The surviving members of CINDERELLA have commented on the passing of the band's touring keyboardist Gary Corbett.
Corbett died on Wednesday, July 14 after battling a very aggressive form of lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain and hip. His passing came on the same day that the CINDERELLA guitarist Jeff LaBar was found dead by his wife, Debinique Salazar-LaBar, inside his apartment in Nashville.
On Thursday (July 15),CINDERELLA vocalist/guitarist Tom Keifer, bassist Eric Brittingham and drummer Fred Coury issued the following statement: "Late [Wednesday] night, while we were still trying to process the sad news of losing Jeff, we got word that our long time keyboard player Gary Corbett lost his battle with cancer.
"Gary was a talented musician and good hearted friend. He toured with CINDERELLA on and off for many years.
"Our deepest condolences go out to Gary's wife Lenora and his family and loved ones. RIP Gary."
According to LA Weekly, Corbett played offstage keyboards and handled background vocals on KISS tours promoting late-'80s and early-'90s LPs "Crazy Nights", "Hot In The Shade" and "Revenge". Before that, his credits included co-writing Cyndi Lauper's Top 5 hit "She Bop" and working with the solo band of former FOREIGNER singer Lou Gramm, who recommended Corbett to KISS frontman Paul Stanley.
"There seemed to be a trend in the '80s that bands didn't want the image of having a keyboard player onstage," Corbett told LA Weekly. "Some people think keyboards aren't as much of a rock instrument as a guitar. Gene Simmons is definitely of that mindset. At every soundcheck, if the soundman asked me, 'Could you just give me a couple of notes,' [Simmons] would immediately put his hands behind his back and act like he was ice skating around a rink."
In his interview with LA Weekly, Corbett recounted a particularly memorable experience playing with KISS at the 1988 "Monsters Of Rock" festival. "It was such a big show that they had big Diamond Vision screens on each side of the stage," he said. "So when the guys that were working the cameras on the side of the stage were roaming around and filming everything, I guess nobody told them that they weren't supposed to be filming me. So during 'Rock And Roll All Nite', I'm standing there singing and playing and having a good time. And later I found out I was on the big screens in front of, like, 60,000 people, which I don't think made the guys very happy."
Corbett got a couple of Grammys for his work with reggae legends Damian and Stephen Marley.