the University of Bridgeport and became a dental hygienist in 2005.[15] As of 2015 she maintains an active license, which is valid until March 31, 2020,[16] and works as a hygienist when not working on musical projects.[17]

Gardner has been married to guitarist Justin James since 2016.[9] She has a son from her previous marriage to Katz, an engineer whom she met during the recording of Tangerine.[15] She shares the same birthdate with former Vixen and JSRG bandmate Roxy Petrucci.

Discography[edit]

With Vixen[edit]

Studio albums

Compilation albums

  • Full Throttle (1999)
  • Rare Vintage (2018)

Live albums

  • Live Fire (2018)

Solo[edit]

  • Janet Gardner (2017)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Janet Gardner". IMDb. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "In Memory of Margaret Afton Gardner". Memorial Networks. 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Wood, James (May 21, 2013). "Vocalist Janet Gardner Talks JSRG and Vixen". Go Jimmy Go. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "Home". Vixen Official Web Site. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "VIXEN Guitarist Addresses Rumors Behind Band's Split". Blabbermouth.net. March 4, 2007.
  6. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jan-kuehnemund-guitarist-all-girl-647830
  8. ^ "Vixen members resurrect band". Blabbermouth.net. December 3, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "VIXEN Vocalist JANET GARDNER Signs With PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT; Debut Solo Album Due In August". Blabbermouth.net. May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  10. ^ "Janet Gardner to play UK tour in May". Metaltalk.net. April 11, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Femme Fatale singer Lorraine Lewis fills in for ailing Janet Gardner at Vixen show in Oklahoma". Sleaze Roxx. March 5, 2018.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Tour dates archive". NeilsVixenPage.com. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "VIXEN Confirms FEMME FATALE Vocalist LORRAINE LEWIS As New Singer". Bravewords.com. January 22, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "ORIGINAL VIXEN SINGER JANET GARDNER ISSUES UPDATE". Brave Words. April 7, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "State of Connecticut -Lookup Detail View". State of Connecticut. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  17. ^ "VIXEN's Forthcoming Album Will Include Song For Fallen Guitarist JAN KUEHNEMUND". Blabbermouth.net. October 7, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015.

External links[edit]