Kelley Deal (born June 10, 1961) is an American musician. The identical twin sister of Kim Deal, she is the lead guitarist of The Breeders, besides having a solo career.
Kelley Deal was born in Dayton, Ohio, United States, 11 minutes before her sister. The Deal twins grew up in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. The sisters first played together in their late teens, Kim playing guitar and both sisters singing Hank Williams songs in biker bars. They both had an opportunity to join the Pixies in the mid-'80s, with Kim on bass and Kelley on drums; Kim followed through while Kelley opted to move to California. While Kim made her mark as an indie musician, Kelley worked in computer programming.
In 1989, Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly (lead guitarist of Throwing Muses) formed the next incarnation of The Breeders. Kelley was asked to play on the band's debut, Pod, but could not get time off from work.
In 1992, Kelley Deal joined the band as third guitarist, even though she did not really know how to play. The Safari EP was the first recording she appeared on. Guitarist Tanya Donelly left to form Belly a little after the release of Safari. Kim suggested Kelley should be the band's new drummer. After Kelley insisted on lead guitar, Kim gave her a crash course on all the songs in the band's set. Kelley picked up quickly and learned all the lead parts on Pod and the new parts on the album they were about to record, Last Splash. A new drummer from Dayton, Jim MacPherson, joined them. After Last Splash was released in 1993, the band toured, opening for Nirvana, and also got a slot on the Lollapalooza tour in 1994.
Kelley Deal had been addicted to heroin since her teens, and her heroin use became public and problematic in 1994, after the success of Last Splash and extensive touring. She was arrested for possession in 1994 and entered rehab in Minnesota in 1995, which temporarily halted The Breeders.
Other projects, return to the Breeders:
In rehab, Deal began writing her own songs and after rehab, she started The Kelley Deal 6000. The band released two albums on Deal's Nice Records label, Go To The Sugar Altar in 1996 and Boom! Boom! Boom! in 1997, and went on hiatus when The Breeders were reunited.
Deal also joined the The Last Hard Men with Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, and Jimmy Flemion of The Frogs. She played bass for them and they recorded an eponymous album in 1997, which was released in a limited edition on Deal's own label, Nice Records, and in 2001 on Spitfire Records.
Deal teamed back up with her sister in the late 1990s and began recording new demos for the Breeders. With a new line up, they released Title TK in 2002. Title TK features three songs recorded in 1999, where the Deal sisters played all the instruments. In April 2008, The Breeders released Mountain Battles.
Other collaborations and projects:
Deal turned to knitting as part of an effort to stay sober. She specializes in knitted handbags, which she sells on her website, and appeared on the DIY Network knitting show Knitty Gritty, and in 2008 released a book of her knitting handbag patterns,Bags That Rock: Knitting on the Road with Kelley Deal. One of her patterns is included in the DIY Network's book Knitty Gritty Knits: 25 Fun & Fabulous Projects'.
She co-wrote and played guitar on Magnetophone's "Kel's Vintage Thought". She has also performed duets with Kris Kristofferson and Supersuckers, and lately has collaborated with Mike Montgomery from the band 'Ampline' to form the band R. Ring. The Dutch record label, Mass Market Recordings, released their EP The Rise, containing four new songs in March 2013. R.Ring toured the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.
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