Carl Thomas Keifer (born January 26, 1961, in Springfield, Pennsylvania) is an American vocalist for the band Cinderella.
Keifer grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar at a young age. Keifer soon fell in love with the blues and was heavily influenced by this kind of music.
Keifer joined his first rock band while in junior high school. He soon learned to play the electric guitar. The young musician struggled with drug and alcohol abuse during this time, and considered dropping out of school to pursue a music career. However, his mother Adrienne bribed her son to stay in school by promising him a Gibson Les Paul guitar upon graduation. Keifer graduated and received the coveted instrument. After graduating Keifer played guitar in bands such as Saints in Hell, Telapath, and Diamonds.
Soon, Keifer conquered his addictions, and began to focus on a career as a musician. He had started writing original material. He also found financial support by walking race horses at tracks and delivering film to developing outlets. Keifer came closer to his dream of being a successful artist by forming the hard rock band, Cinderella with good friend and bassist Eric Brittingham, whom he met on Halloween night in 1980 in a bar bathroom, and also who had been in Saints in Hell. Despite being shy, Keifer took on the role of lead singer because they could not find anyone they liked to sing for the band. In articles, Keifer has said, "I don't feel comfortable when I'm up there singing and not playing guitar. I feel naked when it's just me and the microphone."
Cinderella was discovered by Jon Bon Jovi in 1985, at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bon Jovi has been quoted as saying "I saw Tommy Keifer onstage delivering some pretty nifty, growling vocals. Then he whipped out this Les Paul and proceeded to lay into some astounding sounds. This guy struck me as a star right then and there." Keifer and company experienced much success with their albums, Night Songs , Long Cold Winter , and Heartbreak Station . Keifer enjoyed the reputation of being a prolific songwriter with hits such as "Shake Me", "Nobody’s Fool", "Gypsy Road", "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)", "Coming Home", "Shelter Me", and "Heartbreak Station". He also enjoyed spending time with his wife, Emily, whom he had married in 1987 after years of dating. She also designed the band's unique logo and often accompanied her husband on tour.
Unfortunately, after the Heartbreak Station tour Tom lost his voice. He underwent several operations to no avail. Eventually it was determined that he had nodules on his vocal cords and paralysis of the left cord. To make matters worse, his mother died of cancer. By 1994, Cinderella had managed to release their fourth album, Still Climbing, which received little attention. The band broke up in 1995.
Keifer continued to have surgery to remove nodules on his vocal cords. He also battled depression. He was forced to learn how to sing again because of the paralysis of his left cord, but he eventually began working on material for a solo album. He and Emily divorced, and he settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continued to work on his solo album. The album was put on hold after Cinderella reunited in 1997 and toured in 1998. They signed with Sony records, but were dropped a few years later. They released a greatest hits album, Once upon a… and a live album, Live at the Key Club. Cinderella toured the United States in 2000 and again in 2002.
Today, Keifer is married to songwriter Savannah Snow. In February 2004, their first child, Jaidan, was born. Keifer has recently worked with country artist Andy Griggs. He also appeared on an episode of Extreme Makeover, where he helped a fan write a song. Keifer has finished his solo album, and it was initially planned to be released in early 2006. Cinderella was the headliner of the 2005 Rock Never Stops Tour.
Keifer and Cinderella completed their 20th anniversary tour with fellow rock veterans Poison in 2006, who were also celebrating 20 years in the music business. The tour was a rousing success and has swiftly become one of the most successful tours of 2006, averaging about 20k people in attendance per night.
Keifer recently said that his solo album will be released shortly, and a new album from Cinderella is possible somewhere down the road, though not immediately.
Cinderella had planned to tour in 2008 with Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Lynam. Unfortunately the tour had to be postponed after Keifer's left vocal cord hemorrhaged again, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.
Most recent interview
The most recent news from Tom Keifer on an interview last November 23, 2009 with Metalzone said they have never really gone away. They've been kind of on a break because he injured his voice a few years back and has been trying to rehabilitate his vocal cords and train it back to where he can be able to perform a Cinderella show again.
"I thought that I was there in the summer of 2008 for the tour for the States here, and we ended up having to cancel that tour because I re-injured my voice. Since then I've been working on trying to get it strong again, which I am glad to say it's very strong now and we're looking to be back out on the road in 2010."
When asked about his solo record, (as of April 2010) he said "It’s pretty much finished. I’m booking a mastering date, probably in May sometime, before we hit the road for the summer. Then I will be looking for a label for it". When asked about the possibility of a new Cinderella record, Tom said it is probable but the band would need to be all in for it, and the record label would need to be for it.
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