In a new interview on the “In The Trenches with Ryan Roxie” video podcast, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan talked about Jeff Labar.
“The first few times I saw CINDERELLA was at a club called the Galaxy, a little bar in New Jersey, and he wasn’t even in the band yet.”
“And then eventually there was changes [in the lineup] made, and then Jeff was in the band. And the whole makeup and the energy on stage. Eric [Brittingham, bass] and Tom [Keifer, guitar/vocals] were there from the beginning, and they had their thing. But, man, when Jeff joined the band, it just took on a whole new energy. And the playing was, obviously, different; he had a different style. And just his stage presence, man — it was really cool. And then eventually getting to know him, just from the few shows we did together.”
“I think both of [SKID ROW and CINDERELLA] were in Japan at the same time for our first tours [there], and we were kind of crisscrossing, and they came out to a show. He was always just a really genuine guy and, obviously, a very good player. He actually filled in for Snake [SKID ROW guitarist Dave Sabo]. Snake had an issue with his arm. It wasn’t carpal tunnel, but it was kind of like carpal tunnel; I’m not sure exactly what it was called. But he was, like, ‘Dude, I can’t even pick. I can’t even hold on to a pick.’ So we called Jeff and he came in and filled in for two shows. And it was fun — road dog stories. It was great.”
Recently Cinderella’s Jeff LaBar family issued a statement regarding his passing.
The family wrote:
“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.”