We’re saddened to report the passing of Vixen founder and lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who lost her battle with cancer last Thursday, October 10. She was 51. “Though most well known for her gifted guitar playing and other musical talents, Jan was a rare friend and beautiful in every sense of the word,” said the band’s surviving members. “Humble, thoughtful, loyal and kind, she was the most gracious of women, possessing the quiet strength of a true warrior. She genuinely loved and appreciated her friends and fans more than most could ever know. Those who were most fortunate to have known her and loved her are heartbroken at the loss of Jan, whose spirit will shine through her music eternally. Jan was very courageous. Never complained. Never gave up. The cancer beat her body but it NEVER broke her spirit at any point. Up until the actual moment that she died, she really believed she was going back home. Jan… you will be missed… but never forgotten.”
Wrote bassist Share Ross on Facebook, “Much more than simply a brilliant guitarist and amazing songwriter, Jan was one of the kindest souls you could ever hope to meet. She remembered everyone’s birthdays and special occasions with gifts and was one of the most gracious women on the planet. Through her year-long battle with cancer, Jan was very courageous. She never complained and never gave up. The cancer beat her body but it never broke her spirit at any moment.
For those of you who wondered why Vixen never reunited, we actually did reunite. We had resolved our differences and were wholeheartedly looking forward to playing together again. In January 2013, only days before the announcement was to be made public, Jan was given her cancer diagnosis. She requested that we keep her illness private and out of respect for her wishes when press and fans asked us why we were not back together, we replied ‘it’s a matter of timing.’ Since then we’ve been in regular contact with her and offered our loving support while continually hoping to make 2014 the year of Vixen. However, it was not meant to be.”
Classic Rock magazine caught up with Motorhead’s Lemmy to talk about health issues that forced the band to cancel some European concert dates this past summer. The singer has been plagued with a spate of health-related scares in recent months, including having a defibrillator installed to keep his heart rhythm steady, as well as suffering a hematoma (a collection of blood outside a vessel), which caused the shows to be cancelled. Lemmy is also dealing with type 2 diabetes, which he was originally diagnosed with over 10 years ago. “I don’t mind you asking about my health,” said Lemmy to the mag. “I’ve been poorly. There’s no point lying about it or trying to deny it. I’ve never done that. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, isn’t it? I understand you’ve got to ask. And I’m feeling better.” He explained that he’s been told slow down and that his fast-living pace is beginning to take its toll.
“It was the same when people were telling me to stop smoking,” commented Lemmy. “‘You’ve got to stop smoking, Lem,’ they kept saying.” “F*** you. I don’t like people telling me what to do, even if they might be right.” He did, however, eventually quit smoking just last year. “”I was having breakfast one morning, coughing and hacking my way through a cigarette and I stopped and thought: ‘What am I doing here?'” he said. “I stopped drinking Jack Daniel’s and Coke because the sugar in the Coke wasn’t good for my diabetes,” he said. “I don’t drink much [anymore].”
Lemmy’s diabetes has affected the circulation in his legs, which get sore and stiff if he walks too far. “But I can still stand at that mic every night and play my songs,” he said. “I wouldn’t know about the defibrillator if it wasn’t for that f***ing lump in my chest,” he said. “I’m getting better. By the time this article is out, and the tour comes around, I’ll be all right. I’ll be ready.” He continued, “I don’t do regrets,” he said. “Regrets are pointless. It’s too late for regrets. You’ve already done it, haven’t you? You’ve lived your life. No point wishing you could change it. There are a couple of things I might have done differently, but nothing major; nothing that would have made that much of a difference. I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I like to think I’ve brought a lot of joy to a lot of people all over the world. I’m true to myself and I’m straight with people.”
When asked about his health issues and his own mortality, the 67-year-old singer responded, “Death is an inevitability, isn’t it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don’t worry about it. I’m ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good.”
Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward is recovering from surgery after suffering perforated diverticulitis, a very serious gastrointestinal condition where a hole is torn in the walls of the intestine. He’s recuperating at home and is expected to make a full recovery.
Metallica guitarist (and horror film genre fan) Kirk Hammett is gearing up to host his very own horror-themed convention. Kirk Von Hammett’s Fear FestEvil will be a three-day event scheduled for next February 6-8, 2014, in San Francisco. The fest will feature horror vendors, live music, “Kirk’s Crypt” private tours, panels, signings and special guest appearances. More info available at the event’s official Facebook page.
Rock your peepers with a new pair of Slayer sunglasses. The band has teamed up with Arnette eyewear for new versions of Arnette’s flagship Witch Doctor sunglasses, Series 3MX and Skylight snow goggles.
Used car dealer? Nope. That’s the newly shorn Ted Nugent (pictured with wife Shemane), who recently had his hair chopped because it was interfering with hunting. “As I’m tracking deer my damn ponytail kept getting snagged, it got to be a pain in the ass,” said Ted in a radio interview. “So on a whim, I just did it, and so far, everybody thinks that it’s okay.”
Could the more conservative look be a precursor to a future political run? Said the Nuge, “That had nothing to do with [the haircut], but the threat of me running for public office is alive and well, because obviously our government has been overtaken by gangsters and America haters.”
Alice Cooper’s 13th annual Christmas Pudding extravaganza will be rockin’ this year. KISS, Rob Zombie, and Motley Crue’s Vince Neil are already confirmed on the bill, with more to be announced in the near future. The show happens on December 7 at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, and benefits Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center.
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford will be immortalized as a character in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. Scheduled for some time next year, Rob will be providing his voice along with actors Will Arnett, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Seth Rogen, director Judd Apatow and more.
The episode is titled “Steal This Episode,” and centers around Homer learning how to illegally download films by Bart (then screening them in his backyard for the folks of Springfield). Priest’s “Breaking the Law” will definitely be making an appearance in this episode!
Have a look at the new video for Stryper’s “No More Hell To Pay” from the band’s upcoming album of the same name (due out on November 5).
Ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan was definitely a proud dad last week as he introduced the first-ever live performance by The Pink Slips, an acoustic duo featuring Duff’s 16-year-old daughter, Grace McKagan, and Jamie Brooks. The pair made their debut during the CBGB Music & Film Festival; catch clips of the performance (plus interviews) here.
Congrats to ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum (of Velvet Revolver) and his longtime girlfriend, Adriane “Ace” Harper, who were married last Saturday.
Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock is gearing up to release a new album, Bridge The Gap, this December 2. You can check out a new song called “Where The Wild Winds Blow” right here.