Cinderella Guitarist Jeff LaBar Has Died at Age 58
UPDATE: A statement from the LaBar family was later released, which can be read in full at the bottom of the page.
Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar has died at the age of 58 on July 14.
News of the rocker's death was first shared by his son, Sebastian, who posted a series of photos of his father from across the years on social media (seen at the bottom of the page), alongside a brief but warm remembrance.
"So i just got the call… @jefflabar, my father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop! [heart emoji] If you could, please share pictures or video of all the fun times we all had with my dad. It would be greatly appreciated," wrote Sebastian.
At the time of publication, no cause of death had been listed.
LaBar, who joined Cinderella in 1985 and played on each of their four full length albums, was also remembered by his bandmates, Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury in an official statement made through a press release.
"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. 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," said the band's surviving members.
The statement continued, "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."
Cinderella have not played a show since 2014 and they only played five gigs since 2012 — one at the 2013 edition of the Monsters of Rock Cruise, three sets the following year on the same festival cruise and a one-off performance at the Sioux Falls RibFest in 2014.
Notable tensions within the band gave pause to continuing and, instead, singer and guitarist Keifer has focused on his solo career since.
In a 2016 interview on the "Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley," LaBar took the brunt of the blame for Cinderella's inactivity, chalking it up to his struggles with alcohol.
LaBar stated on the podcast, "I can only speculate, but I believe it's all my fault. It's no secret that I've had a drinking problem. And it showed its ugly face on one of those [cruises that Cinderella played]. I guess that's what caused a rift… When I fell out on one of those cruise ships in front of everybody — like, basically O.D.'d — that's when the band, and mostly Tom, took notice and was, like, 'What the fuck?'"
"No, I'm not," replied LaBar when asked if he was sober at the time of the interview for the podcast episode.
"Which is the problem. Which is probably the problem," he acknowledged and explained, "Like I said, I can only speculate, because I don't talk to the other guys anymore. I talk to Fred every now and then. Eric lives 20 minutes from me. We haven't talked lately, but Eric and I have been the most consistent of all my bandmates throughout the past 32 years. It's just Tom and I that don't talk anymore. And I can only speculate that he's very disappointed and doesn't wanna see me die. He doesn't wanna witness me dying."
Keifer had previously suggested that Cinderella would not engage in any activity until decades-long internal issues had been resolved.
Loudwire extends our condolences to the LaBar family, Jeff's bandmates, friends and all who knew him. Rest in peace.
Statement From Jeff Labar's Family on Musician's Death
Jeffrey Philip La Bar of Nashville, Tennessee passed away peacefully at the age of 58 on July 14, 2021. He was born on March 18, 1963 in Darby, Pennsylvania to June and Bob La Bar. Jeff grew up in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and went to Upper Darby High School.
Inspired by his brother Jack to pick up the guitar, he joined the local rock band Cinderella, who rose to prominence in the late 1980s with a string of platinum selling albums. The group toured the world and had numerous charting songs and videos on MTV. Cinderella had an exceptionally strong fanbase in Japan, which was particularly special to Jeff as that’s where his mother June was born and raised. He would always take her and their family in Japan to the band’s shows there, a life highlight for both mother and son. As Jeff got older, a love of music shifted to a passion for the culinary arts, with his cooking inspired by June’s Japanese heritage. He would reinterpret dishes that were standards in the La Bar household and add a unique flair.
Following a move to Nashville in 2004, Jeff quickly surrounded himself with a community of dear friends who he loved to host and cook for at his home there. He never forgot his Delco roots though and stayed close with all those he grew up with in the region. While he became a bit of a fan of the Tennessee Titans when he moved to Nashville, Jeff’s number one sports franchises were in his hometown, number one being the Philadelphia Eagles, as he never missed the team’s games and would always text his dad Bob during them. He would always make time to talk to his mom for hours every Sunday on the phone, reminiscing and listening to stories about June’s days growing up in Japan. He planned on moving back to Delco as his parents got older, and his mother was excited to have him return with his cooking.
Jeff inspired many of his friends and family to get into music, notably his son and pride and joy, Sebastian. He was eternally proud of the man and musician his son became and looked forward to working on a music project with him. Sebastian visited his father in Nashville often and loved playing music with Jeff and hearing about adventures from the old days when he was on the road. An animal lover, Jeff rescued cats, spent time taking care of his fish and adored his cat Loki.
In addition to Sebastian, Jeff is survived by his wife and best friend Debinique, with whom he created an internet radio show ‘Late Night with the La Bars,’ his parents Bob and June, brothers Jack (Alice) and David (Victoria), sister Diane (Jason), sister-in-law Lisa and many nieces and nephews. Jeff was like a second father to his siblings Diane and David growing up. Although he had many admirers, Jeff was an even bigger fan of his family and friends, seeing the absolute best in everyone he met. Rarely was there a picture of Jeff without a smile on his face. Jeff was an incredibly loving human being and will be missed beyond measure. Immediate arrangements are private and a Celebration of Jeff's Life is being planned for close friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Grammy’s Musicares Financial and Addiction Recovery Assistance Program.