Nancy Luca lives the life she sings about in her rock anthem entitled “I Play Guitar.” She got her first Stratocaster guitar while attending Gainesville’s Buchholz High School. In 1974, she took guitar lessons from future Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, and has been playing ever since. She was a mainstay playing at Gainesville’s Dub’s, Main St. Bar and frat parties in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1990, she moved to Los Angeles with her best friend, Anna Marie, and still lives there now. Anna Marie, who now lives in Gainesville, is locally-known for her band Anna Marie and Friends. Luca still considers Gainesville home, and continues to return several times a year to play with her bandmates from the Nancy Luca Band. They include Larry Thompson, a well-known Gainesville drummer, who also teaches at the Gainesville Guitar Academy; Joe Loper, a fellow Buchholz graduate, on bass guitar; and vocalist Anna Marie, who Luca describes as “a lead singer with attitude.” Luca continues that “the camaraderie of these best friends creates an atmosphere of peace, love and searing lead guitar.”
Luca currently plays in the bands git’ERdone, eViL NancY, Whole Lotta Rosies, Luca Flynn, Madame Ozzy and Mark Easterday and the 40 oz. Band. She has played abroad in Bosnia, Korea, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Croatia and Canada. She is also a guitar instructor, audio engineer and songwriter. She won the Rock City Music Award Best Female Guitarist in 2005, and her band Whole Lotta Rosies won the Rock City Music Award Best Female Tribute Band in 2004 and 2005.
Musician and former Gainesville mayor Gary Gordon says, “Nancy Luca by herself is rock ‘n’ roll incarnate. It doesn’t take a whole band. Maybe it’s because she’s not only talented but also because she started young, but that guitar is part of her. It walks, it talks, it postures, it jokes, it wails, it moans, it begs, it teases, it demands, it cries out for more, it strokes, it caresses… Nancy was (and still is) not only great, she was one of the first, if not the first, woman guitarist in the territory.”
The Nancy Luca Band is one of the select “Free Fridays” classic rock concerts that is sponsored by classic rock radio station WIND-FM (92.5, 95.5, 107.9).
“Free Fridays” is funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council and Culture Builds Florida. The entire “Free Fridays” 2018 schedule can be viewed at www.freefridaysgnv.com. The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. For general information, contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-393-8532. For more information about this event, please contact David Ballard at email@example.com or 352-393-8746.