Cinderella – tiny curations
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Hear the playlist on Spotify:
- Bad Seamstress Blues, Fallin’ Apart At The Seams
- Night Songs
- Shake Me
- Nobody’s Fool
- Somebody Save Me
Cinderella, the band, if googling, obviously named prior to any future insight on how search engines might work.
They may have had a real Cinderella story, in this fairytale the band was ‘discovered’ by none other than Jon Bon Jovi in a club in their hometown of Philadelphia. Jon was able to help them secure a record deal.
Recently, Tom Keifer did go on the record in an effort to set the record straight and has stated that a couple years before Jon Bon Jovi took interest in the band, Gene Simmons of KISS had initially found them and got attention of the Polygram record label. But they weren’t signed. It was only after Jon Bon Jovi again came to that same record label of Polygram that they took another look at Cinderella and signed the band.
Britny Fox, another glam metal band that hailed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were active around the same years as Cinderella; from around 1985 to 1992 and best known for “Girlschool”, but also had another single “Long Way to Love”. They had the same style, look, and even their sound and logo are very similar to that of fellow Philadelphian’s, Cinderella.
It was both Michael Kelly Smith on lead guitar and drummer Tony Destra on drums that were former Cinderella members that would go on to help form Britny Fox. And because of those Cinderella ties, they too scored a record label deal. But Tony Destra would die in a car crash in 1987.
Cinderella were always lumped in with the other glam-rock bands. Even despite their turn to a harder and grittier blues-rock that would become them from their follow-up album 1988’s “Long Cold Winter” with several singles “Gypsy Road” and the power-ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, their by far most reaching song, behind “Nobody’s Fool”. Along with “Coming Home”, and “The Last Mile”. Let’s start off the set with the opening track off of “Long Cold Winter”, the white album for Cinderella, here is intro and song “Bad Seamstress Blues, Fallin’ Apart At The Seams”:
Harmonica and steel guitar sounds, then onto heavy drums and electric guitars! All of this courtesy of singer Tom Keifer. This and all subsequent albums would take on this more blues-rock influence. Tom would share producing credits on all albums following “Night Songs” and he too was the principle songwriter and composer for the band. They would go on to release “Heartbreak Station” in 1990, along with singles, “Shelter Me”, “Heartbreak Station”, and “The More Things Change”. All of which videos had plenty of airplay on MTV, despite the changes in music that would soon follow.
I really like another ballad that they released, “Through the Rain” from their fourth and final studio album, 1994’s “Still Climbing”.
They would go on to release several live albums, greatest hits, and other compilations, but no other studio material.
It must have been 1994 or 95 that I went to see them at a small local Austin club, The Backroom. They were still swinging their guitars in the fashion where they would throw them over their neck and swing around and catch them on the otherside in front of them, where they would continue to play. It was quit the move and which they were kind of famous for…
I again was able to see them along with some friends in 2012 at the Sunset Station in San Antonio.
And a good friend went on the “Monsters of Rock Cruise” in 2014 with a ton of other 80’s bands on what would certainly have been an incredible time. He would see what would come to be the final performances Cinderella would ever perform together as a group.
But the first time that I saw them, was opening up for Bon Jovi on their “Slippery When Wet” tour Erwin Center in 1987. My mom took me to my first concert, it was just me and and my sister. We were in the nosebleeds, but I didn’t care. They were doing all of their guitar swings and things, and I was hooked!
On a side note; Jon Bon Jovi had played Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July picnic at Manor Downs, this one being billed as Farm Aid 2, in Austin. The whole band of Bon Jovi had played the previous year for Farm Aid elsewhere. He only played a couple of songs, but was joined onstage obviously by Willie, but along with Joe Walsh, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe.
But let’s go back to Cinderella’s debut album, and as much as I really love “Long Cold Winter” and “Heartbreak Station”, “Night Songs” from 1986 is a powerful record that holds up well to this day against most others from the period. It is a solid album with strong songs, no filler. Really, if you get a chance, listen to the album in it’s entirety. Here is the both the title track and opening track off of the album, here is “Night Songs”:
After “Night Songs”, all of the other songs were singles and dropped in order of track listing, first was “Shake Me”, but as good as it was it didn’t make much traction. It was their next song that would be there biggest “Nobody’s Fool”.
Then was “Somebody Save Me” which got heavy rotation on MTV.
The videos for these three songs are all interconnected and left off where the other started. The first video opens with a Cinderella type of character who has to finish her chores before she can go to the concert, while the evil groupie step-sisters go to the concerts. But it is Cinderella that is transformed into a rock babe and catches the eye of Tom Keifer. In “Nobody’s Fool“, the step-sisters chase the limo with the band and their sister to a rehearsal area in new outfits and time hats. (The video is a gem and a standout for the era!) But then the Cinderella character transforms back into her true self and Tom again spots her in the crowd. The final video in the trilogy, “Somebody Save Me” finds the band recording the song, but goes into a live arena, just like the previous videos. At the end they are back in the studio and when they walk out the door, the groupie step-sisters still in their time hats run up to the band, but pass them by. They run over to Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora and instead embrace them; Jon turning his back to reveal the patches on the back of his denim jacket, which would prove to be their next long-awaited follow-up to “Slippery When Wet”, “Bon Jovi – New Jersey”, released in 1988.
Some of what you heard in-between the songs, were snippets from the videos, but for a complete blast from the past, check ’em out on Youtube or visit the show notes to find links to these and other relevant info.
Also, in some of these early Cinderella videos, band members would wear Poison shirts; and in Poison videos those members would wear Cinderella shirts, a little cross-promotion, I suppose on their debut albums.
It was reported last week that longtime touring keyboardist for Cinderella, Gary Corbett had died. He also played on Cinderella’s “Hot And Bothered” that was featured on the Wayne’s World movie and also on their final album. Previously he was a keyboardist for KISS. Don’t recall a KISS keyboardist? Me either, they kept him in the shadows along with other musicians and only featured the main four KISS members on stage. It was his job to fatten up the guitar and overall sound.
He did a lot, he also wrote “She Bop” for Cyndi Lauper.
It was Lung Cancer that had advanced and spread to his body.. He died just short of his birthday the following day. I’ve seen that many times in my own life, when somebody is so sick, they try and hold on to a certain date that is meaningful to them. My grandfather waited until his anniversary with my grandmother. My father-in-law just lost a short battle with cancer and will be missed by our whole family, we miss you Papa Terry.
But it would also be reported on the same day, that longtime Cinderella guitarist, Jeff LaBar, had also passed. It was believed to have been alcohol related, as he had had many troubles in the past and often blamed as the reason that Cinderella would not reunite. This was a sad day for Cinderella, family, and fans.
Rest in Peace Jeff LaBar and Gary Corbett.
And Papa Terry.
Thanks for listening.