Goodbye, Rock Queen. We’ll miss you.

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006 | Life in Czeltistan, Tunes!

If any of you are familiar with the Milwaukee music scene of the last 15 years, you’ve probably run across one of Janeen Martin’s bands at some point — Miss Trixie or Mudflap or Skyline or any of her many Spoofest appearances. She was a fixture of the scene and had one of the loveliest voices I’ve heard.

Janeen passed away this afternoon. Cancer. It’s something that also took her parents and her sister. She was 39 years old.

It all happened fairly quickly, but a few of us scrambled to put together a book for her before she died. It contained photos and letters to her from friends letting her know how she touched our lives. This is an excerpt from my letter to her:

I can’t think of a single time I saw you when it didn’t seem like you were having the time of your life. I have never met anyone so positive and full of energy and joy. You just radiate it and draw in anyone near you, whether you’re telling a joke, sharing a story with friends or entertaining a room full of people with your wonderful music. I think of you and I instantly picture you smiling and laughing. This world is a far, far better place for having you in it. Thank you for letting so many of us be a part of your life.

23 Comments to Goodbye, Rock Queen. We’ll miss you.


What is it they say? “Only the good die young.” A sad loss to the community, and to music.


Thanks Anne for posting this. Man this one is a VERY tough one to swallow. I guess I thought that I would cope better with the time to prepare, but it still doesn’t make it sting any less. I know my life is better having known and perform with Janeen for many years. She really is a huge inspiration to me and she will most certainly be missed.



I was unfamiliar with her work, but now I’m listening to “Lament” and “Pieces of Me” by Skyline at Garageband — it’s so nice, such an open honest and clear sound. All I can say is I’m so sorry. Even to a stranger just listening to the music, the loss is truly saddening.

czeltic girl

FYI — I’ve updated the Skyline link above. There should be music samples at the new link, if you wanna check ‘em out.


It is difficult for me to articulate what Janeen meant to me since I did not know her all that well . . . but her music and just who SHE was touched me deeply. This is very sad and a terrible loss. My sympathies to those that are close to her and those like me, who lingered briefly, but intently, on the periphery.


Thanks for the beautiful tribute, Anne. I’ve known Janeen for a long time, but never all that well. She was one of those people that would always come up to me with a hug and we’d have a good chat and she’d call me by name, even way back when before I knew hers. Truly a sweetheart. She will be missed.


I still can’t believe, nor will I ever want to. An absolutely beautiful girl inside & out. I’ll always wait for her to enter a club.. leather jacket, t-shirt, black cut-offs & boots. And that lovely hair, face & smile. She has it all. Thank you for everything my love. ~*)


Janeen was my roomate during my first summer in Milwaukee in 1989. We had so so so many good times, she was the type of person you could meet and right away, feel that she’s a soulmate. That beautiful smile, special spark and conversely, the private side that she kept to herself. Sadly, I didn’t see her very often over the past few years. Whenever I did see, I always felt that she was one of the special treasures that I was lucky to find on this earth. Thank you for giving us a space to remember her.

Sean and Melissa

I wish words were enough-they never could be. She truly was our rockstar goddess. Our two girls idolized her-I did too attimes:)
I’ll never forget her laugh.
Goodbye Janeen.


I feel lucky that I got to know Janeen, work with her and call her my friend. I habdn’t seen her in a great while, and only learned of her illness a few days before we lost her, and I am deeply saddened. There is nothing I can say except that she will be missed by every person that knew her, and we were all lucky to have had her touch our lives.


Thanks for the site. I feel like I’ve just been kicked in the gut, but in reading your comments and I remembered the things about Janeen that made us love her and in this I feel a little better. Janeen, you made people feel good to be around you.


I met Janeen about 20 years ago via Dan Franke and Amalia Schoone when she was working at the framing shop on the East Side. Over the years our paths crossed in bands sharing gigs, meager door money and after hours beers. Janeen was a genuinely sweet and talented friend who never had the ego to be a rock star type. A few memories flash — seeing her sing with Shattered at Summerfest; waving as she zoomed past on the back of a motorcycle -Richard Thompson could have writ Vincent Black Lightning for her. Someone mentioned her laugh. Janeen laughed the way a person should, the way kids do. Listening to Lucinda Williams sing tonight at the Pabst I recalled Janeen’s excitement telling about opening for Shelby Lynne at the Pabst. We’ll miss you Janeen.
tandem eccere agnitio pacifico

dan kubinski

iam so honored to have shared time/life with you janeen you will always have a warm place in my heart where only sunshine, laughter and music are present… love you gwen!


The last time I saw Janeen we knew it was probably goodbye. She made me laugh/cry but spent most of the visit picking flowers out of a seed catalog for me to try and plant. When I was leaving she asked me if I needed another hug, even though she was very fragile and must have been in a great deal of pain. That was how she was; trying to take care of the rest of us. Always a model of grace, strength and enthusiam; a flower in a hailstorm waiting for the sun to shine again.


Shit. I just heard about this via the notice in the Shepherd. I was never terribly close with Janeen, but during the years when I more regularly went out to see Milwaukee bands, Janeen was always a smiling and friendly face. She was a vibrant and powerful singer, a confident and riveting figure on stage. Damn – far too young.


I hear a lot of good things about my aunt Janeen. It’s nice to hear. I’m so glad that she made such an influence on so many people. For those of you who know her on a closer relationship, this is Camie’s son, or Nicole’s brother.

I haven’t seen Janeen so much in the recent years, but I drove there last month to see her in the hospital. Then I told her I’d come down there the first weekend of march to see her again. I wanted to bring my daugter to see her again, but obviously that didn’t work. Janeen has been with my daughter already, and seemed to take a joy and liking in her, just as she did with us when we were young. Janeen has always been a very caring person. I haven’t seen her so much in the past years, but i’ve missed her since i saw her last month.

I wish the best to anyone who has known her or was close to her.


I remember meeting Janeen back in 93. A friend just started playing music with her. If I had to choose one adjective to describe her, it would be beautiful. Beautiful face, beautiful smile, beautiful personality, beautiful voice, and overall one beautiful human being. The world is less beautiful without you Janeen.

Jane Marie

Janeen was so beautiful, inside as well as out. She seemed to have such a wisdom far above her age, and a very old soul. She truly radiated. I found her to be such an inspiration and someone to aspire to be like. She will be missed by so many.


Janeen was the kindest person I ever met. I am floored by this news.


It has been a full year since we lost our dear Janeen, and yet it seems like yesterday and so far away. Janeen was such a f’in great person that mere words cannot express the way she touched my life. We had been very close at times in our lives, but even though time got away from us, it was like you never missed a beat(pun intended:}) when she was around. I can only aspire ti be as amazing as MissJaneen…love you, miss you…XXOO~Jen~

steve "postage due"

I frequently find myself remembering times with Janeen and missing her immensely.


The juxtaposition is too great…

It comforts my heart to hear her voice and yet the void will never be filled.


Even years after, Janeen, you are missed. She had the kind of force of personality to keep the bullshitters honest and the real people even real-er. Having seen her from behind first person on stage for a few years, she had an ability to radiate and command a room with her voice, energy — charisma. Not too many people have that level of charm, talent and kindness. What I miss the most is what she didn’t have to say to people, it was most telling. There was power in her silence and people knew what that meant. In fact, we still do, don’t we?

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