What's Known About Cinderella Guitarist Jeff LaBar's Death So Far

On July 14, 2021, TMZ and other online outlets announced that legendary Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar passed away. He was 58. His son Sebastian broke the news on Instagram with a heartbreaking post that read, "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!" He went on to request that folks, in honor of his father, share any photos or videos of him that they might have.

LaBar, as Ultimate Classic Rock reminds us, joined Cinderella in 1985, and remained with them until they disbanded in 2017. He was there for all four of the band's studio albums from 1986-94, riffing away on notable tracks like "Somebody Save Me," "Nobody's Fool," "Night Songs," and "Gypsy Road." While Cinderella was often labeled as "glam rock," the Tom Keifer-led outfit had much more in common, musically, with heavier rock-out groups like AC/DC, plus a dash of Guns N' Roses. LaBar's on-point playing not only helped them craft their sound, but granted them weight and stage presence as superb live performers (there's an excellent, full concert available on YouTube).

On Twitter, #ripjefflabar reveals tribute after tribute to the fallen guitarist, all heartfelt and personal, such as @Crablegs59's, "Just heard that my pal and Philadelphia Eagles compadre Jeff LaBar passed away today!!! This is a tough one!!!! A great guitar player, Dad, and a incredibly sweet funny guy!!!! Rest In Peace buddy!!!!"

LaBar struggled with substance abuse for years

While Jeff LaBar's official cause of death hasn't yet been declared, it had been known for years that he struggled with substance abuse. Back in 2016, LaBar claimed responsibility for Cinderella's ongoing hiatus, as Blabbermouth quoted, "I can only speculate, but I believe it's all my fault. It's no secret that I've had a drinking problem." He continued, "I don't talk to any of them anymore. Or, let's put it this way: they don't talk to me."

At that time, he said that frontman Tom Keifer no longer returned his calls, and also stated that he is "pretty much done playing music." For his part, Keifer said that Cinderella had issues "going back decades," which we can assume contributed to them not releasing a record since 1994. In 2012, they promised themselves that they would put things on hold until their difficulties were fixed, but this never happened, and Cinderella formally disbanded in 2017.

In another Blabbermouth article, LaBar said, "I have a history. It's not just these past issues. I have a history of drinking and cocaine ... In the '80s, it was cocaine abuse. In the '90s, it was heroin. I went through every cliché phase that a rock star could go through." In the end, it stands to reason that decades of struggling with substance abuse may have left a toll on LaBar, physically and psychologically, and either directly or indirectly contributed to his cause of death.