“I swear that guitar plays itself… Who’d have thought a 16-year-old girl like me could suddenly have this crazy connection with Jerry Garcia?” Meet Bella Rayne, the guitarist who jumped from Mom’s Strat to wielding Garcia’s Alligator onstage

Bella Rayne
(Image credit: Susan J. Weiand)

Few 16-year-old guitarists can claim they’ve held a guitar once owned by Jerry Garcia, let alone played one. But Bella Rayne can.

Given that the Grateful Dead called the San Francisco Bay Area home, local resident Rayne’s infatuation with the band shouldn’t be a surprise. But her interest in picking up guitar in the first place came from a decidedly un-jam-band-like place.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.