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.
“My father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop!,” Sebastian wrote via Instagram. “If you could, please share pictures or video of all the fun times we all had with my dad. It would be greatly appreciated.”
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 cords 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.
“Heavy hearts cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing our brother Jeff. The bond between us over decades of creating music and touring the world is something that we as a band uniquely shared,” Cinderella bandmates Keifer, Brittingham and Fred Coury said in a statement. “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.”