The Bands

The Vixen Years

Genesis

Genesis/Vixen

1971-1974

Jan Kuehnemund - guitar
Laurie Hedlund - drums
Gayle Erickson - bass
Cindy Boettcher - keyboard
Nancy Shanks - lead vocal

Just how Marlene Peterson became a member of Vixen (originally called Genesis) is best explained in her own words:

Marlene Peterson in VixenMy sister Karen's husband, Ben, was visiting his buddy who lived between Jan's house and Gayle's house. The guys were in front of the house, tinkering with a car. Jan was walking by, carrying her guitar case, on her way to rehearsal at Gayle's. The guys, being typical flirts, struck up a conversation with Jan, inquiring about the fact that she was carrying a professional-looking electric guitar case. When she told them about the band, Ben mentioned that his sister-in-law played drums. She wrote my phone number down in case she ever needed it. She still had the number in her drawer when the band later decided to add a drummer. That's when Keith called me. He asked, "do you still play drums?" I said "no." He asked if I had a drum set, and I said no. Then he told me about Genesis, and asked "would you like to come audition?" I said "no." His response was, "I'll pick you up at 6:00."

She became Vixen's second drummer, giving the band a unique sound and visual appeal. It was a challenge and required long practice to synchronize the dual drums. One of the end results was a drum solo that always brought the house to its feet. Although she generally remained at the back of the stage, hidden behind her drumset, the band would occasionally move her front and center to play the congas.

Vixen performed a mix of original and tribute music, generally in the hard rock genre. Although Marlene wrote no songs on her own, she did contribute to the creative efforts of the band as a whole and earned herself a statement of gratitude on Vixens first album some year after she had departed the band.

After several years, a lead singer was added. With six members, Vixen began to experience artisitic differences - half of the members leaning toward a fairly conservative stage style, the other half more bold. Marlene embraced the chance to expand her horizons and stayed in Rapid City, South Dakota with the lead singer to form Wild Cherry, while the others returned to Minnesota. She still maintains amicable relationships with several of Vixen's former members.

For more about Vixen check out Early Vixen and Neil's Vixen Page


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