CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer recently spoke to the "Brutally Delicious" podcast about his long road to recovery after a severe bout of vocal paresis. In spite of a dire prognosis where doctors told him he would never sing again, Keifer shared how he found the strength to keep going and eventually return to the stage and studio.
"I've been asked that many times, and I just think it's because I had been playing guitar and singing since I was eight years old," he said (hear audio below). "When I was given that news in the early '90s, after having success with CINDERELLA and we were on our third album and probably at the peak of our career at the point on 'Heartbreak Station', [we were] on tour and my voice disappeared overnight. And I was given that news. It actually took two years for them to come to that diagnosis because all the doctors I went to were looking for more common vocal cord ailments that they can see visually on their scope and laser off a node or that, and they didn't see any of that. Eventually, a doctor ran a different kind of type of test, and that was a neurological one and said, 'You suffered a partially paralyzed vocal cord.' And said I'd never sing again. It was hard for me. The strength came from me saying, 'Am I going to give in to this and stop doing what I've done since I was eight years old? Or am I going to try and find a solution?' The solution that was offered to me — there's no medical cure for it or surgery. They said if you have a chance or prayer of singing the way you did before or singing at all, even, you have to work with a speech pathologist and work you way up to holding pitches and work with vocal coaches who can try and regain the vocal cord. So, I've been doing that for a long time. [Laughs] There were a lot of years that I was resting my voice, but what I've learned over the years, I went to every coach I could go to, I learned as much as I could, I have an exercise routine and a therapy routine for my voice now that seems to make it work properly, so fingers crossed. The surgeries were for all to prepare collateral damage because it was so difficult to sing with a paresis so you'd tear the cords out. I had them lasered back together."
Keifer's sophomore solo album, "Rise", was released on September 13 via Cleopatra Records. The disc sees Tom joined by his #keiferband — Savannah Keifer, Tony Higbee, Billy Mercer, Kendra Chantelle, Jarred Pope and Kory Myers.
Although CINDERELLA hasn't released a new studio album since 1994's "Still Climbing", the band started playing sporadic shows again in 2010 but has been largely inactive for the last few years while Keifer has toured as a solo artist.