Tesla - Time's Makin' Changes Page 2
by Martin Popoff
"Actually a radio station here in Sacramento, 98 Rock, Pat and Martin, they were always big Tesla fans. They tried to get us on this summer festival here in Sacramento and things didn't work out because me and Tommy were doing Bar 7, and Brian was doing Soulmotor and Frank was doing Moondog Mane. Actually for me, what played a big part was, Tommy and I had Bar 7, and Tommy kind of fell off the wagon once again and he left the band. So I called up Frank Hannon and asked if he could come out and cover these last seven shows we had, which he did. And it didn't work out because I was trying to get Frank in the band and Tommy did not want to be in the band. Then he called up and said, 'I heard it didn't work out with Frank. I'm really sorry to hear that, but I'm glad to hear it also because I want to come back where I belong and that's with Bar 7.' And I said, well there's a stipulation. You have to have a positive attitude and you have to stay clean and be able to play. And I said third and most of all, you have to drop this Tesla hatred. He kept carrying this Tesla hatred around. At any rate he said, 'man, I've been carrying around this luggage for five years, I'm ready to let it go.' And the next thing you know Brian Wheat called me out on the road, and I just handed the phone over to Tommy, and the next thing you know, Brian and Tommy are talking and Frank had called, and I handed the phone over once again. So Tommy was talking with everybody. And to me, it was a big step for him, after falling off the wagon like that. So actually, in a sense, falling off the wagon turned out maybe to be a good thing."
Now what broke up Tesla in the first place?
"Well, that played a pretty good part in it. Because Tommy ended up leaving the band. We ended up approaching him, 'Listen, we can't deal with this. No one wants to be around you when you're like this.' Of course he was so far out he just said 'To hell with it, to hell with Tesla, I'm out of here' and we carried on as a four-piece for quite a while, like eight months, almost a year, until Reno when I lost my voice. But it was a lot of things. I was going through a divorce. I had two ponies and one of them had died. Now Tommy is out of the band and it was falling apart. Also, we had just come off making Bust A Nut, which never really got that push because that's when the grunge movement came in. Anything to do with rock or the '80s or whatever was over. Old news; grunge was in. So all those things combined played a part in Tesla splitting up."
Tesla - Time's Makin' Changes Page 3