Luca Prodan

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Luca Prodan
Luca prodan Si 1987.jpg
Prodan photographed for the cover of supplement of Clarín, a few days before his death
Background information
Birth name Luca George Prodan
Also known as Luca
Born (1953-05-17)17 May 1953
Rome, Italy
Died 22 December 1987(1987-12-22) (aged 34)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Genres Rock, punk rock, new wave, reggae
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Bass guitar
Years active 1970s – 1987
Associated acts Sumo, New Clear Heads, Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, Andrés Calamaro

Luca Prodan (Rome, 17 May 1953 – Buenos Aires, 22 December 1987) was an Italian–Argentine musician. He was the leader and singer of Sumo, one of the most influential rock bands of Argentina,[1] and is widely considered as one of the most important artists of the last quarter of the twentieth century in his country. He was the older brother of film actor and composer Andrea Prodan.


Luca Prodan was born in Rome in 17 May 1953, and he had not only Italian origins but Scottish as well.[1] He was born after the return of the Prodan family from China: his father had set up a prosperous business in ancient Chinese pottery that became untenable after the Japanese invasion of China during World War II. Prodan attended Gordonstoun School, a private boarding school in Scotland and drifted to Manchester and London.

He moved to London in the 1970s and worked at EMI. While in London, he formed his first band, The New Clear Heads, which shared aesthetics with contemporary punk bands like XTC, The Fall, Joy Division (from which he named the first Sumo album after: Divididos por la Felicidad, Spanish for Divided By Joy) and Wire.

In 1981, after a heroin crisis in the late 1970s London, he moved to the farm of an old Anglo-Argentine friend, Timmy McKern, in the central hills of Córdoba Province Argentina seeking peace to try to kick his heroin addiction.

After some time at the farm in the Traslasierra valley, he settled in Hurlingham (a suburb of Buenos Aires), where he founded and led Sumo and the Hurlingham Reggae Band.

Death and legacy[edit]

Prodan died either of a heart attack or cirrhosis of the liver in Buenos Aires shortly before Christmas 1987.

After his death, he became an icon of Argentine rock culture. Graffiti stating "Luca Not Dead" has been spotted around the world, especially in South America and Europe.

Two posthumous records of pre-Sumo recordings are available and provide an "insider's" view of the artist. Recorded mostly in the Traslasierra region of Cordoba, Argentina (his initial home territory), they bear testimony to his musical influences and inspiration: Peter Hammill, David Bowie, Nick Drake, Lou Reed, Ian Dury, Joy Division and Bob Marley.

After his death, two bands were formed by former Sumo members: Divididos and Las Pelotas. It is believed that the actual names came after an heated Prodan's answer referring to an eventual Sumo break-up: ""Are we breaking up, you say? Bollocks we are!""; hence Divididos (Spanish for "The Divided") and Las Pelotas (Spanish for "Bollocks").


With Sumo[edit]

  • Corpiños en la madrugada [Bras in the Morning] (EP, 1983)
  • Divididos por la felicidad [Divided by Joy] (1985)
  • Llegando los monos [Here Come the Monkeys] (1986)
  • After chabón (1987)
  • Fiebre [Fever] (1989)


  • Time Fate Love, recorded in 1980. Released in 1996
  • Perdedores Hermosos [Beautiful Losers], recorded in 1981. Released in 1997


  1. ^ a b Argentina Independent, Lo de Luca: Homage to a Rock Star

External links[edit]