“Kim invited me to join and asked, ‘What do you want to play?’ I said lead guitar – frankly, I was surprised she said yes”: Kelley Deal couldn’t play guitar when she joined the Breeders. A year later, she recorded a ’90s alt-rock masterpiece

Musician Kelley Deal of The Breeders performs onstage during day 2 of 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 22, 2023 in Indio, California.
(Image credit: Kelley Deal)

Given the idiosyncratic nature of the guitars featured on the Breeders' 1993 smash Last Splash, it's hard to believe that Kelley Deal only picked up guitar a year or two before its recording.

Don't believe it? Just ask her: "All through school, I played drums," she reveals. "I even took private lessons and was very much into the drums. And then, when Kim [Deal] and I started playing locally, she was on guitar; I got a bass guitar, an Aria Pro II. And it was that same Aria that Kim 'borrowed' before she went off to Boston to play with the Pixies."

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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.