RIP Jeff LaBar

Jeff LaBar, best known as the guitarist for glam metal band Cinderella, has died. His son Sebastian confirmed the news on Wednesday via a social media post. He was 58. The cause of death was not disclosed. Labar’s first wife, Gaile Labar-Bernhardt, told TMZ  that he was found dead Wednesday inside his Nashville apartment. LaBar linked up with Cinderella in 1985, after founding guitarist Michael Schermick departed. He joined the Philadelphia band as they were signing to Mercury/Polygram and remained in the band through 2017. In 1986, they released their debut album, Night Songs. The LP’s breakthrough single “Nobody’s Fool” reached Number 13 and the album hit Number 3 on the Billboard 200. They subsequently toured with Poison, David Lee Roth, and Bon Jovi.

Their sophomore album, 1988’s Long Cold Winter, contained their biggest hit, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” The power ballad hit Number 12 on Billboard Hot 100. The LP tipped to frontman Tom Keifer’s penchant for blues rock, which continued to flavor their final two albums, 1990’s Heartbreak Station and 1994’s Still Climbing. In between, Keifer lost his voice due to vocal cord issues. Cinderella went on hiatus in 1995. A year later, they returned for a tour and a greatest hits compilation. They continued to tour in the early 2000s and in 2006, they marked their 20th anniversary of their debut album, alongside Poison.

Keifer’s vocal cord issues derailed another planned tour in 2008, but they resumed hitting the road a few years later, which included a 25th anniversary tour in 2011, and a rock cruise in 2013. In 2017, after years of inaction, Keifer announced that Cinderella would not reunite. LaBar also worked on side projects, including one with Cinderella bandmate Eric Brittingham called Naked Beggars, though he parted ways with the group in 2007. LaBar released his debut solo album, One for the Road, in 2014. He played all of the instruments except the drums on the LP. During Cinderella’s temporary break-up in the mid-1990s, LaBar supported himself by running a pizza shop with his brother and by doing assorted construction jobs.

In an interview from 2016, LaBar admitted to having a substance abuse problem with alcohol for years, and blamed the substance abuse for Cinderella’s inactivity. LaBar leaves behind his wife Debinique and has a son named Sebastian from a previous marriage. Sebastian is the lead guitarist in a band called Mach22 and Tantric.

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