Brian Wheat: "We always enjoy Denver. TESLA has a good group of fans here."TESLA 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 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, he 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.
TESLA was formed in 1984 in Sacramento, California. 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 over the years 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 definitely 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.
“Song and Emotion” is Brian’s favorite song to perform, and TESLA will be performing that song, as well as many other hits, when they hit Denver on November 2nd at Ogden Theater, which will be the second night of the tour. Opening act will be Built By Stereo, a band from Brian Wheat’s Good Seed Music label. Brian said, “We always enjoy Denver. TESLA has a good group of fans here.”