lundi 24 août 2015

Summer of 1980: Ria to Luv's rescue

Ria Thielsch

When Patty Brard left Luv' unexpectedly in July 1980, there was a dark cloud on the horizon. The Dutch press and the fans didn't understand the reason of this departure. On the surface, Patty, Marga and José seemed happy. They had been so successful since 1978. But tensions appeared between the ladies behind the scenes (see article posed on August 22nd, 2015). Actually Patty was romantically involved with Italian record producer Carlo Nasi who lived and worked in Los Angeles, CA (far away from Europe where the group was active and popular). She was fed up with Luv's hectic schedule which was very hard to combine with her private life. She only communicated with the other girls and her manager through her lawyer. Because she suffered from stress, her doctor decided that she had to be on a sick leave for a month. This sad news was terrible for Luv' as they had big plans for the future (including a promo tour in USSR, a participation in the Yamaha Music Festival in Japan and the shooting of a TV series). All of a sudden, these projects had to be cancelled. 

When it became clear that Patty would not come back, a replacement had to be found. The owner of a club in Zevenhuizen, NL threatened Luv' to start a legal action if the ladies did not perform. The group might pay 50.000 Dutch guilders if they didn't sing. To avoid this penalty, a new girl had to be recruited. Photo model Ria Thielsch (29 years old at the time) was chosen. Marga Scheide knew her when she was modeling before Luv'. Like Patty, Ria had Indonesian and New Guinean origins and looked the same. She started to rehearse with her new colleagues shortly afer Patty's defection. Meanwhile, record producer Hans van Hemert and manager Pim ter Linde confirmed to the press that Luv' would go on whatever the line-up. In an interview published in De Telegraaf on August 19th, Van Hemert explained that five singles (recorded with Patty) were scheduled for release and that her illness caused Luv' to lose thousands of guilders. So the end of the group was out of question. 

At first, Luv's team was relunctant to Ria's recruitment due to her resemblance to Patty. Her performance in Zevenhuizen on August 22nd was supposed to be a one-off. Despite this show, auditions with 200 other applicants were held but none of them could compete with Ria. Finally she was allowed to be a member of Luv' in September 1980 after Patty's lawyer announced that her client would leave the trio definitively. But that's another story.....

Press clippings:

Source: The Story of Luv' (written by Peter Boonstra), Krant van Toen, Delpher Kranten

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