Part 10: The Eighties after the War

The Falklands war ended in June 1982. Argentina was defeated and the military government quickly lost control of the country. In 1983 democracy was restored for the first time in a decade.
It was a good time for the music scene, with Argentine bands selling far more records than ever before. The most critically respected band of the eighties was Sumo. Their frontman Luca Prodan was perhaps an unlikely Argentine rock icon: he was already over 30, overweight, balding and… Italian! This blog has previously featured their song ‘Mañana en el Abasto’, but here is one of their more uptempo songs.
NB Belgrano (in the lyrics) is a relatively posh part of Buenos Aires, but it is presumably also a reference to the ship which the British sunk during the Falklands war. The song appears on their 1985 LP ‘Divididos Por La Felicidad’, the title of which is a tribute to Joy Division (literally – Divided by Happiness).


Prodan died in 1987 due to complications related to his drug addiction, and ‘Luca Not Dead’ graffiti started to appear around the country. A year later Miguel Abuelo (leader of Los Abuelos de la Nada) and Federico Moura (leader of Virus) both died of AIDS. It was the end of another era. Prodan’s bandmates went on to enjoy success in the bands Dividos and Las Pelotas

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Caras conchetas, miradas berretas

Y hombres encajados en Fiorucci.

Oigo “dame” y “quiero”

y “no te metas”

“te gustó el nuevo Bertolucci?”.


La rubia tarada,

bronceada, aburrida,

Me dice “por qué te pelaste?”

Y yo “por el asco que dá tu sociedad.

Por el pelo de hoy

¿cuánto gastaste?”


Un pseudo punkito,

con el acento finito

Quiere hacer el chico malo.

Tuerce la boca,

se arregla el pelito,

Se toma un trago

y vuelve a Belgrano.


Basta! me voy,

rumbo a la puerta

Y después al boliche

a la esquina

A tomar una ginebra

con gente despierta.

Esta si que es Argentina



Posh faces, shitty looks

& men dressed up in Fiorucci

I hear ‘give me’, ‘I want’

& ‘mind your own business’

Did you like the new Bertolucci?


The dumb blonde,

tanned, boring

Asks me ‘Why are you fighting?’

I say ‘Because your kind disgust me’

That trendy haircut,

how much did it cost you?


A little pseudo punk

With a thin accent

Wants to act like a tough guy

He twists his lip

He arranges his hairdo

He has a quick drink

And goes back to the Belgrano


Enough! I’m going,

I head for the door

And then to the bowling alley

on the corner

To have a gin

With smart people

This is the real Argentina


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