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Sunday Old School: Cinderella

While most rock bands cite blues music as an influence, Cinderella was one of the few bands from the eighties where you could actually hear it, feel it, taste it.

The band was formed with members Tom Keifer (singer, keyboards, guitar), Eric Brittingham (bass), Michael Smerick (guitar) and Tony Destra (drums). Within two years Destra and Smerick left to form Britny Fox. Using eighties 20-20 hindsight: MISTAKE? I’m sure hanging with the girls while making the video for “Girlschool” had to be a great day it still can’t compare to being in what would become Cinderella.

In 1985 Cinderella recorded their first album, “Night Songs,” with guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Jim Drnec. After recording the album, Fred Coury replaced Drnec and joined the band for the supporting tour. The first single, “Shake Me,” from the album featured a girl sitting on her bed with a Cinderella poster behind her. Her wicked (READ: slutty) sisters appear and are off to rock and roll (READ: shoot heroin and sleep with rock guys) while she is left all alone. Then the poster comes alive and she is now at a live Cinderella concert. It should be mentioned that Tom Keifer is wearing the Paul Stanley 1984 permanent hair style throughout the song. When I’m running VH1 someday I will definitely do a WHERE ARE THEY NOW documentary on the Cinderella wicked sisters.

“Nobody’s Fool” was the second single and semi-power ballad released by the band. The video returns with the wicked sisters and Cinderella like character that gets to hang with the band, but has to be home before midnight (in other words she always misses the encore). The band took their debut out on the road, supporting Loudness, David Lee Roth, and Bon Jovi. A third single, “Somebody Save Me” continued with the live performance shot of the band, toggling back between Kiefer and the guitar over the shoulder move the band had down to a science.

The first to second album after a strong debut for the eighties bands was often daunting and difficult; however, often fascinating. Skid Row: heavier. Motley Crue: darker. Guns N’ Roses: bigger. In 1988 Cinderella definitely went bluesier with the album “Long Cold Winter,” which had to feel somewhat risky given the money available to glam bands at the time. Once again using eighties 20-20 hindsight: BRILLIANT. The first single was “Gypsy Road.” The video which showed off Keifer’s love of Steven Tyler like scarves, third world area fans, and love of Chevrolet trucks. The ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” was a huge hit that would be played on the tour with Kiefer being lowered on the stage while playing the piano. They toured for fourteen months.

The third album, “Heartbreak Station,” continued with the heavy blues type rock and roll on tracks “Shelter Me” and “Heartbreak Station.” After the tour Keifer lost his voice and underwent several procedures to repair a vocal cyst and hemorrhage. During this time Kevin Valentine and Kevin Conway had turns at the drums. Eventually Keifer returned and with Kenny Aronoff on drums the band released their fourth album, titled “Still Climbing.” The album failed to chart. After a brief hiatus, the band released a compilation, toured in 1998, 2000, and 2002. More live and compilation albums followed along with tours in 2005 and a 20th anniversary tour with Poison in 2006. In 2008 the bands again paused due to Kiefer’s voice, but resumed again in 2009 and has continued touring since. In 2010, the (what is considered) original line-up was back in place to include Keifer, Labar, Brittingham, and Coury.

Cinderella continues to bring the blues, great live shows, and yes they still sling their guitars around. Should this band decide to put together a new album you can expect a lot of excitement from their fan base. Blues rock bands are like wine and the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, all are better (in their own way) over time.

“Shake Me”

“Nobody's Fool”

“Somebody Save Me”

“Gypsy Road”

“Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)”

Rockstar_Scribbler's avatar

David S. Grant (aka Rockstar_Scribbler) is the author of several books including Rock Stars, Happy Hour, and Corporate Porn. For more information please go to www.rockstarbooks.net or www.davidsgrant.com. You can also follow David on Twitter @david_S_grant.

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14 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Cinderella"

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Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

1. Diamond Oz writes:

I always thought they should have spelled their name with an S instead of a C. Yes, it would have been really corny, but the name Cinderella just seemed too wimpy to me.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 9:17 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. DebaserTN writes:

Always look forward to Sunday Old School, very entertaining and well written, Rockstar. Cinderella was my first show (Long Cold Winter tour) with Winger and Bulletboys. Regret not catching them since, they were a hell of a first band to see.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

3. R10 writes:

Somewhat guilty confession: i owned Night Songs and Long Cold Winter on cassette tape. Not bad tunes,i was still establishing my "metal cred" then. Havent heard anything from them since,got a best of on CD,for the memories. Pretty cool though back in 86 you could listen to these guys,Crue,Metallica,Maiden without taking any crap by those more true,like nowadays. Whatever,never did see them live.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

Member

4. spiral_architect writes:

EXCELLENT ARTICLE. I FEEL IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT JOHN PAUL JONES FROM LED ZEPPELIN THOUGHT SO HIGHLY OF CINDERELLA THAT HE DECIDED TO HELP THEM WITH THE MAKING OF "HEARTBREAK STATION"..........I HAD THE CHANCE TO SEE THESE GUYS LIVE IN WESTERN CONNECTICUT WHILE THEY WERE TOURING WITH DAVID LEE ROTH AND EXTREME. I TRULY THOUGHT THEY BLEW BOTH DLR AND EXTREME OFF THE STAGE.........I WISH THE BAND WOULD PUT OUT A NEW ALBUM, AND NOT JUST ANOTHER LIVE OR GREATEST HITS PACKAGE.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Gytrash's avatar

Member

5. Gytrash writes:

I apologise to no muthaf*cka for really liking Cinderella in their heyday, and still liking them now. Whilst Night Songs was never my favourite album it was what got me into the band. Heartbreak Station is the one that has truly stood the test of time though, and it always hits the spot whenever I give it a spin.

Of all the 80's glam bands, Cinderella, in spite of the poncey name, really were the band with true integrity, and this shines through as strong now as it did back then.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 1:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. anonymous writes:

Good band. One of the best bands from their era. Hope they put out a new album in the future.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 2:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Netromancer's avatar

Member

7. Netromancer writes:

Long Cold Winter is a really great blues tune in the traditional vein. Still put it on once in a while. Here at the Netro household, blues is baby-makin' music ;) Keifer's vocals on the harder tracks turned me off a bit, but he had a great voice when he wasn't straining his vocal cords. (No disrespect, still bought their albums) The music more often than not made up for it.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 4:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

8. BrianMN writes:

I loved Cindy back in the day. :)
Shake it don't break it baby........

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 6:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rychemn's avatar

Member

9. Rychemn writes:

Great read rockstar.....saw them open up for Judas Priest on the "Ram it Down" tour.......that was a night for the ages!!!!


N.P......Hell on Wheels.......Cinderella.

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 7:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

10. hellrat writes:

Hey, Cool! I always thought these guys were pretty damned good

And unlike Netro, I really like Tom's vox :) Not a great singer by any means, but I like that style and delivery...Stephen Pearcy comes to mind as well

Big R, I actually did endure a fair amount of sh!t back in the olden times for liking Cinderella, Skid Row, GNR...there was simply no tolerance for that sh!t in the hardcore thrash following of the time around here, but I always held my ground... and some of them dude's would eventually confide in private that some of these guys had some pretty good tunes...much later, while fronting Dominion, none of my bandmate's could deal with the fact that I fvcking LOVE country...yet, now all them cats listen to it :)

Anyway, excellent choice RS, and thanks for another quality round of our dear and beloved SOS \m/

# Aug 28, 2011 @ 9:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

11. deathbringer writes:

Funny, I like them more now than I did then. I really hated them for some reason back then even though I loved plenty more glam. Perhaps I like it more now due to my appreciation of the more bluesy rock and metal... But I'm not going to run out and buy the albums I missed :-)

# Aug 29, 2011 @ 1:07 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Arnian writes:

Great article, made me listen to all the videos of a band I'd previously written off as some crappy glam band not worth my time. Still didn't like the vocals, but I'm left wondering what the studio versions sound like.

# Aug 29, 2011 @ 2:26 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OlafBerzerker's avatar

Member

13. OlafBerzerker writes:

I remember Night Songs coming out and throwing it on as a kid while i slept, Then i discovered Hellhammer.

# Aug 29, 2011 @ 11:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

Member

14. spiral_architect writes:

that is quite a progression, olaf! i like hellhammer and celtic frost too! great stuff!

# Sep 1, 2011 @ 2:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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