Lead singer, composer, guitarist, and front man for Glam Metal rock group Cinderella, Tom Keifer, has a theme running through his press interviews where he takes issue with the group being labelled under Glam Rock or Glam Metal, but with a name like Cinderella, along with the huge hair, glitter costumes, and onstage posturing, how could it not be that? For the record, Tom Keifer has said many times to rock mag interviewers this statement, (as captured by Classic Rock magazine in 2013), “Some people listen with their eyes, and not their ears.” It’s hard not to hear the sarcasm and/or irritation behind that statement. But get this: even die-hard Cinderella bloggers and fans, such as www.nolifetilmetal said that Cinderella has often been “lumped into the hair bands of the 80s due to their glam look, especially on their first album.”
Here are the key elements to Cinderella’s history, which have been repeated so many times within the metal community, one wishes band members would give more details on the group’s amazing backstory:
Cinderella was formed in 1983 by Tom Keifer, and bassist Eric Brittingham. The initial make-up of the band included guitarist Michael Smerick and the late Tony Destra. Smerick and Destra left in 1985 to form another Glam Metal band, Britny Fox. As legend has it, Jon Bon Jovi saw Cinderella perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, which in the 1980s held a metal music night every Sunday. Bon Jovi convinced one of his contacts in the industry, Scottish-born record executive Derek Shulman to go and hear the band. Shulman was not convinced of the band’s selling potential at first, but after much negotiating signed them. The result was Cinderella’s first album Night Songs (1986) which achieved triple platinum status and at one point sold 50K copies per week. (Record Industry RIAA states Platinum equals one million in sales.) Cinderella’s second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988 and was accompanied by a 254-show tour, one of which was in Moscow, Russia, alongside other metal bands such as the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and Skid Row. The core members of Cinderella remain Tom Keifer, lead vocalist, composer, keyboardist and guitarist; Eric Brittingham, bass guitar; Jeff LaBar, lead and rhythm guitars; Fred Coury, drums. (For more information see Wikipedia and the band’s website www.cinderella.net.) Overall, the band has sold over 20 million albums. The other studio albums are: Heartbreak Station (1990) and Still Climbing (1994). Given the fact that most music albums/CDs/ in the 21st century do not exceed the one million mark in sales, that is quite astonishing. It’s why metal fans almost always harken back to the era of the 1980s as the “gold standard” -the music then was exemplary by today’s standards. What’s that? Don’t like that comment? Uh, well, it’s my blog (GlamRock4Ever), so screw off!
The preceding begs the question: why hasn’t Cinderella recorded any more albums since Still Climbing? Tom Keifer gave an answer to that to Classic Rock magazine (2013), “We toured hard in the past three years so we decided to take a break. We’ll still tour but as for new music, every time we’ve tried there’s been a roadblock.” He may be alluding to legal troubles between the band and the mega music giant Sony corporation that was an ongoing headache to the band in years past and an obstacle to recording. The band has toured ferociously since 1986, including the 1990-1991 Big Joint tour (with Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Quireboys), the 20 Years of Rock tour in 2006 with Poison, and the 25th anniversary tour in 2011. You can also usually always catch Cinderella on the Monsters of Rock cruise, including 2017’s show.
The biggest complication to the band’s recording was the dilemma of Tom Keifer’s vocal cord issue. In 1991, Tom Keifer lost his voice due to paresis of his vocal cords and underwent corrective surgeries. Then in the year 2008, just before Cinderella was to start another tour with Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Lynam, Cinderella’s lead man woke up one morning to the unimaginable discovery that he could not sing! In a press release at the time, the band’s manager Tim Heyne said: “It is with unbelievably deep regret that I must announce Tom Keifer’s left vocal cord has hemorrhaged, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.” It wasn’t until 2009 after enduring more vocal cord surgery (total of six) that Keifer’s voice returned to normal. Here is what Keifer told Classic Rock magazine (2013): “My left vocal cord is partially paralyzed. But the bottom line is I was told I would never sing again, and I’ve done seven successful tours with Cinderella and made this record.” He’s referring to the 2013 release of his solo album “The Way Life Goes.” Check it out.