Originally as Kid from California's state capitol 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 18, not to mention gaining notice in the U.K. 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 U.S./59 U.K. 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 U.S./44 U.K. 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 U.S. 20/U.K. 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.