riginally forming in California's state capitol under the name Earthshaker and then City Kidd, Tesla started with the membership of former trucker Jeff Keith (vocals), Tommy Skeoch (guitar/vocals), Frank Hannon (guitar/keyboards), Brian Wheat (bass/vocals) and Troy Luccketta (ex-Eric Martin Band; drums), they would make it to US 32 in 1987 with their bluesy hard rock in the form of Mechanical Resonance on the 'Geffen' label under their newly adopted name Tesla, so named after scientist Nicola Tesla with their first album assuming the same name as one of his theories. Despite their desires to give the forgotten scientist some recognition, the album featured little in lyrical content about the man or, indeed, anything remotely scientific and instead featured the self-explanatory subjects as dictated in the titles, Ez Come Ez Go, 2 Late 4 Love and Modern Day Cowboy. Musically, however, the band packed quite a punch lying somewhere in between Montrose and Van Halen.
Their follow-up, The Great Radio Controversy (1989), saw them gain acclaim with a US 18, not to mention gaining notice in the UK with a 34. A period of heavy touring followed resulting in the live recording, The Five Man Acoustical Jam (a title taken from the name of '70's hippie act The Five Man Acoustical Band) arriving in 1991 receiving a lofty position of 12 US/59 UK The album featured covers of tracks like Truckin' (Greatful Dead), Lodi (C.C.R.) and We Can Work It Out (Beatles). Later that same year they would return the one-two punch with the Psychotic Supper album making 13 US/44 UK Bust A Nut (1994) would once again prove why Tesla remained one of America's most consistent raunchy rock bands with this album testing their trade on the arriving grunge movement. Despite the album making US 20/UK 51 the band suddenly announced their split soon after with only the posthumous "best of..." compilation, Time's Makin' Changes: The Best Of Tesla following the rear in 1995.
A period of hiatus would commence until the act returned in 2000 under the line-up of Brian Wheat (bass/backing vocals/keyboards/piano), Frank Hannon (guitar/backing vocals/keyboards/piano/organ/theremin/bass/ mandolin/harmonica), Jeff Keith (lead vocals) and Troy Luccketta (drums/percussion) to release Into the Now (2004), Forever More (2008), Simplicity (2014) and Shock (2019) with Dave Rude assuming guitar/backing vocals/backing bass in 2006.
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|Active Years||1981-1996, 2000-|
|RRCA File Code||UC000484|