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Credit: Ross HalfinTesla is getting ready for a tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band’s iconic Five Man Acoustical Jam, and the release of their latest CD, Twisted Wires & the acoustic sessions…, which features two new tracks and ten classics. The band will tour across the U.S.’s Mountain and Pacific regions over a five-week period in November and December.  Five Man Acoustical Jam went platinum and the band and the release directly inspired MTV’s successful Unplugged series.

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Brian Wheat. He told me that he was exposed to a lot of music early in life.  He was the youngest in the family, so he learned a lot from his older siblings. When asked who his biggest influences are, he said, “Paul McCartney.  He begins and ends with me.”  The Beatles’ Revolver was the first album he ever heard, and it was life-changing for him.

When asked how he got his start in Tesla, Brian told me that he was working at McDonald’s and was always giving his friend, Frank (Hannon) free food.  When he was 19 years old, Tesla was formed.  Brian has been fortunate enough to be with the same band for over 25 years.  He told me, “I was in no major bands before.”  There haven’t been any bands for him since Tesla, either.

The band was formed in 1984 in Sacramento.  At that time, they were known as City Kidd.  Their name changed to Tesla during the recording of their first album, Mechanical Resonance (1986).   Tesla has had many chart-topping songs such as “Signs”, “Love Song”, and “Song and Emotion”

Brian has had some memorable experiences over the years.  When asked what memories have stood out for him, he said that it was the first night Tesla played together as a band. “It was a big arena in New Haven, Connecticut, and there were over 15,000 people there,” he explained.  Telsa was signed by Geffen Records in 1985, and were on the same label as bands such as Motley Crue and Dokken.

Tesla is:   Jeff Keith – vocals, Frank Hannon – guitar, Brian Wheat – bass, Troy Luccketta – drums, and Dave Rude – guitar.

For more information and tour dates, please visit

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