In a new interview with the “Talk Toomey” video podcast, Fred Coury was asked if there was ever a Cinderella reunion without guitarist Jeff LaBar† Jeff died last year in his Nashville apartment. He was 58 years old.
“We’ve always said there are four of us,” said the drummer (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH> NET† “That’s why you don’t see it” Tom [Keifer, CINDERELLA frontman] tour there as Cinderella† Because it’s really his band – he can say what he wants. He can say [his current solo band] isCinderella, but it’s not – it doesn’t feel like it, it doesn’t sound like it, it doesn’t look like it. And we always said there were four of us.
“So, could there be anything without… Jeff† I don’t know,” Fred continued. “I think it would be weird. We always say ‘never say never’. But why? Why go? For who? The fans want to see it, but then they all miss it Jeff† We will always look to that side of the stage and we will miss Jeff. Our keyboardist gary [Corbett] died the same damn day. So stage well – gone. You look at it and it’s just so… so crazy.
“So I don’t see it” Coury added. “If something amazing happens and… Slash [GUNS N’ ROSES] was, like, ‘I really like you guys and I want to do something with you guys and it would be cool to do and let’s do a tribute [to Jeff]’ kind of thing, sure. But I don’t think anyone has the time.”
Asked about the possibility of Cinderella continue Jeffhis son Sebastian LaBarwho is the guitarist of the band TANTRIC† Fred said, “People bring that up all the time. He plays like him and he looks like him and we’ve all watched him grow up. He’s like all our illegitimate stepchildren. And we love that man; he’s really salty of the earth, as they say.”
Three months ago, Keifer publicly discussed LaBar‘s passing for the first time during a performance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”† At the time, he said, “I have to tell you that you’re never really ready for that kind of loss; you’re not willing to hear things like that. And everyone is still trying to grieve and process it. It’s an emotional topic. Jeff was just such a passionate, wonderful person, musician, human being. He had a huge heart. And it was a tough one, man. It still is, for everyone.”
Tom continued: “Jeff and I had a very good relationship throughout my career. Obviously in bands there are times when you have differences; that belongs to a band. It’s true what people say about bands – that they are like a family, but honestly it is so and even more intense, because there are so many different facets that define the dynamics between bands; everything from business to creativity and everything in between. But for all the differences we’ve had over the years, and the band in general, as I’ve always said, we’ve never aired anything like it.
†Jeff and I had a great relationship”, Keifer repeated. “I loved Jeff – I really do – and I have so many fond memories of our trip together. He was great, and not just what he contributed to the music. Jeff had such a great sense of humor, and some of my favorite memories with Jeff are just having dinner together on the bus. We were both huge movie fans and could quote pretty much all of our favorite movies. And we’d sit in the front lounge and quote ‘Arthur’ and ‘The Great Lebowski’ and ‘Caddy shack’† He was just a very passionate, very fun guy to be around, and of course a great performer. He was a big part of Cinderella†
“Like I said, you’re never ready for that. And everyone is very honest… I’m in touch with” Eric [Brittingham, bass] and Fred regularly – anyone close to him – and we’re still trying to process it. We really are.”
When host Eddie Trunk is noted Cinderella fans were very supportive right after LaBarpasses, Tom said: “That’s all I saw online – was really positive, because he radiated that. He was a good soul and a good friend to me. When you’re in a band, of course you try to hold each other up. And everything what Jeff went through in his life, I would try to get him back, and he did the same for me. Especially when I had my voice problems,” referring to his early 1990s battle with vocal cord paresis, a neurological condition on the left side of his larynx that nearly ended his life. Keifer‘s career,” he was really supportive. There was a point where I was just hitting rock bottom before meeting him [vocal coach] Ron Anderson† And I was so self-conscious about my voice that I didn’t want anyone in the rehearsal room when I tried to work on it. And I asked Jeff if he would just come in and play guitar and let me sing because there was so much brain power [required] I was just trying to solve the vocal problems that I couldn’t even play guitar and sing at the same time. And he came every day. It was just him and me, and he just played the guitar and I sang the songs. And he heard a lot of really bad things come out of my mouth [laughs], and he always looked at me and said, ‘You’re doing a great job.’ And I’ve always tried to come back and get his back on his feet… He had his challenges too.”
With his voice cracking with emotion, Keifer continued: “We had a good relationship. We really did. I loved him, and I know in my heart that he loved me. And in the end that’s the most important thing. And I have fond memories of him and they will be in my heart forever. And I cherish them.”
although Cinderella hasn’t released a new studio album since 1994 “Still Climbing”the band started playing sporadic shows again in 2010, but has been mostly inactive in recent years, while Keifer focused on his solo career.
Back in 2016, LaBar accepted blame for Cinderella‘s extended period of inactivity, explaining that his “drinking problem” caused a rift between him and his bandmates. He told “Another FN Podcast with Izzy Presley”: “I can only speculate, but I believe it’s all my fault. It’s no secret I’ve had a drinking problem. And it showed its ugly face on one of those [cruises that CINDERELLA played]† I think that caused a rift… When I fell on one of those cruise ships where everyone was on – like, OD’d actually – that was then the band, and most of the time Tomnoticed and said, ‘What the fuck?'”
Asked if he was sober at the time of the interview, LaBar said, “No, I’m not. That’s the problem. That’s… probably the problem. Like I said, I can only speculate because I don’t talk to the other guys anymore. I talk to Fred occasionally. Eric [Brittingham, bass] lives 20 minutes away from me. We haven’t talked lately, but Eric and I’ve been the most consistent of all my band members for the past 32 years. It is normal Tom and I who don’t talk anymore. And I can only speculate that he is very disappointed and does not want to see me die. He doesn’t want me to die.”
LaBar went on to say that the touring lifestyle is “fed [his] likes to party… all the way back to the ’80s.” He explained, “I have a history. It’s not just these past problems. I have a history of drinking and cocaine… In the 80’s it was cocaine abuse. In the 90s it was heroin. I went through every cliché phase a rock star could go through. It just wasn’t much publicized. I was arrested, I went through rehab, I did all the things MOTLEY CRUE did. I just didn’t publish it. I was MOTLEY CRUE and GUNS N’ ROSES all packed in one. As a band, we tried to hide our dirty laundry, and most of our dirty laundry was me. We didn’t try to hide it; we just didn’t publish it. We just didn’t tell people. ‘Oh yeah, Jeffis in rehab. Jeffis in jail. Jeff“is in… whatever.” We just didn’t disclose it. We actually kept it to ourselves. It was our family. It was our family business and that’s how we approached it.”
Despite the fact that he had not spoken to Keifer for a few years prior to the “Another FN Podcast with Izzy Presley” interview, LaBar said he held no grudges against his old friend and bandmate. “I understand why he doesn’t answer my calls, and I don’t blame him,” he said. “I get it. And hey, you know, he’s the greatest talent of… Cinderella all the while, and he deserves to be solo. He doesn’t deserve to be solo, but you know, it was inevitable that he went solo. He’s just one of those guys – lead singer, main songwriter. Inevitably he goes solo and basically dumps [laughs]dump the dead weight.”