Vixen revs up Versailles’ BMI Speedway

By Allyson B. Crawford

photo: (l-r) Share Ross, Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Gina Stile of Vixen hit BMI Speedway not a minute too soon Sept. 4

 

Vixen may or may not be a household name depending on your music worldview. If you’re not familiar with the quartet, you should know that Vixen was the only all-female band in the ’80s to sell over a million albums and have four songs in the Billboard Top 100. The band went on hiatus for several years, underwent several lineup changes, and is now back with its founding members, with one exception: veteran guitarist Gina Stile. Founding band member and guitarist Jan Kuehnemund died from cancer in 2013. After her death, original members Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Share Ross decided to forge ahead in Kuehnemund’s memory and invited Stile to join the band. Their ups and downs and long hiatus mean Vixen hasn’t played in a lot of states for a very long time.

“It’s been a really long time since Vixen has played Ohio,” Vixen bass player Share Ross tells the Dayton City Paper. In fact, it’s been so long the rocker couldn’t even remember the last show the band did in the Buckeye state. All that will change when Vixen headlines a special ’80s rock-themed night at BMI Speedway in Versailles. Fellow glam rockers Faster Pussycat and comedian Don Jamieson will provide support.

“We’re old friends with the guys in Faster Pussycat,” Ross adds. “We’ve played lots of shows with them.”

Vixen typically plays larger festival events like M3, Rocklahoma, or the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Later in the year, the band will play the Hair Nation Festival in Los Angeles. This means the Versailles show is a rare chance to see Vixen play a much longer set.  Ross is looking forward to the show – but experience dictates that she keeps her emotions and expectations in check:

“I find if I have expectations, it’s always different than what I expected. Each gig is different and the people are different. The energy of the crowd is always unique. It seems like we’ve got a lot of really cool people coming to this gig, so I’m excited about it.”

Rock and roll, playing bass, and being a star in Vixen is certainly a big part of Ross’s life, but that isn’t all she’s about. In fact, it’s really just a small part of her identity.

“We’re so much more than what we have in our bank accounts and what our relationship is to any one person at any time in space,” Ross explains. “I think identity is something we get wrapped up in, and if I say, ‘I’m a musician,’ I’m putting a limitation on myself by doing that. I prefer to go to a deeper place and my identity is just being.”

As a motivational speaker, Ross helps coach individuals toward finding their true selves – going beyond what they do for a living. She also spends a lot of time working with holistic health, including essential oils. In the last few months, she launched an essential oil business and travels to learn more about the industry.

“I’ve known a lot of musicians who do essential oils,” Ross explains. “I think there’s a growing interest in finding natural solutions for our health, such as finding ways to get healthy, stay healthy, build up our immune systems. This has to be addressed for real… not with Band-Aids.”

Back in rock land, Ross admits it’s been a long time since Vixen has released any new music. In fact, the band’s last album was the 2006 release Live & Learn. The band is now actively working on new music, but time and geography are challenges. Fighting space and time, Ross says the band is committed to releasing a complete album of new material at one time, if nothing more than a “thank you” to their fans who have waited so long for new material.

Still, the allure of releasing a single at a time is hard to ignore when there’s no real barrier to releasing music these days. The members of Vixen will likely share production duties and also hire some help to get their yet unnamed album launched.

If you’re on the fence about seeing Vixen over Labor Day weekend, Ross has some advice for you: “I think it’s important for us to be open to new experiences. That’s what makes life exciting!”

Vixen performs Sunday, Sept. 4 at BMI Speedway, 769 E. Main St. in Versailles. Doors open at 5 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for all ages. To buy tickets, please visit bmispeedway.com. For more information, please visit vixenofficial.com.

Allyson B. Crawford lives in Springboro and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. 

 

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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