Exit Interview: Tom Keifer
You toured with Bon Jovi for Slippery When Wet, one of the biggest rock records ever. Please give me one awesome debaucherous story. I don’t know, man … it’s hard to remember. [laughs] It was a magic tour. The whole thing just exploded. We were doing multiple nights in every city. This may be a boring answer, but I was really the guy on our day off in the hotel, writing songs.
Figures that I’m talking to the responsible one. [laughs] I had drug and addiction problems in the Philadelphia and South Jersey club circuit. By the time we got Cinderella up and rolling, I had shaken all of that stuff off and vowed to never go back there.
Speaking of regrets, what was up with the music videos in the ’80s? In “Nobody’s Fool,” two girls in polka-dot miniskirts get into a -polka-dot convertible and transform — into girls in miniskirts with hats like clocks and dice earrings. Did anyone say, “What the hell does this have to do with the song?” [laughs] They were obviously playing up the Cinderella theme. I’ve gotta be honest with you — I hate that video. [laughs] I thought the stepsisters were kinda cool.
What was scarier for you in the early ’90s: losing your voice, or grunge music? The ’80s rock thing fell pretty hard because of how overexposed it was. But the voice thing scared me more, because I felt if I had my instrument, I had a shot at rising out of the ashes. It turned out to be a neurological problem, a partial paralysis of my vocal cords, which I still battle to this day. It took a long time to retrain my voice.
What led to this year’s tour? My voice is working. [laughs] It’s been really scary, not just for me, but for the band. It’s been like pins and needles for three years, wondering if it’s going to come back.
The good news is that none of those problems have affected the hair. I still have mine. To me, that’s a part of rock-and-roll. I don’t think it’s piled quite as high as it used to be.