Few bands can match the Pixies in terms of the extent of their influence on contemporary rock music. David Bowie, Nirvana, Radiohead, U2, Weezer, PJ Harvey, The Strokes, and countless others have counted Pixies among their influences and as inspiration for their music, and in turn they have gone on to inspire countless numbers of musicians themselves – in the case of Bowie this was a matter of completing the circle as he had influenced the music of the Pixies. Being the founding bassist for such an important band in contemporary rock history, it is surely unsurprising to see Kim Deal included in Women-Who-Rocktober.
Fitting with the off kilter musicality of the Pixies, the story of how Deal came to join the group is amusingly absurd. Deal was the only person to respond to an ad placed seeking a bassist, only to show up to the audition without a bass. Neither she, Black Francis, or Joey Santiago were discouraged so Deal was in and, primarily being a guitarist at the time, she had to borrow a bass off Kelley Deal, her twin sister. Despite an inauspicious start, Deal would go on to deliver some of the most solid and memorable bass-lines of the late ’80s and early ’90s; they mightn’t have been technically complex, but Deal has indicated in interviews that this was a deliberate decision made in service to the music, poking fun of bassists who feel the need to seem like they are propelling the songs onward in the process.
When internal tensions led to the Pixies breaking up in 1993 deal remained focused on music, shifting her attention to The Breeders with Kelley before establishing The Amps – a play on the Tammy Ampersand moniker Deal had taken to using – in 1995. Deal has also worked as a producer for other artists, and contributed vocals to numerous projects. The Pixies reunited in 2004, much to the surprise and pleasure of fans, though Deal maintained The Breeders and her solo work as a priority. Kim Deal may not ever be a household name, but for her enduring commitment to music and ongoing influence to upcoming musicians, she is one of the Women-Who-Rocktober.