Yhdysvaltalaisen glam rock -yhtye Cinderellan kitaristi Jeff LaBar avautui hiljattain ensimmäistä kertaa alkoholiongelmastaan julkisesti Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presleyn haastattelussa. Yhtye ei ole julkaissut uutta albumia sitten vuoden 1994 ”Still Climbingin” jälkeen. Cinderella sai kuitenkin uutta puhtia 2000-luvun loppupuoliskon menestyskiertueista esimerkiksi Poisonin ja Scorpionsin kanssa, ja viimeksi ryhmä soitti yhdessä vuonna 2013 Monsters Of Rock Cruise -festivaalilla.
LaBar uskoo juomisen olleen pääsyy yhtyeen hajoamiseen:
“I can only speculate, but I believe it’s all my fault. It’s no secret that I’ve had a drinking problem. And it showed its ugly face on one of those cruises. I guess that’s what caused a rift.”
Mies ei ole puhunut pitkäaikaisen ystävänsä, yhtyeen laulaja-kitaristi Tom Keiferin kanssa pitkiin aikoihin.
”We all made a pact a long time ago to not continue Cinderella if one of us dropped out. And I think vocalist and guitarist Tom Keifer is going to stick to that. I don’t talk to him anymore, so I don’t really know for a fact. But we all made a pact not to do it if it wasn’t the four of us – and it’s not the four of us anymore.”
”We’ve all gotten along so well. I’ve never had a longer relationship — and none of us have. Over thirty years, we’ve all gotten along every single day — like, almost never argued with each other.”
Välirikon jälkeen Keifer on keskittynyt soolouraansa. LaBar kertoi ymmärtävänsä, miksi Keifer ei vastaa hänen puheluihinsa.
”I understand why he doesn’t return my calls, and I don’t blame him. I understand. And hey, you know, he’s been the major talent of Cinderella all this time, and he deserves to be solo. Not deserves to be solo, but, you know, it was inevitable for him to go solo. He’s just one of those guys — lead singer, main songwriter. It’s inevitable that he should go solo and basically dump (laughs), dump the dead weight.”
”I rode coattails for long enough. I mean, the man is the most talented man I’ve ever met, and he has been the biggest influence on me in my career and in my life. So I have no complaints. He should do what he wants. He should tour solo, continue to do that, and all I can do is wish him the utmost success. He deserves more success than what he gained with Cinderella.”
Kiertue-elämäntyylin paineet ja houkutukset tulivat tutuksi LaBarille jo 1980-luvulla.
”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. It just wasn’t highly publicized. I was arrested, I went through rehab, I did all the things Mötley Crüe did. I just didn’t publicize it. I was Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses all wrapped into 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 publicize it. We just didn’t tell people. ’Oh, yeah, Jeff’s in rehab. Jeff’s in jail. Jeff’s in… whatever.’ We just didn’t publicize it. We actually kept it to ourselves. It was our family. It was our family business, and that’s how we treated it.”
Yhtyeen jäsenet lähettivät LaBarin vieroitukseen, kun hän putosi risteilyalukselta kaikkien nähden. Tapahtuneen jälkeen mies oli vuoden selvinpäin, mutta koukuttui kipulääkkeisiin lonkkaleikkauksen jälkeen.
”When I fell out on one of those cruise ships in front of everybody — like, basically O.D.’d — that’s when the band, and mostly Tom, took notice and was, like, ’What the fuck?’ So they sent me to rehab. I did the rehab, I did extra rehab, and Tom was, basically, my champion. He paid for quite a bit of it, so I did an extra month on Tom’s dime, and came out a better man. But I only stayed sober for a year. I got off painkillers that I was addicted to because of my hip surgery; I had a hip replacement, and everybody was anxious to give me painkillers, which I needed, but I took it too far, being a partying guy.
Lopulta kaikki katosivat LaBarin ympäriltä. Selvinpäin oleminen juhlivien ihmisten keskellä ei juurikaan miellyttänyt. LaBarin mukaan osasyy juomiseen oli se, että alkoholin vaikutuksen alaisena sosiaaliset tilanteet helpottuivat.
”So I got off the painkillers, but a year sober alienated me from everybody around me — everybody I was hanging with, everybody I was working with. Being sober in front of people drinking sucks. On top of the fact that I suffer from anxiety. Part of the reason I drink is so I can walk out of my house and deal with the public — and it’s always been that way. So I went back to drinking, and some people and maybe took it personal.”
LaBar julkaisi ensimmäisen sooloalbuminsa ”One For The Road” vuonna 2014, mutta on sen jälkeen pitänyt matalaa profiilia ja hän keskittyy nyt seuraavaan vaiheeseen elämässään.
”I’m pretty much done playing music. I can’t do it on a high-school level anymore. With Cinderella, we have crew, we have bus drivers, we have buses and trucks and all. I wake up, I go on stage, I do my thing. On the level that I’ve been doing it for the past few years, I just don’t have it in me anymore. I can’t travel in a van with trailers and my own gear until four in the morning. It’s just too hard. I enjoy cooking more.”
”I think my reputation precedes me. I think I haven’t been offered some things because, quite frankly, the word is out that I’m a fucking drunk. I know in my Nashville community I’ve heard that. So it is what it is. I’m not trying to make excuses or even correct it. I’m just trying to move on with my life.”