Vixen Is On The Edge Of A Broken Heart

The group less formally known as the female Bon Jovi in this week's Forgotten Videos
  • Vixen's Janet Gardner in "Edge Of A Broken Heart"
April 21, 2011 -- 7:00 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

Welcome to Forgotten Videos. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or vice-versa…. We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.

Vixen
"Edge Of A Broken Heart"
1988

Here's some forgotten trivia from Forgotten Videos: Which all-female hair metal band's video featured a cameo by soft-rocker Richard Marx? If you guessed "Edge Of A Broken Heart" by Vixen, you probably cheated by viewing the video already. Not only did Marx make an indiscreet cameo, he was also a producer on Vixen's self-titled debut album and cowrote "Edge…" with former Tubes leader Fee Waybill.

No doubt his magic touch (Marx had seven Top 10 hits between 1987–1989) helped Vixen score one of their only two Top 40 hits. Vixen released the follow-up album Rev It Up in 1990 before their career quickly revved down. But for one moment, as brief as a cut in an MTV video, Vixen owned a spot in pubescent rocker wannabes' hearts.

Operating in a zone somewhere between Heart and the Runaways, but perhaps most accurately described as Poison with the makeup, Vixen were the late '80s version of a time-honored tradition: an all-female band trying to hang with the dudes (most of whom in that era were trying to look like chicks anyway). And fairly or unfairly, they were all compared to male counterparts. Heart were the female Led Zeppelin, the Runaways were girl Ramones and Vixen were a fairer Bon Jovi.

In the clip for "Edge…," Vixen — lead singer Janet Gardner, guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, bassist Share Pedersen, and drummer Roxy Petrucci — have all the moves down: the twirling drumsticks, foot-up-on-the-amp guitar playing, unison headbanging, scarves on the mic stand, tight leather, and big, big, BIG hair. (The video also includes another cameo by Poison drummer Rikki Rockett.)

And while Vixen may have seemed like a classic corporate rock creation, they paid their dues on L.A.'s Sunset Strip before signing to a label and seeing their dreams come true, and then get deflated.

Were you in a female hair metal band? Were you a Vixenhead? Got any Forgotten Video recommendations? Leave us a comment.

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