Jeff LaBar: 1963-2021

In 2015, Jeff LaBar and Bay Area musician Ronnie Borchert/Markus Allen Christopher (Miss Crazy) formed Welcome to the Freakshow. The video above was shot at the now-defunct Rockbar Theatre in San Jose, CA. “Everyone” was the first video from their self-titled CD. Although I did not participate in the video shoot I was there that day (‘Cause where else would I be on a Sunday in August of 2015?) sitting at the bar watching everyone (!) patiently filming take after take…

Above photos © 2015

I did not meet Jeff LaBar until three months later
when the band played a show at Rockbar Theater.

Earlier that night I remember seeing Jeff near the bar where we were sitting. I looked up and there he was, chatting with some people and staring straight at me. No biggie, though. I just thought, “Oh, there’s Jeff LaBar” and continued doing what I was doing. While one of the opening bands was playing I was tapped on the shoulder and asked if we’d like to go backstage and meet the band. Well, I was (and am) a huge fan of Miss Crazy and saw this as my opportunity to tell Markus Allen Christopher (aka Ronnie Borchert) just how much I loved them. So backstage we went.

Each of us was given a “limited edition” copy of the CD.

The photo on the back of the CD was taken in the Vodka Bar located inside Rockbar Theater. (The Vodka Bar was where I spent many nights hawking my wares at their Simply Stilettos ladies-only events. It was a beautiful room.)

Next thing I know, Jeff appears to my right and introduces himself. “Hi, I’m Jeff.” Mr. LaBar was a cutie AND a bit of a smart-ass – but in a nice way. I enjoyed the verbal sparring we engaged in. Very cool and laid-back.

Once Welcome to the Freakshow took the stage we went right up and stood in front of Jeff. With both him and MAC/RB at the helm, it’s no surprise they played some kick-ass 80’s style music! They even did one of my favorite covers by W.A.S.P.I Wanna Be Somebody.

The show was on a Friday and by the next week I was working-out to several of their songs.

Even though I saw Cinderella once or twice back-in-the-day, I will never forget meeting Jeff backstage at that show.

Jeff LaBar
March 18, 1963 – July 14, 2021

Cinderella (late 80’s). Jeff is far-left.

From the video “Somebody Save Me”. My favorite shot of Jeff. Very intense.

Jeff LaBar (wikipedia)
freakshowrox (myspace)
Cinderella (wikipedia)

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Some Bad Ass Shit

We interrupt our normally-scheduled program to bring you a Rammstein video from 2009. Notice the light effect in Till Lindemann’s mouth?

During the filming of the band’s music video for “Ich tu dir weh”, Lindemann wanted a light put in his mouth to create a visually stunning effect. Bandmate Paul Landers suggested that he use a flesh colored wire and run it along his cheek to shine a light into his mouth from the outside. Lindemann refused, and instead opted to have a surgical incision in his left cheek, so that a light could be fed into his mouth directly, and largely out of sight.


Fuckin’ bad-ass shit…

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Shattered Glass and Broken Bones*

CRASHDÏET was formed in 2000 and produced two albums:  Rest in Sleaze (2005, with singer Dave Lepard) and The Unattractive Revolution (2007, with H. Oliver Twisted on vocals) prior to releasing Generation Wild in 2010 which featured (yet another) singer, Simon Cruz.

I was late in discovering this Swedish glam metal band and have since become totally enamored with them.

Generation Wild is a nod to all the bands I loved (and still love) from the 80’s:  Mötley Crüe, Hanoi Rocks, Dokken, Ratt, Cinderella, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Europe, and Skid Row. Since downloading on Monday I’ve been listening to it non-stop on my Power Walks and cannot say enough great things about it.

Showing great range and versatility, CRASHDÏET couldn’t have picked a better vocalist than Simon Cruz. The whole band does an incredible job of taking us back to that Decade of Decadence. The 80’s.

I regard CRASHDÏET as an original band with their hearts and souls firmly entrenched in LA-based Hair Metal sound. Kudos to them! Any references to other bands are made with regard to the “flavor” of the songs. The music and vocals truly belong to CRASHDÏET. With that said, here’s my take on Generation Wild:

  1. 442
    A short instrumental. Sets the tone for the whole shebang.
  2. Armageddon
    Driving beat with a large sound reminiscent of Europe.
  3. So Alive
    A little faster than the previous song, it’s great for Power-Walking. The rhythm and guitars remind me a bit of Ratt.
  4. Generation Wild
    This is the song/video that served as my introduction to CRASHDÏET.
  5. Rebel
    Perfect for driving at breakneck speed (or running). Many of the songs on the album show a Skid Row influence – like Rebel. (I read somewhere that the band absolutely loves Skid Row, so this comes as no surprise!) A touch of Hanoi Rocks style of punk rock, as well.
  6. Save Her
    Evokes I Remember You by Skid Row. Cruz’s vocals are emotionally powerful. This one grew on me.
  7. Down With the Dust
    Another fast, hard-driving song. Beautiful dueling guitars.
  8. Native Nature
    Aaah, this one’s definitely got Skid Row all over it – with a bit of Mötley Crüe thrown in for good measure. Transitioning from low growl to clear highs and back again is a walk in the park for Cruz.
  9. Chemical
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this one! It’s my new favorite song EVER. A little pop-metal à la Pretty Boy Floyd – but I dare you to resist it. It’s got hooks sharper than a Saracen blade. (The last incline I take is very long and very steep and I used to just plow my way up. Now I tune into Chemical and when that chorus kicks in sprint the rest of the way!)
  10. All I need is another hit, yeah
    One last fix to keep the blues at bay
    All I need is another kick just
    One last kiss of death then I’ll be on my way

  11. Bound to Fall
    This one reminded me of Dokken (It’s Not Love). Nice bass. Don’t miss the acoustic bit at the end of this video:
  12. Beautiful Pain
    I’ll admit I’m not especially fond of ballads, but here you go. Snaps for the pretty guitar work.

CRASHDÏET has that fucking cooler-than-shit sleaze-metal look, too! Straight out of L.A.
(If only it wasn’t so COLD in Sweden…)

* From their single Generation Wild

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Metal Cats ~ and their Humans

I trust all of you had a Happy Christmas and that Santa Claws gave you lots of presents. I’ve been poring over one of my Xmas goodies:

Having a love of both Mëtal and Felines, this book is to me what catnip is to a kitten! All the cats (and their head-banging owners) are beautiful and more than a few resemble their owners. But I do have some favorites…

Don’t you love these two together? I’m not sure which one is more compelling.
I love the markings on Fred – and that chin! What a cool cat.

I have a fondness for the Cornish Rex breed. They are reminiscent of the Siamese in the shape of their head, large ears, and streamlined body; but instead of hair, they are covered in curly down and even have curly whiskers! (Jeff has a nice smile, too.)

It’s obvious why these two were chosen to grace the cover.
Jason’s mischievous good looks provide the perfect foil for Oliver’s grumpy-cat persona.

With this pair, it’s all about the luxuriant hair!

There were many black cats in the book, but this one has charisma
– a presence that reminds me of my Diego.

OK, I get more of an 80’s Glam Metal vibe here, Hollywood-style (Which you know I’M loving!)

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