lundi 24 mars 2014

José in "Party" magazine

The latest issue of "Party" magazine features an interview with José Hoebee conducted by Claudia Schoemacher. Jos Theuns (in charge of the singer's fan club) scanned the article. I would like to thank him. 

Here's a translation of the interview for the non-Dutch speakers:

After Luv's break-up, José went solo in 1982. She scored a #1 hit with "I Will Follow Him". After the birth of her son Tim, motherhood became her top priority. She retired from show business and moved to Belgium. Two years ago, she was in the news because her husband Will, with whom she was married for 35 years, became ill and later passed away. 

How are you feeling now?

"It's still hard to live without my man Will. I'm trying to do my best to carry on. I'm going to perform with Bonnie St. Claire and my friend Ad has been a great comfort to me. I knew him since I was 15. He was my first boyfriend but we only kissed. Ad lives in Hilversum and he found me a flat. Now I'm living on my own. When I was married, Will was in charge of everything. I liked this situation but now I regret it. I should have been more active. I have to learn things again like driving. I haven't done it for five years because Will drove me everywhere. I should use a small car but because of my finances I can't afford it." 

Where did you meet Will?

"During the presentation of a gold record at Henk van der Meijden's Club Privé. Then I had a drink with friends at ByblosWill was leaning nonchalantly against the wall. I told my friends: 'What a nice guy!'. He came close to us. But he was a married man and I had a husband as well. It was love at first sight."

Are you ready to find love again?

"No, not at all. I'm not ready but you never know. I'm lucky because I had the kindest man in the world. If I find a new love, I will always compare him with Will."

How did Luv's success happen?

"I started my career with my friend Ad who played in a band. My older sister told him that I was a good singer. I took part in talent shows like KRO program 'Springplank' (I finished second). Finally I was recruited as a member of Luv' whereas I was initially a folk artist. I didn't want to join the group but I thought: 'Let's do it anyway'. I wanted to perform American folk music.  At first I wasn't delighted by the commercial sound of Luv'. It all happened by accident and I've had no regrets."

Were you recruited immediately?

"Many girls auditioned for Luv'. I met record producer Hans van Hemert and he was arrogant. He shook my hands and was staring at me. First he looked at my boobs and then he saw my face. Hans wanted a redhead, a dark-skinned girl and a blonde. The dark-skinned had already been chosen and that was Patty. He said: 'You're the first who can really sing but I want you to dye your hair blonde'. I said: 'What a pity! Because I don't want to dye my hair'. Hans replied: 'I'm afraid you can't go on'. One week later I received a call to tell me I was not selected. Later I got another call. I was asked to come to the studio. My reaction was: 'Oh, you could not find a better singer?' 'Indeed', was the answer."

How did it feel to wear sexy outfits?

"Well, I had no idea. Marga and Patty planned everything. I was thin back then and they had jackets with shoulder pads. I didn't wear it but I just put it on my shoulder nonchalantly. 

You had a solo #1 hit with "I Will Follow Him"!

"Yes, that track was a revenge. Everybody said: 'The Luv' girls don't sing on their records'. Because of this song and an album I proved that I could sing. I later released other singles. By then my son Tim was 4 or 5 years old. I'm not career-oriented. I wanted to devote myself to motherhood. When I left home to do a gig, my son was always crying. It was heartbreaking. So I stopped singing."

Who's your favourite Dutch female singer from the new generation?

"Sandra van Nieuwland is very good. I skated to one of her songs on "Sterren Dansen op Het Ijs". And I really appreciate Anouk."

Don't you want to be a judge on "The Voice"?

"No but I always feel who is going to win. As a coach, it's a program in which you have to give time and attention to the people of your team. I don't know if I can coach artists. I worked as a volunteer at the desk where they taped 'The Voice'. These kids thought that they could have it all. And they often end up being ignored. Luv' climbed the career ladder slowly. At first, we had a minor hit and then nothing and then a big hit...But what's going to happen to these kids? They are treated like stars for a couple of months and later they get themselves into a hole."

Are you busy with new projects?

"Absolutely. I'm going to perform with "Dommelvolk". It's a folk band from North Brabant. My friend Ad is part of it. 20 years ago, I recorded a demo with him: a song called 'Once I had a sweetheart'. It was a coincidence when I woke up on the morning of Will's funeral and I had that song in mind. I called Ad and asked: 'Do you still have this track?'. He immediately sent it to me by email.  It gave me goose pimples because the lyrics dealt with my situation. I cried because it felt like Will was next to me. I played the song during the cremation and Ad posted it on YouTube. It caused many reactions. And suddenly I got a message from the manager of Maggie Reilly (famous for 'Moonlight Shadows'). He said: 'Maggie listened to your song and would like to be in touch with you. Is it possible?' One week later Maggie talked to me with her Scottish accent and now she wants to record a duet with me. Great!"

Source: Party, José Hoebee's Official Fan Club (Jos Theuns), Martin Vink

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