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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

35th anniversary of a magical moment: Luv's reunion on "Samen"

Dernière mise à jour : 3 janv.

Photo courtesy of © Official Luv' Fan Page & Beeld en Geluid

Thirty-five years ago, on October 27th, 1988, an essential chapter in Luv's career happened on Dutch television. Every fan of Holland's greatest girl group remembers this particular moment.

The original members of Luv' (Patty Brard, Marga Scheide and José Hoebee) took everybody by surprise when they appeared on "Samen", a TV charity show hosted by Mies Bouwman on AVRO, to sing their signature song "You're the Greatest Lover".

Luv' & Mies Bouwman

This reunion happened in a special context. The original Luv' trio hadn't performed for more than eight years. In the summer of 1980, after scoring hit after hit in eighteen countries, Luv' experienced troubles when Patty suddenly left the group. Photo model Ria Thielsch rapidly replaced Patty. The renewed trio scored a Top 5 hit ("My Number One") in the Netherlands and Belgium in late 1980. In March 1981, Luv' disbanded for the first time. No one expected at the time that there would be several comebacks.

After having a solo hit single, "Hold On To Love", in Benelux and South Africa in early 1981, Patty later found her salvation on TV as a presenter. From 1983 to 1985, she co-hosted the high-rated Candid Camera-like show "Bananasplit" with Ralf Inbar on the TROS channel. Thanks to her highly influential husband, record producer and music publisher Carlo Nasi, she presented the 1985 edition of the Sanremo Festival with Pippo Baudo in Italy on RAI Uno. This music program averaged 20 million viewers. However, it didn't lead to her breakthrough in Dante's country. In 1986 and 1987, she briefly hosted "Bingo", a music chart program on BRT in Belgium. Miss Brard achieved a tour de force when she was the cover girl of the Dutch edition of Playboy magazine in January 1988.

Patty Brard in 1983

During the 1980s, José Hoebee was the ex-Luv' girl with the most successful career in the music business. She chose a repertoire composed of a majority of cover versions. In 1982, she scored two smash solo hits in the Netherlands and Belgium: "I Will Follow Him" (originally performed by Little Peggy March in 1963), which hit the number one spot and "Secret Love" (originally performed by Doris Day in 1953) which peaked at #11 on the Dutch Top 40 and #3 on the Belgian BRT Top 30.

In 1984, José covered Leonard Cohen's So Long Marianne with Patty Brard's ex-husband, Ron Brandsteder. This version reached #11 on the Dutch Top 40 and #20 on the Belgian BRT Top 30. Then, she teamed up with Bonnie St. Claire to form an occasional duo, "Bonnie & José", to perform Dutch versions of ABBA songs. Their duets "Cassandra" and "Zoals Vrienden Doen" (The Way Old Friends Do) became Top 40 hits in Holland.

Bonnie & José appeared with other Dutch artists (including Marga Scheide, Benny Neyman and Ron Brandsteder) on "ABBAcadabra", a TV musical for children based on songs of the "Swedish Fab Four" which aired on TROS in March 1985. After the birth of her son Tim, José decided to slow down her career.

José Hoebee in 1982

After Luv's demise, Marga Scheide supervised the styling of bands and singers (including José and Babe). In 1982, she was the lead member of the short-lived girl group "Marga & Deuce", which recorded the unsuccessful single "One, two, three Bananas" (written and produced by Piet Souer). In 1983, Marga released "Love Symphony", a medley of The Supremes classic songs produced by Jacques Zwart with whom she became romantically involved. This track was not a hit but got airplay on Black American radio stations. Her next singles, "Love Again" (1985) and "I'll Sing You A Song" (1986), failed to break into the charts. She also did sporadic photo shoots for magazines. In the mid-1980s, in addition to her artistic activities, she ran a souvenir shop, "Dutchy Souvenirs", at the Holiday Inn in Utrecht.

Marga Scheide in 1983 - Photo edited by Marco Rens

Luv' in 1985

When the ladies were interviewed separately in the press, they sometimes discussed their glorious past with Luv'. Patty was not on speaking terms with Marga and José. She communicated through lawyers with her former colleagues. InterLUV' (the group's limited company created in 1979 and dissolved in 1981) filed a lawsuit against Miss Brard due to her departure from Luv'. Her shares were purchased. She won the suit and got 400,000 Dutch guilders. A reconciliation was out of the question.

But in early 1985, Story (a Dutch celebrity gossip magazine) brought the trio together for a photo shoot and an interview. The three singers graced the cover of the February 8th, 1985, issue.

Luv' on the cover of Story (February 8th, 1985)

Luv's appearance in Story magazine gave the fans hope for a comeback. But the ladies' admirers had to wait over three years for something concrete. Patty, Marga and José agreed to give a one-off performance on Mies Bouwman's charity show "Samen" on AVRO in aid of parasports on October 27th, 1988.

Luv' performing "You're the Greatest Lover" on Samen

The group's former producer, Hans van Hemert, greeted the girls backstage. This unique appearance on "Samen" generated a lot of publicity in the Dutch media and a profusion of positive reviews within the fan community.

The original Luv' trio (Marga, Patty & José) with their former Pygmalion Hans van Hemert, backstage at Mies Bouwman's TV show "Samen" (1988)

The press announced that the ladies were planning a comeback. Weekend magazine wrote that there were negotiations for a tour of 25 live shows through the Netherlands and Germany. Each performance was charged at 15,000 Dutch guilders. In other words, the tour was supposed to gross 375,000 guilders.

Weekend - November 1988

Algemeen Dagblad - November 27th, 1988

British hit machine of the 1980s "Stock, Aitken & Waterman" (whose artist roster featured Rick Astley, Mel & Kim, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Bananarama) was rumoured to produce an album for the girls. They already collaborated with Luv's rivals, the Dolly Dots, on the dance-pop single "What a Night". Despite its catchy "SAW" sound, this record didn't lead to the Dots' breakthrough in Europe. It only charted in two countries, peaking at #18 on the Dutch Top 40 and #21 on the Flemish BRT Top 30 in late 1987.

Dolly Dots: What A Night (1987)

Former radio DJ and record executive Tony Berk tried to link Stock, Aitken & Waterman to Luv'. Weekend magazine reported that the trio might record songs initially meant for the sister duo "Mel & Kim". The Appleby siblings could not complete their second album due to Mel's cancer. "Mel & Kim's album was almost finished. But they had to cancel its release. We now see if Luv' can take over this recording. It means that we have to re-record these songs. The successful producers "Stock, Aitken & Waterman" first have to give their permission," Patty told Weekend.

Story magazine published an article about this prestigious collaboration. "We've received many nice offers lately, but none of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman level. We are honoured that they approached us. These English hit producers are a household name. However, their plan to make the Dolly Dots worldwide successful failed. We remain down to earth. Besides Mai Tai, we have the advantage of having been the only popular Dutch girl group all over Europe. It means something to Stock, Aitken & Waterman. They are motivated to write the best songs for us," Marga told Story.

Story - November 1988

Veronica magazine also mentioned Luv's partnership with SAW.

Veronica - January 14th, 1989

Privé explained that John van Katwijk, The Star Sisters' ex-manager, would represent Luv'. "During Mies Bouwman's show, it was clear that such a group still had great potential. The girls are good-looking, and TV directors enjoy their charisma on the small screen," Van Katwijk said.


Unfortunately, Luv's promising work with The Hit Factory and their lucrative tour through Holland and Germany never materialized. In April 1989, José didn't want to be involved in a comeback due to family reasons. She preferred to focus on the education of her son, Tim. "I've weighed up the pros and cons, but my family comes first. I don't want to leave my son Timmie alone for so long," José told Privé. Due to her withdrawal, Luv's comeback was out of the question.

Privé: No comeback for Luv' (1989)

In the autumn of 1989, Luv' reunited effectively, but different from how it was supposed to be. But that's another story...

Source: Luv' blog archives, Marco Rens, Facebook (Official Luv'), Beeld en Geluid...

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