Tesla, Tesla & Tesla: A Band, A Brand, A Man

MOLDOVA - CIRCA 2018: A stamp printed in Republic of Moldova shows Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), inventor, circa 2018

We understand. It’s (not at all) confusing. So many things going by the name of Tesla! How do you tell them apart? Here’s a (not at all) necessary guide to keeping it all straight. 

Editor’s note: this article is best read while listening to Tesla Girls by OMD

Tesla the Band

Image: teslatheband.com

Tesla is a rock band formed in California in 1981. The founding bassist and guitarist are still members, and the lead singer and drummer have been with the band since 1984. Aside from a four year break from 1996 to 2000, the band has been releasing albums and touring through four decades. They’ve released eight studio albums (the last one in March of 2019) and they’ve sold fourteen million albums in the US. 

See them for yourself on the Monsters of Rock Cruise in February 2020 (along with Winger, Extreme, Krokus and about 50 other rock bands). The ship departs from Fort Lauderdale, heads to Mexico then Belize, then back. It will rock the entire time.

Here’s the video for Tesla’s Love Song.  

Tesla Inc.

Tesla New-generation Electric Car of Dark Brown Indoor
Image: 123rf

Tesla Inc. makes, among other things, electric cars. There’s the full-size luxury Model S sedan, the SUV Crossover Model X, and the more affordable Model 3 sedan, which was the ninth best selling car in the US in 2019. 

In 2020 Tesla will add three more models: A slightly bigger Model 3 called the Model Y, the Tesla Semi truck, and the Roadster 2020 sports car which Tesla claims will accelerate faster than any street legal production car. In 2021, the super futuristic Cybertruck will join the lineup too. By 2020 the company estimates there will be a million Teslas on the road. 

The company was founded in California in 2003 and they also make batteries, develop AI technology, and produce Solarglass roof panels that act both as roof tiles to protect your house and solar panels to power it. 

Nikola Tesla 

On a stamp, 123rf

Both the band and the brand were named for a Serbian-American inventor and electrical engineer with an eidetic memory. He was born in 1856 and, among many other contributions to engineering and science, helped alternating current (that’s the form in which you and I and just about everyone else takes their residential power) become the ubiquitous energy delivery system it is today. He held a total of 300 patents for his inventions, some of which involved his work around the wireless transmission of electric power. As early as the 1890s he realized the possibility of wireless communications.  

He also really liked gaming, sometimes playing cards, pool, and chess for days at a time. He didn’t sleep very much, claiming he only needed two hours a night and was once recorded working in his lab for eighty-four hours straight. 

Tesla spoke eight languages and walked about fifteen kilometers daily. Later in life, he’d insist on having eighteen napkins on his table at every meal. He hated women’s earrings and fell in love with a white pigeon he nursed back to health after an injury. 

For the last forty years of his life, he lived in New York City hotels and died in 1943 in his room at the New Yorker. He was eighty-six. His ashes rest in a spherical golden urn in the museum dedicated to his life and work in Belgrade