BRIAN WHEAT – Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life with Tesla

BRIAN WHEAT - Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life with Tesla
  • 8/10
    BRIAN WHEAT - Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life with Tesla - 8/10


Post Hill Press
Release date: December 15, 2020

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’]
10.0:       Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any book collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing book! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional book! Will likely rank among top ten books of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great book! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  Book is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  Book has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a story or a tidbit that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This book gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this book.[/spoiler]

User Review
7/10 (2 votes)

The Backstory

Brian Wheat has been the bassist of the multi-platinum band Tesla for nearly 40 years. While Brian was enjoying successes and excesses of a rock star, he was quietly dealing with physical and mental health challenges. Son of a Milkman: My Crazy Life wit Tesla follows Brian’s life from his difficult childhood, to the good and bad days of Tesla, and what life is like for him today.

Read our Brian Wheat interview [HERE]

The Book

It’s interesting that Wheat titled his book Son of a Milkman, because he’s not very pound of how he got that label, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting story. As the book begins Brian tell of his unusual and difficult upbringing. His childhood tales foreshadow the health issues he discovers in his early adult years. Wheat’s book voice is similar to how you have a conversation with someone. You may start on one subject, then bounce to a related subject, and then back to the original thought. It’s never distracting, and brings clarity to some of his adventures.

Wheat speaks of the early days of Tesla and some of the things he reveals may come as a surprise to some fans. The group itself didn’t have much input on the final version of their 1986 debut album Mechanical Resonance. Tesla didn’t even come up with their iconic band name. In the early days of Tesla everything was looking up with the band, but there were some cracks that slowly turned into out of control leaks. Tesla’s struggles were no different than any other band you’ve read about from the ’80s. Drugs were messing members up, egos were causing the band to get into physical fights with each other, bad marriages were behind the scenes, and record sales were beginning to slump.

As Tesla continues to implode, Wheat begins to suffer some health issues that scare him a little. Through the recommendation of a friend, Wheat discovers he has anxiety and depression. This is on top of symptoms from an auto-immune disease he realized he had as a teen. The Tesla bassist turns to therapy instead of medication, which helps him understand all that is involved with these conditions. As the years go by, Wheat has some reoccurring symptoms, but he is now better equipped at dealing with them.

After breaking up in 1996, Tesla reunites in the year 2000 and finds it’s not so easy getting the old gang back together. Former managers and producers don’t want to work with them and major labels aren’t as supportive. On the plus side, this forces the band to take a DIY approach to things and it couldn’t have worked out better. Brian talks about his personal life. His 1st marriage to Sandi Saraya. His home fire that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. His current wife Monique, who got him off drugs. Their dog children. The creation of his recording studio and management company.

The Verdict

Most of the stories Brian tells in Son of a Milkman: My Crazy Life in Tesla are interesting. At times he throws in a great punchline to accent them. Some stories are a little dry, and you might find yourself thinking, lets get back to more Tesla stuff. Wheat doesn’t dish any real “dirt” about anyone, but every now and then he takes a shot or two at people he believes did him wrong. His stories of the music industry will surprise many people who think rock stars have the “perfect” life and job. With the disclosure of his health struggles, there are sure to be people who can relate to what Brian experienced, and hopefully they will realize they are not alone.


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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