Tesla surprised when David Lee Roth offered to manage them
Tesla bassist Brian Wheat was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay and Perrin for Canada’s The Metal Voice. The bassist was promoting his autobiography Son of A Milkman: My Crazy Life with Tesla, which was co-written with Chris Epti and released via Post Hill Press on December 15, 2020.
Wheat spoke about Tesla opening for David Lee Roth during the Eat ‘Em And Smile Tour and Def Leppard during their Hysteria Tour during the mid to late ’80s.
In terms of what it was like to be on tour and open for David Lee Roth, and whether the Van Halen singer was the same person we see on TV, Wheat indicated (with slight edits): “He is always in David mode, to be quite honest with you I only spoke to him one time the whole tour. We walked in a room and it was all David mode, that whole it’s Dave TV thing, that was my take on him. Like I said I only got to spoke to him one time and he wanted to manage the band (Tesla). Talk about coming out of left field he said guys I really want to manage you. We are like ‘Whoa. OK, well we got this management Q Prime. You heard of them?’ and that was it.”
On the relationship between Tesla and Def Leppard over the years, Wheat stated: “Def Leppard are kind of like our big brothers and mentors. We started out with them when we were just starting to develop. After David Lee Roth (Eat ‘Em And Smile Tour) we went on the Hysteria Tour. They took us under their wing and even before that we kind of modeled ourselves after them. We used to play their songs when we did covers. And me and Joe (Elliott) just bonded one night in New York in rehearsals for the American tour over Paul McCartney, when he came into Frank‘s (Hannon) room. We both had this love of Paul McCartney and Wings and we just connected with him and we have always been really good friends ever since then. Joe is the same guy now that he was then, never changed. We like playing with Def Leppard. The show is a good show. Both bands together makes for a good show. It’s just a good match.”
You can read other excerpts from the interview with David Lee Roth at The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below: