Remembering Jeff Labar: Cinderella Guitarist Dies at 58

Jeff Labar

Cinderella is not just the name of a fairy tale. Those who love classic rock from the 1980s will almost certainly recognize the band Cinderella, along with stalwarts of the group such as Jeff LaBar. Unfortunately, it was recently announced that LaBar had died unexpectedly, at the relatively young age of 58. The death was announced by his son Sebastian on Instagram. At the moment, there isn’t a lot of additional information available. However, that doesn’t stop fans of the band from wanting to find out as much information as they can.

Background on the Band

Back in the early 1980s, the group was formed and subsequently released their first studio album in 1985. LaBar was on that album, having been with the band from its inception. To date, the band has released only four studio albums, two from the 1980s and two that were released years later. In fact, the last album was released in 2012. Throughout the majority of that time, LaBar was there. 2012 just happens to also mark the last tour that the band ever experienced, with LaBar releasing a solo album just two years later  Almost immediately after the announcement of his death, his former bandmates were on social media in order to express their condolences. Many of them even went as far as sharing stories about LaBar during his days with the band, commenting on how much they would miss him and reminiscing about good times that they had had in the past.

A Rift in the Group

LaBar himself had publicly commented in the past that he felt like part of the reason that the band eventually broke up (albeit on an interim basis) was because of his actions. He readily admitted that he had a drinking problem for some time, something that had apparently been made all too obvious during a cruise in which the band had played. Apparently, he became so drunk that he was no longer able to play, collapsing in front of many of the individuals who had come to see the band perform. It was then that he and another band member, Tom Keifer, had a falling out. This event largely caused LaBar to distance himself from the rest of the group. Although he reunited with them for their 2012 album and tour, he had officially left the band in 2007, staying away for many years. During this same time, there were also issues with other members of the band that essentially caused a great deal of prolonged inactivity. As such, it wasn’t widely known that there was any type of rift in the group until much later.

It Happened Suddenly

As previously mentioned, there isn’t a lot known about exactly what happened to cause LaBar’s death. What is known is that he was at his Nashville home at the time he was found. Currently, it’s not even known exactly how long he had been deceased, as no one had heard from him in a number of days. This eventually prompted his ex-wife to travel to the property in order to check on him, where she found him unresponsive. At the moment, it isn’t known exactly what happened to him or whether or not his alcohol addiction played a part in his death. It seems that even those closest to him weren’t aware that anything was wrong with him prior to his death. However, it isn’t known if his death was truly sudden and unexpected or if he simply chose to keep some prior health concerns quiet. While everyone wants to gain a better understanding of what happened to him, the concern at the moment centers around paying tribute to him in the most appropriate manner possible.

Genius in the Face of Challenges

Cinderella was a band that was plagued by a number of challenges throughout their entire performing career. The frontman for the band, Keifer, had serious issues with his vocal cords that entirely prevented them from producing additional albums or even going on tour. The problems became so severe that there were even a couple of times that tours had been planned and then had to either be postponed or cancelled in their entirety. Through it all, LaBar was present, even if things weren’t always running as smoothly as they might have seemed. Despite the fact that the band faced all of these challenges, many of them preventing them from ever performing at their best, they still managed to show a great deal of brilliance in the music that they did create. Surviving band members are happy that LaBar was there with them and are equally happy to give him credit for the contributions that he made to the band throughout all of those years.

Gone Too Soon

Almost any person that you ask would say that LaBar is gone far too soon. What else are you supposed to say about someone who passes away at 58 years of age? There was a time when it would be considered a full life for someone to have lived that long. However, by today’s standards, that is still relatively young. As such, LaBar’s death came at a time when he should have been able to simply sit back and enjoy his life. Instead, his son Sebastian and everyone else that was close to him are paying tribute to him at a time when they least expected it. There is little doubt that the cause of his death will eventually be determined. Unfortunately, these things have a tendency to take time. Therefore, it’s doubtful that any official news will be forthcoming in the next few days, but fans can at least take solace in the fact that some type of information should be available in the future. Unless the family makes the decision to keep everything quiet and officially request that the results not be made public, fans may eventually get the answers they’ve been waiting for. At the end of the day, the thing that really matters is that his life is celebrated properly, including his contributions as a musician.

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