Luv' (incl. Ria Thielsch) in 1980
In the summer of 1980, Luv' was in a mess. Patty Brard's sudden departure from the group caused turmoil (see article posted on August 22nd, 2015). The girls were busy promoting their latest single "One More Little Kissy". They had big plans for the future: a promo tour in Russia, the participation in the Yamaha Music Festival in Japan, the shooting of a TV series as well as stage and TV performances. All these projects had to be cancelled due to Patty's escape. The remaining Luv' ladies and their entourage were hoping for Miss Brard's comeback. They communicated with the enfant terrible through lawyers. Behind the scenes, Luv's manager Pim ter Linde recruited a Patty lookalike: photo model Ria Thielsch (see article posted on August 24th, 2015). The idea was to hire her for some shows as the owner of a club in Zevenhuizen, NL wanted to sue Luv' if they didn't perform in his venue. To avoid the penalty, Ria rehearsed with Marga Scheide and José Hoebee. The first gig of the new line-up was a success but Ter Linde continued auditions with other candidates. At some point, Luv's team even considered the recruitment of a male singer: actor Rick Luyckx. But this decision would have been damaging to the trio's concept and the public would not accept it.
Luv's manager and producer considered the recruitment of Rik Luyckx to replace Patty Brard. Fortunately, it didn't happen.
Finally in mid-September, when it became clear that Patty would not come back, Ria was allowed to be a permanent member of Luv'. Holland's most read newspaper, De Telegraaf announced her recruitment on September 16th. Even the notorious Billboard magazine mentioned her in its October 11th edition.The tabloid press published articles about her background. Ria was born in Manokwari, West Papua/Indonesia, on August 25th, 1951. She started her modeling career in the early 1970s. In 1978/1979, she was part of "Ricardo & The Flames", a group which released a single that flopped. When she joined Luv', she had a child that she didn't raise.
Ria's real assessment happened when her charisma was put to the test on television. The viewers discovered the new Luv' girl when she performed "One More Little Kissy" with her colleagues on "Boemerang", a Flemish TV program on BRT channel on September 27th.
Luv' on Boemerang (Ria's first TV performance with José and Marga)
The beautiful Indo-Dutch lady is a Facebook friend of mine. My buddy Martin Vink introduced me to her four years ago. Recently I asked her what her musical experience was prior to her selection as a Luv' girl. "I could sing and Luv's music was new to me. It sounded a bit like ABBA. I could dance and Luv's choreography was not complicated," she said. During her modeling years, she met Marga. Ria also told me an interesting story I didn't know. It dated back to the time she was part of "Ricardo & The Flames": "I had a TV performance with Luv' in Germany or Switzerland a long time ago. I saw Luv' for the very first time. We lunched backstage with all the artists and they sat in front of me. They were staring at me and I asked a colleague: "Who are they? Why are they looking at me like that?". "This is Luv," she answered. "Oh, I've never heard of them," I replied. I danced on weekends and I worked as full-time model. After Patty left Luv', Pim contacted me. I had an audition. I had to sing a Linda Ronstadt's song. Piet Souer accompanied me on the guitar."
Ria was immediately accepted by the fans. After her introduction to the media and the public, the next phase was the release of a new single and an album. The question was: would Luv' still be popular without Patty? The answer was "yes". But that's another story.....
Source: The Story of Luv' (by Peter Boonstra), Delpher.nl, YouTube....