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Tesla

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Tesla is an American band originating from Sacramento, California. The band formed in 1984 as City Kidd and was renamed to Tesla during the recording of their first album on the advice of their manager. According to the Love Song Songfacts, their name (and the inspiration for some songs) comes from Nikola Tesla, the legendary scientist and inventor who quite possibly is single-handedly responsible for the “mad scientist” trope. Originally, the group included Jeff Keith (vocals), Frank Hannon (guitar), Tommy Skeoch (guitar), Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums). In 2006, Skeoch was replaced by Dave Rude, who is now an official member of the band.

Tesla’s music fit well with the blasting sounds of their and contemporaries. Yet it was more bluesy and lyrics dealt with other themes than just the usual, girls, alcohol and violence. But what set them even more apart from their contemporaries was their t-shirt and jeans image, a ‘street’ look reminiscent of the Ramones (and other groups) that was in strong contrast of the leather, spandex, and flashy-make type look of the time.

The band’s early lifespan as City Kidd brought them considerable frustration, with them failing to break into the musical mainstream while also competing with another band with the same name. Their mutation into Tesla provided a clear shot at success. ‘Mechanical Resonance’, their debut that the boys released in 1986, became a commercial smash while also receiving significant critical praise. That album was certified platinum by the RIAA on October 5, 1989.

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