Vixen was founded in 1980 by Jan Kuehnemund when she was in high school in St.Paul Minnesota. An early version of Vixen with singer Janet Gardner and Pia Maiocco (who later married Steve Vai) appeared in the movie Hardbodies under another name. In 1985 the band moved to LA to be a part of the rock scene.
After many many line-up changes the classic Vixen was founded Janet Gardner (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jan Kuehnemund (guitar), Share Pedersen (bass), and Roxy Petrucci (drums, ex Madame X). In 1988 they got a record deal with EMI and the self-titled debut album was released. Vixen went on tour 'as the opening act for  Ozzy, Scorpions and Bon Jovi.
 In 1989 the band returned to the studio to record the sequel"Rev It Up" and a tour followed as support act for KISS and Deep Purple.