Jeff LaBar, the guitarist for glam metal band Cinderella, has died. He was 58. LaBar’s death was confirmed by his son Sebastian in a statement shared to Instagram on Wednesday, reading, “So, I just got the call… @jefflabar, my father, my hero, my idol, passed away today.” I’m currently at a loss for words,” he continued, sharing photos of the musician through the years. “I love you pop!”
LaBar was found dead in his Nashville apartment on Wednesday, the musician’s first wife Gaile LaBar-Bernhardt told TMZ. No cause of death has been released.
LaBar joined Cinderella in 1985, replacing guitarist Michael Kelly Smith (né Michael Schermick) after he left the group to form Britny Fox. Alongside founding members Tom Keifer and Eric Brittingham, LaBar released Cinderella’s debut studio album, NIGHT SONGS, in 1986 after signing with Mercury Records. The album, which featured the smash hit single “Nobody’s Fool” and “Somebody Save Me,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts and was certified double platinum a year following its release. Cinderella saw equal commercial success with the 1988’s LONG COLD WINTER, rising in the charts with singles like “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone),” “The Last Mile” and “Coming Home.” The band put out two more albums — 1990’s HEARTBREAK STATION and 1994’s STILL CLIMBING — before going on hiatus in 1995.
However, Cinderella’s break didn’t last long and LaBar reunited with his bandmates a year later. Together, the group released the compilation album ONCE UPON A… in 1997.
Throughout his career, LaBar toured with notable acts such as Poison, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Skid Row. In addition to his work in Cinderella, LaBar played guitar for Naked Beggars — which also featured Brittingham. He was also a member of short-lived band Freakshow together with Frankie Banali (RIP) and released a solo album titled ONE FOR THE ROAD in 2014. LaBar said during a 2016 interview with the Metal Edge Magazine’s Another FN Podcast that he had was leaving the music industry behind him and had enrolled in a culinary arts associate degree program at The Art Institute of Tennessee.
“I’m pretty much done playing music,” he explained. “I can’t do it on a high-school level anymore. With Cinderella, we have crew, we have bus drivers, we have buses and trucks and all. I wake up, I go on stage, I do my thing. On the level that I’ve been doing it for the past few years, I just don’t have it in me anymore. I can’t travel in a van with trailers and [haul] my own gear until four in the morning. It’s just too hard. I enjoy cooking more.”