Jeff LaBar Dead: guitarist for 80s / 90s rock band Cinderella was 58
Jeff LaBar, guitarist for hard rock band Cinderella, which went multi-platinum in the late 1980s, has died at the age of 58. No cause of death was given.
Cinderella hadn’t recorded an album since 1994 but continued to tour until a few years ago, when they broke up irreparably, according to band members.
On his Twitter account, LaBar made it clear that he was making a fresh start when he described his current status as a “student in cooking school studying to become a chef.” He frequently posted photos of his culinary concoctions on his Instagram account.
The musician’s son first shared the news of the death on Instagram on Wednesday. “So I just got the call… Jeff LaBar, my father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I am currently at a loss for words. I love you pop! … If you can, share photos or videos of all the fun times we all had with my dad. It would be greatly appreciated. “
TMZ reported that LaBar’s first wife, Gaile LaBar-Bernhardt, told the outlet that she found the musician dead Wednesday in her apartment in Nashville after no one could reach him for several days.
“Heavy hearts cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing our brother Jeff,” former Cinderella bandmembers Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury said in a joint statement. “The bond that unites us over decades of making music and touring the world is something that we share in a unique way as a band. These memories with Jeff will be forever alive in our hearts. It is unimaginable that one of our group brothers has left us. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Debinique, his son Sebastian, his family and his friends. Jeff’s memory and music will be with us forever. All of us – the group, the family and the management – appreciate the immense outpouring of love. “
LaBar was Cinderella’s second lead guitarist, but joined them when they recorded their debut album, 1986’s “Night Songs,” which rose to third on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum. He produced the band’s highest single, “Nobody’s Fool,” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The band’s second album, “Long Cold Winter” in 1988, also made it to the top 10 on the album charts and was also certified with three million copies sold. A third release, “Heartbreak Station” from the 90s, went platinum. Popularity had waned by the time of the recording of the group’s swan song, “Still Climbing,” which barely reached the top 200 in 1994.
LaBar released a solo album, “One for the Road,” on a hard rock label in 2014.
Even after the band stopped recording in the mid-90s, they continued to tour intermittently until 2015. But in 2017, Keifer said, “There have been a lot of problems over the decades and an irreparable build-up at this point. There will therefore be no reunion.
In a surprisingly candid interview in 2016, LaBar admitted his role in the seemingly irreparable dispute, talk with “Another FN Podcast with Izzy Presley” about his struggles with drug addiction and the inability at that time to achieve sobriety. “I can only speculate, but I believe it’s all my fault. It’s no secret that I have a drinking problem. And he showed his ugly face on one of these [cruises that Cinderella played]. Guess that’s what caused a breakup… When I ran into one of those cruise ships in front of everyone – like, basically OD’d – that’s when the group, and especially Tom, noticed and said to himself:? ‘ He said he was still in communication with some of the band members, but he and Keifer weren’t talking anymore, “and I can only assume he’s very disappointed and doesn’t want to see me die. He doesn’t want to see me die.
LaBar added in the interview, “I have a history of alcohol and cocaine use… In the 80s it was cocaine abuse. In the 90s, it was the heroine. I went through all the phases of cliché that a rock star could go through. It just wasn’t very publicized. I was arrested, I was in rehab, I did everything Motley Crue did. I just haven’t made it public. I was Motley Crue and Guns N ‘Roses all rolled into one. As a group we tried to hide our dirty laundry, and most of our dirty laundry was me. “
Among those who paid tribute was Michael Sweet of Stryper. “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Jeff LaBar’s passing,” he wrote. “I had the honor of meeting Jeff several times when he attended our shows in Nashville, Tennessee. He has always been a gentleman and very kind and complimentary. He has always been very supportive of our group and I have always considered him a great guy with a big heart. God bless you Jeff and God bless the LaBar family, friends and fans all over the world. Good luck my friend.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” the Scorpios wrote in a statement.