Cinderella Guitarist Jeff LaBar Dead at 58

    Jeff LaBar, best known as the guitarist for glam metal band Cinderella, has died at the age of 58. LaBar’s son, Sebastian, confirmed the news in a social media post on Wednesday. “So i just got the call…” Sebastian wrote. “Jeff LaBar, my father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop!” No cause of death has been revealed.

    Born in Darby, Pennsylvania in 1963, LaBar joined Cinderella in 1985, replacing founding guitarist Michael Schermick shortly before the band signed to Mercury/Polygram Records. Their debut album, Night Songs, came out the following year, featuring the breakthrough single ‘Nobody’s Fool’, which led to tour dates with the likes of Poison, David Lee Roth, and Bon Jovi. Cinderella’s follow-up, 1988’s Long Cold Winter, spawned their biggest hit, the signature power ballad ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’, which reached Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The LP also introduced the blues-rock sound that went on to define the band’s final two albums, 1990’s Heartbreak Station and 1994’s Still Climbing. The latter was delayed due to vocal cord issues experienced by singer Tom Keifer and quickly disappeared from the charts.

    The band went on hiatus in 1995, but returned a year later for a tour and a greatest hits compilation. Though they would never record another album of new material, they continued to tour in the 2000s and early 2010s. LaBar remained in the group until 2017, when Keifer announced that Cinderella would not reunite. He also pursued various side projects, including one with Cinderella bandmate Eric Brittingham called Naked Beggars. In 2014, he released his debut solo album, One for the Road, in which he played all of the instruments except the drums.

    “Heavy hearts cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing our brother Jeff,” Cinderella bandmates Keifer, Brittingham and Fred Coury said in a statement (via Rolling Stone). “The bond between us over decades of creating music and touring the world is something that we as a band uniquely shared. Those memories with Jeff will be forever alive in our hearts. It’s unimaginable that one of our band brothers has left us. We’re sending his wife Debinique, his son Sebastian, family, and friends our deepest condolences.”

    “Jeff’s memory and music will be with us forever. We all… band, family and management appreciate the overwhelming outpouring of love. Rest In Peace Jeff.”

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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