It’s a sad week for the regional music scene with the passing of Upper Darby’s Jeff LaBar, best known as the guitarist of Cinderella, one of the most influential artists of the Philly rock and roll scene of the mid-1980s. He was 58 years old.
The band, which also included vocalist / guitarist Tom Keifer, bassist Eric Brittingham and drummer Fred Coury, were notably discovered by Jon Bon Jovi at Empire Rock Club and became an MTV staple with hits like “Nobody’s Fool, ”“ Shake Me ”and“ Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone). ”Pigeonholated as just another hair metal band on the musical landscape dotted with Warrant and Poison, Cinderella was actually a more blues rock band , in large part because of the LaBar game’s swagger.
“Night Songs”, Cinderella’s first triple platinum album in 1986, exploded on radio and television, although the group was no stranger to the latter, as it appeared in a 1983 commercial for Pat’s Chili. Dogs, located on MacDade Boulevard. At the time, LaBar was still two years away from joining the lineup.
Cinderella followed up on ‘Night Songs’ with ‘Long Cold Winter’ in 1988, then ‘Heartbreak Station’ in 1990. Unfortunately, they were dragged along by the burgeoning grunge movement and never replicated the success of their first two efforts. . The group was inactive for much of the early ’90s, but rebounded as the decade wore on and the early days saw nostalgia set in.
In recent years, Keifer has embarked on a solo career while LaBar and Brittingham have teamed up in Naked Beggars. The singer remarked in a 2017 interview that Cinderella was, for all intents and purposes, over.
“There have been a lot of problems over the decades and an irreparable build-up at this point,” he told All That Shreds. “So there will be no reunion.”
The year before, LaBar had realized that his alcoholism was the cause of the friction and ensuing break-up, and that he had a long history of drug addiction, including cocaine and heroin. He added that Keifer wouldn’t even return his phone calls.
“I can only speculate, but I believe it is all my fault,” LaBar said. “It’s no secret that I have a drinking problem. And he showed his ugly face (a Monsters of Rock Cruise Cinderella did in 2014). Guess that’s what caused a breakup.
News of LaBar’s death was revealed by his son, Sebastian, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and currently plays guitar for the post-grunge unit Tantric.
“So I just got the call… Jeff LaBar, my dad, my hero, my idol, passed away today,” Sebastian wrote on social media. “I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop!
Like many musicians who rose to prominence in the ’80s, LaBar had moved to Nashville and released a solo LP, “One for the Road”, in 2014. Through it all, he remained a diehard guy. Philly, a huge Eagles fan who has never forgotten his roots. On Wednesday evening, his former group mates expressed their condolences.
“Heavy hearts cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing our brother Jeff,” they said in a collective statement. “The bond that unites us over decades of musical creation 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, family and management appreciate the immense outpouring of love.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye out for this place as every week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl records from a variety of artists. It could be a repress of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week, he’s a protected prince who rightly gets long-awaited credit.
THE TIME: ‘THE TIME: 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION’
It’s been four decades since The Time burst onto the Minneapolis music scene, releasing their eponymous record, which remains a landmark in funk today. Lead singer Morris Day merged his talents with the creativity and vision of his colleague Prince to create a new sound that fuses soul, funk, dance, rock and roll and what is known as’ his sound. of Minneapolis ”.
Originally released on July 29, 1981, the album was written, produced and arranged almost entirely by Prince under the pseudonym Jamie Starr. To celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary, Rhino released an expanded edition created from the original analog tapes. It’s available as a 2LP Red and White ensemble and includes several alternate takes from the album’s six main tracks. The digital version was remastered under Day’s supervision.
“When I was a young teenager growing up in Minneapolis, all I wanted to do was be in a band and play the drums,” he said in a statement. “Never in a million years did I imagine 40 years later that my band The Time would be considered funk royalty. For some, 40 years in this business is considered a lifetime. start. Stay tuned. Yeah !! “
Known for his live performances, The Time introduced the world to Morris Day on vocals and as an energetic leader. He quickly became a pop culture icon thanks to his stage flight performances in the genre film “Purple Rain”, which also featured the touring band and the inventors of New Jack Swing in Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jellybean Johnson, Jesse Johnson and Monte Moir.
Minneapolis in the ’80s ushered in a new era for urban funk and disco, and The Time was at the center of it all. The band remains current and influential and shows no signs of losing funk and energy 40 years later. Songs like “Cool”, “Get it Up” and “Girl” have landed in the Top 10 of the R&B charts, and their influence on this genre and the sound of pop music continues to be heard in the music of generations of people. artists and musicians who came after them.
‘The Time’ is available online and in stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com