Terrible news for the rock and metal worlds today, as Jeff LaBar, guitarist for legendary glam metal act Cinderella, has died. He was 58 years old. No cause of death has been revealed at this time.
The news was confirmed by LaBar’s son Sebastian, who website Metal Sludge noted had written on social media, “So i just got the call… Jeff LaBar, my father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop!”
According to TMZ, Gaile LaBar-Bernhardt, Jeff’s first wide, went to the guitarist’s Nashville apartment after friends and family were unable to reach him for a few days. It was there that LaBar-Bernhardt found Jeff dead.
Though part of the often-parodied ‘hair metal’ movement of the ’80s, Arizona’s Cinderella were known for going harder and nastier than many of their peers. The band’s 1986 album Night Songs was their biggest success, peaking at No. 3 on the charts and going triple platinum as of 1991. 1988’s Long Cold Winter also reached triple platinum status. Both records featured LaBar’s uniquely aggressive guitar playing.
In a public statement, Jeff’s bandmates Tom Kiefer, Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury say, “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.
“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.”
While no cause of LaBar’s death has been announced, Blabbermouth notes that in a 2016 podcast interview, the guitarist admitted he had significant issues with substance abuse. Asked if he was sober at the time, Jeff said, “No, I’m not. Which is the problem. Which is probably the problem. 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 [Brittingham, bass] 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.”
Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Jeff’s friends, family, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.
Words by Chris Krovatin