Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


Wednesday, March 9, at the Odeon.

In 1986, a Sacramento band named City Kidd mercifully altered its moniker after its manager suggested that it pay tribute to Nikola Tesla. The American inventor championed an alternating-current motor, while his direct-current-touting rival Thomas Edison electrocuted animals to demonstrate the alleged instability of Tesla's technology. (Edison's propagandistic displays cemented the connection between AC/DC and pyrotechnics.) Tesla the man pioneered radio technology, while Tesla the five-man acoustical band blazed the trail for unplugged albums.

Thrusting prongs into outlets and yanking them out at erratic intervals, Tesla "replugged" in 2001 for a live record, released 2004's noisy Into the Now, then cut the juice for its current tour. An earnest act that lacks fashionable flair, Tesla sold millions of records in the flamboyant late-'80s/early-'90s hair-metal era without resorting to embarrassing exploits. On VH1's list of the Hundred Most Metal Moments, an unseemly catalog of crapulence, Tesla checked in at No. 59 with the feel-good entry "septic truck driver becomes singer." (Frontman Jeff Keith later spun records at a strip club while the band was on hiatus, showing he still has a knack for rockin' occupations.) Musically, the group's gritty output holds up well; tracks from its debut disc Mechanical Resonance could gun down most modern-day hard-rock cowboys.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Andrew Miller

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Inner Wave @ Grog Shop

    • Sun., Jan. 16
  • The Sammy DeLeon and Jackie Warren Quartet @ B-Side Lounge

    • Sun., Jan. 16
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation