Sacramento, California rockers TESLA received the key to the city from their hometown mayor Kevin Johnson yesterday (Wednesday, December 7) at the Sacramento Rock And Radio Museum at 20th and I streets (in the building that once housed Crabshaw Corner and The Oasis Ballroom).
In his acceptance speech, TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon stated about the honor, “I wanna thank Pat Martin at [the] 98 Rock [radio station] for encouraging us to overcome the problems we were having in the ’90s and get back together. We got back together in 2000 and it’s been a great ride ever since.
“Being from Sacramento has really been good for us because we’ve been able to keep it real and not get caught up in glam and the competition down in Hollywood and all that. We’re proud to be from Sacramento; it’s a hometown, heartfelt thing.”
Added TESLA singer Jeff Keith: “I represent in the band the small-town boy of population 900 — Georgetown, California [in the foothills of Sacramento] is where I grew up — so Sacramento was the big city. So it’s really a Cinderella story for me to be sitting here holding the key to the city of Sacramento, because where I come from, there were no magazines to lead you, nothing but just pure luck to have somebody that knew Frank and Brian [Wheat, bass], and to come down, and thank goodness, I went over to share the mic with Frank, because he heard me sing in his ear, ’cause I didn’t know how to use the microphone; in Georgetown they don’t teach you about microphones. And Brian said, ‘This guy doesn’t know nothing.’ But Frank goes, ‘But he came over to share the mic. I heard it and he’s our guy.’ So, therefore, it includes me in this key to the city. And thank God, Frank, that you heard me sing in your ear. Or somebody else would be here, maybe.”
Stated drummer Troy Luccketta: “I’m from the [San Francisco] Bay Area; don’t hold it against me.
“I remember, Dwayne Hitchens, who was working with the band at the time, he had called me from Eddie Money‘s house, and he was in Oakland and I lived in San Leandro. And he asked if he could come to my house and play me a tape of this band called CITY KIDD. I remember it had two songs, and it had a drum machine on there. And I was listening to the tracks, but right away, when I heard Jeff‘s voice, I knew — I knew right then and there. And the band had me come down to the Oasis, and I watched the band two nights over there, and it was the second evening that I was sitting on the dance floor and watching the band. And I remember singling everybody out, watching everybody, and by the time I got to Jeff, he had me for the whole night. And I knew right then and there I wanted to join that band. And they auditioned me, and I was really happy since that day came. I knew in my heart that we were gonna do great things. I didn’t know about this, but… Anyway, here we are, and [I] couldn’t be happier.”
Check out video footage of the ceremony below.
Known as the originators of the “unplugged” craze of the ’90s, California rockers TESLA launched the 20th-anniversary tour last month of their legendary “Five Man Acoustical Jam” in full acoustic fashion in support of their new album, “Twisted Wires And The Acoustic Sessions”.
TESLA released “Twisted Wires And The Acoustic Sessions” in Europe on July 25 via Scarlet Records. The CD, which came out in North America on July 12, features six songs that were recorded back in 2005 at bassist Brian Wheat‘s J Street Recorders studio — which also serve as the last recordings with original member Tommy Skeoch — and six newly recorded tracks, including acoustic remakes of songs from TESLA‘s entire catalog and two brand new songs, “Second Street” and “Better Off Without You”.