by Nick Krewen

The Spectator

Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can buy you a lot of guitars.

And that suits TOM KEIFER just fine. The singer/songwriter of Philadelphia hard rock band CINDERELLA - in Toronto to open for AC/DC over the next two nights - sold over three million copies worldwide of its debut album, Night Songs.  Its follow-up, the more impressive Long Cold Winter - has just cracked the million mark and shows no sign of slowing down, which means the income is just beginning to flow into the bank.

"The coolest thing the money has allowed me to do is buy vintage guitars," said Keifer Tuesday from a hotel in Rochester. "I never had enough money to buy the types of guitars I wanted. Now I have a huge collection - everything from dobros and mandolins to acoustic guitars.

"I even bought a piano made in the 1800s. I also collect antiques."

The difference is that Keifer doesn't allow his collectibles to sit around and gather dust - heuses them for work.

"I like using a '51 Telecaster and a '59 Sunburst Les Paul on Long Cold Winter," says Keifer, 27. "They sound great - it has a lot to do with the craftsmanship. In the aging process, the wood dries out and it's not as dense. They're more resonant than the newer instruments."

The merits of aging certainly haven't worn thin on Cinderella, either. Long Cold Winter  is a mature album, full of potent power ballads like "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone), " the whipsnapping rock of "Fire And Ice" or the rustic blues of "Bad Seamstress Blues." Not only does it establish the band (which also consists of ERIC BRITTINGHAM on bass, JEFF LaBAR on guitar and FRED COURY on drums) as a frontrunner of rock's next generation (along with GUNS 'N ROSES and METALLICA), but it signals the arrival of Keifer as a big-league songwriter.

"It's like a load of bricks falling on me," asserts Keifer. "These songs just happen - usually when I'm driving or just sitting around. When I bring them into rehearsal, the band works on the beginning and the endings - but the bulk of the song stays true to the original."

Discovered by JON BON JOVI who persuaded his record company to sign them, Cinderella have also opened for DAVID LEE ROTH and JUDAS PRIEST as well as BON JOVI, with plans to go to Europe as a headliner and spend a month in Germany as special guests of THE SCORPIONS. There are tentative plans for a headlining North American tour for early in the New Year.

Keifer, who lists JOHNNY WINTER, B.B. KING, MUDDY WATERS, JANIS JOPLIN and STEVE MARRIOTT as his primary blues influences, says he could never envision himself as sole producer for Cinderella's material.

"I don't know if I could ever do that," he admits. "I love getting real close to what I'm doing - playing my guitar and singing - and I'm never really happy with the outcome. If I produced my own stuff, I'd never stop making takes. I'd never get out of the studio."




1987 -- Night Songs -- Mercury

1988 -- Long Cold Winter

1990 -- Heartbreak Station

1990 -- Once Around The Ride...Then & Now  (Promo Only)

1997 -- Once Upon A...

©1988 Hamilton Spectator, 1999 Nick Krewen




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