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Old 05-24-2005, 01:33 PM   #1
wip5150
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What ever happened to.........Cinderella


The subject of this week's "where are they now" is perhaps the quintessential 80's hairband



Cinderella
The story of Cinderalls has been reasonably well documented but it's always fun to catch up with some kings of the Aqua Net. As always, this information has been culled from several internet sites (including each member of the band) so don't get all pissy if you think it's inaccurate. Also, because I didn't write the stuff, I get to bug you with pithy comments in orange. So, here we go:
Cinderella (Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham, Jeff LaBar and Fred Coury) single handedly re-injected blues into mainstream Rock n' Roll when they burst onto the hard rock scene in 1986. Where most of the band's hard rock/pop metal contemporaries had grown up on a third-generation of Rock n' Roll (with its implied blues influences), Cinderalla preferred to dig back into the core of the Delta Blues sound, that had first given birth to Rock n' Roll's infancy.

Discovered by Jon Bon Jovi, the band quickly carved out a niche as a revivalist blues-rock singer/songwriter with Cinderella's debut album, Night Songs, which spawned the hits 'Nobody’s Fool', 'Shake Me', and 'Somebody Save Me', Tom Keifer and Co. set out on a whirlwind path of success. (Editors note: Wow, this is a bit over the top, even for me)

The emotional sophistication of the band's next album, the iconic Long Cold Winter would take the hard rock genre as fans knew it even deeper into the bohemian psyche of the traveling musician than it had gone before within the context of that generation. (Ed. Note: Steady boys, let's not get too carried away. The band was decent, but not exactly a life-changing experience).

Long Cold Winter, released in 1988, was a truly penetrating narration, journeying into the highs and hells of life on the road from the eyes of one of hard rock's last real gypsies. Written by Keifer almost entirely on the road during the Night Songs tour, all of the album's hits, including 'Don't Know What You Got Till Its Gone', 'Gypsy Road', and 'Coming Home' offered listeners an authentic insight and appreciation for the hardships of life on the road that hadn't been so brilliantly captured in song since the days of Bob Seger's 'Turn the Page'and Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again'. (Ed. Note: Again, this is a wee bit much, dont' you think?
Rolling Stone Magazine declared boldly in a review of the record that "Long Cold Winter is indeed a radical departure from the no-frills crotch-rock mentality of Night Songs, Cinderella's 1986 debut. As for the variety it offers, this album leaves its predecessor in the dust... It...teems with feisty moments, and...exhibits an admirable willingness by Cinderella to take a stab at something different...The top-notch musicianship and streetwise savvy displayed on the album...make Cinderella a force to be reckoned with." (ed. note: Rolling Stone = crap)

The band's third and perhaps most accomplished album, Heartbreak Station was immediately recognized for its achievement, both in terms of the authenticity of songs and sound, and as a true masterpiece that could stand up among rocks finest records. (ed. note: unfortunately, it was also immediately recognized as a commercial failure. Not that someone's work should be measured in units sold, but it is clear that Cinderella's audience was becoming more selective.) Heartbreak Station made Cinderella a permanent member of rocks elite (ed. note: oh please), particularly via the moving hit 'Heartbreak Station', which bore a soul-stirring and authentic resemblance to Robert Johnson's 'Love in Vain' in terms of the desolating essence it captured. According to AllMusicGuide.com, with this record, Cinderella "created a sneering, raunchy hard-rock album that was artistically their finest moment...Heartbreak Station shows that Cinderella has more genuine rock & roll grit than most of the metal bands of the late '80s."

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone Magazine gave Tom Keifer perhaps his greatest critical compliment by acknowledging him for the musician and songwriter he had truly become, remarking that "Heartbreak Station is amazingly likable and even brave: You'd have to search pretty far to find white blues this consistently catchy and rhythmic, this varied, (and) this free of gut-busting macho slop...Heartbreak Station could prove the most inescapable hard rock since Appetite for Destruction." HeartBreak Station wasn't just a celebration of Keifer's songwriting achievement, but also a nod to Cinderella's members in how far they had come as a band in terms of musicianship. Rolling Stone Magazine commented to that effect in their review of the album, remarking specifically that they rose to the musical challenge of Keifer's material by authentically "tempering their shriller tendencies with strings, saxes, logrolling bottleneck blues, whorehouse piano, trashy tambourines and what sounds like a jew's-harp, Keifer's backup boys replicate Big Brother and the Holding Company's crunch, pausing for pit stops in the neighborhoods of not just Bad Company, Humble Pie and Led Zep but of the Allmans, James Brown and even the Flying Burrito Brothers."

By 1991, Tom Keifer's songs and Cinderella's sound had captured the hearts of millions of rock fans around the world, (14 million to be exact in terms of records sold,) and had already achieved a legacy and place in Rock n' Roll as perhaps the only truly authentic hard rock blues band of the 1980s. Riding high on the success of Heartbreak Station, a sudden twist of fate marked the beginning of a tragic period in the band's life. What was supposed to begin as a break between the band's US and Japanese legs of the 1991 Heartbreak Station tour, on a routine day, as Tom sat down in his home studio to record, he found he simply couldn't sing. Even more frightening than the silence within his own voice was that of the doctors he saw who couldn't give him any explanation for the loss of his voice! (ed. note: perhaps it was punishment from God for trying to sound like Brian Johnson?) The only answer Keifer got was a statement of the obvious, that it just went away. Finally Tom found a specialist in Philadelphia who explained he had a paresis of the laryngeal nerve controlling his left vocal cord. In addition to undergoing a pair of delicate vocal surgeries to remove a cyst and repair a hemorrhage, the bulk of Tom's recovery in correcting the vocal paralysis came via vocal therapy wherein Keifer had to literally learn to sing all over again. Retraining his voice by working with a speech therapist and vocal coach, Keifer, after a 12 year battle, has finally attained the victory of a full recovery that has left him singing better than ever!

In addition to Tom Keifer's battle with his own vocal cords, he also lost his mother during this time period in the early 1990s. These tragedies informed the songs on the band's fourth album, Still Climbing, released by Polygram in 1994. While the record sold well among the band's fan base, it lacked the label support due to a shift in rock trends from pop metal to Grunge, denying it the opportunity to truly achieve what Cinderella's past albums had commercially and quietly opened the door for Keifer to begin focusing on his solo career. (ed. note: give me a break. I doubt the lack of success of Still Climbing had much to do with "lack of label support". Grunge had a pretty firm hold by 1994 and Cinderella was probably lucky to have this thing even released.)

While Tom was personally battling the paresis of his vocal cords, the band's breakup in 1995 was a welcome change for the musician personally.

Member updates:

Tom Kiefer:

Relocating to Nashville in 1997, Tom spent the next several years focusing exclusively on what he most loves, songwriting. He collaborated with country music stars like Andy Griggs, and worked methodically on writing and re-writing material for what would become his first solo album, due in 2005. Over the early part of the millennium, Tom reunited with his Cinderella bandmates for a pair of summer shed tours and this past year, started a family with wife Savannah Snow (also a songwriter), who gave birth to the couple's first child in February of 2004. Tom Keifer's latest effort, an as-yet-untitled hard rock solo album will bring him full circle in his evolution as a blues-influenced hard rock artist. Blues forefather Son House (a mentor of both Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson) once wrote if 'I didn't have no blues, I just wasn't satisfied.' Having come full circle personally and artistically, by virtue of his new life and album, Tom Keifer would seem to agree...

Eric Brittingham

After Cindrealla broke up, Eric dedicated his time into offering his talents to working with up and coming artists rather than capitalizing on his success. (ed. note: and, really, who would want to make money?)He has co-written, played, or helped with arranging songs on "Bad Romance's" Code of Honor record, "Tangier's" Stranded record, and "Tom Gilliam's" First of All record. In addition to this, he has played on, produced and helped many unknown artists with their demos and independent records.

Currently, Eric is producing and recording with "Naked Beggars". The band was formed with his wife Inga and guitarist Kris Cassamento. Eric has spent the past year recording and playing local gigs with the band. With the lineup complete with Doc Holladay and Dustin Carpenter, Eric is pleased with the progress of the band and is anxious to see it to the next level.

Fred Coury:

After the breakup of the band, Fred concentrated on acting - taking lessons annd performing in movies including the role of "New York Hustler" in Lost in Transit, "Man in Black" in the film Aliens Are Out There, and, most recently, as "Native American Cop" in Crude Awakenings. (ed. note: this has GOT to be a porn flick)

Jeff LaBar:

It wasn't easy to find informatin on Jeff, but it would seem he is now part of Eric Brittingham's band, "Naked Beggars".

And, for those of you pining away to see the boys live, you'll get your chance this summer as they headline the "Rock Never Stops" tour along with Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Firehouse.
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:00 PM   #2
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Cool

Thank you Whip!....This is a band I was so inlove with at the young age of 13 hehe...Great review on these guys....Tom was my dream man btw...hehe..Love his voice..so unique....Thanks so much Whip!!..Man does this bring back memories...
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:22 PM   #3
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Well..I went web searching and I found this cool little site...Now I'm sitting here watching videos and live performances from Cinderella..whoooooooo...here is the link if you guys wanna check it out...and its under media once u click the link

http://www.houseofcinderella.com/
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:30 PM   #4
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I still have their first two albums but haven't listened in years...they are records and I have no player. Long Cold Winter was the last one I bought new I think. Shortly after that I got into metal and didn't listen to them so much. Nobody's fool is still a great song and quite a few on the second album that are good. But then they made a lot of crap too...I never really cared for Don't know what you got.

Their pictures are funny though. Jeff is trying to look cooler than he is (what is with those shirts?? And knee highs??!! ) and Tom is trying to kiss the camera. Eric looks stoned and pretty much missing and Fred is layed back...he actually seems almost cool. The the front cover of Night Songs they all look like strippers Man that decade had some rediqulous outfits...what the hell were they thinking?

Makes me wish I had a turntable though. I could go for a couple Cinderfella songs. Maybe some Bad Seamstress Blues...
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:30 AM   #5
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This is great, hadn't thought of these guys in a while..............excuse me, I have to go digging through my music collection now.
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for the update..I've been a cinderella fan since the beginning and used to play "Somebody Save me" in my old metal band. Glad to hear Tom has made a full recovery from the surgery. His vox style is very unique and powerful.

Whenever I hear those Cinderella opening riffs when listening to the radio, I always crank up the volume.
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riff Addict
Thanks for the update..I've been a cinderella fan since the beginning and used to play "Somebody Save me" in my old metal band.
..Riffy I would love for you to do some Cinderella!!.. ..There is a few I bet you would kick ass on
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rain
..Riffy I would love for you to do some Cinderella!!.. ..There is a few I bet you would kick ass on
Hmm..I do have some Cinderella backing tracks....its a possibility! Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm sure I'll get around to it....
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:07 PM   #9
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dude cinderella was one of the greatest hard rock bands id put them up there in the upper echolon in my opinion they didnt get credit deserved as they wronte some awesome songs and tom keifer didnt copy brian johnson from ac/dc tom keifers is much more higher pitched and sounds alot better. keifer has one of the bets voices in rock in my opinion
glad to see cinderella is back
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:15 AM   #10
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These guys rock


I have seen Cinderella in two different settings, once in Vegas at a small club where I was sitting 10' away and the other when they were on tour with Dokken and Poison a few years ago and in the lawn. They rocked both times. Great band. Honestly, Gypsy Rd. is the only song I know all the way through besides Satriani's Always.
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:24 PM   #11
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I love Cinderella!!! I love most things 80's haha, but seriously, Cinderella are brilliant!! I'd love to hear some tracks of theirs around here!!
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:37 PM   #12
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they're still pretty much alive and kickin though tom keifer's voice isnt what it used to be. just borrowed the live in detroit 1991(?) dvd from my friend, great stuff! preferred the earlier albums though they were closer to the hair metal side, later albums tended to be more country-ish and bluesy
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