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American Rock Legend Dies Of Cardiac Arrest At 64

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Carl “C.J.” Snare, who was the lead singer of the hair metal band Firehouse, has reportedly tragically died at the age of 64. Firehouse saw tremendous success with their first self entitled album that was released in 1990.

Firehouse was amongst the last of commercially successful hair metal bands having found success towards the end of the era in 1990. Snare reportedly died of cardiac arrest after suffering from colon cancer. A truly tragic end to a legendary life.

Snare founded Firehouse in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. He wrote songs, as well as playing keyboards and singing lead vocals. His piercing, yet crystal clear vocal was a signature of all Firehouse songs.

“I have the benefit of time to look back over this and there isn’t a show that goes by where people don’t come up to us and are like, ‘”Love of a Lifetime”… we got married to that song!’ When I sat down and wrote that song, I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh this is going to be a cool wedding song.’ It was just a love song. Is that my legacy? Well you know what? It could be worse….”

Carl “C.J.” Snare

“Don’t Treat Me Bad,” a song on Firehouse’ debut album would reach the top 20 of the Billboard charts. Grunge music would eventually take the place of hair metal as the popular rock music.

“Love of a Lifetime,” a power ballad from the band’s debut album, would peak at No. 5 on the Billboard music charts. It has become a staple at American weddings. Legacy.com reports on his death,

Snare began playing the piano as a child, and in 1984, he was one of four musicians to co-found FireHouse in Richmond, Virginia. He sang lead vocals and played keyboards, and he was one of the band’s songwriters. FireHouse developed their sound as hair metal was racing up the charts in the 1980s, but by the time they signed their first record deal in December 1989, grunge was about to overtake it as the dominant rock genre. FireHouse still managed to break through as one of the last glam metal bands standing, beginning with their 1990 self-titled debut and its lead single, the catchy Top 20 hit “Don’t Treat Me Bad.” 

FireHouse came to be known better for their power ballads, most notably the No. 5 hit “Love of a Lifetime,” also from their debut album. Written by Snare, it became a standard at weddings. FireHouse’s second album yielded the 1992 hit ballad “When I Look Into Your Eyes,” and “I Live My Life for You,” from their third album, was their final Top 40 hit reaching No. 26. Charting in 1995, years after grunge had replaced glam in the charts, “I Live My Life for You” is considered the last hair metal hit. 

Though the band’s greatest fame was past by the mid-‘90s, FireHouse continued to tour for decades. Snare remained with FireHouse, only taking a brief hiatus in 2021 after a diagnosis with colon cancer. He returned to the band, then stepped away again in 2023 for health reasons. 

Legacy.com

1 Comment

  1. Mitch M McCracken

    April 8, 2024 at 7:42 pm

    Your American Rock Legend bar is a little low.

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