mardi 7 mars 2017

Marga Scheide: a reason for falling in Luv'

My interview with Marga Scheide

                                             Photo montage by Co Rnz

Marga Scheide is the ultimate Luv' lady. The beautiful blonde singer has been part of all the incarnations of the legendary girl group since 1977. She even trademarked the name of Luv' in 1989. Unlike José Hoebee and Ria Thielsch, she is not present on Facebook

I've always dreamt to interview her. As I am an acquaintance of her colleagues, I could be in touch with the most discreet member of Luv'. I'm lucky because she accepted to answer my questions.

Marga discussed her amazing career as a member of Holland's greatest female pop group ever. She also mentioned other aspects of her life.

Last year, she decided to reform Luv' with José Hoebee and Ria Thielsch mainly because she missed the fun the group used to have. As soon as the ‘fun factor’ fades away, Luv' will quit.

Ralph: As a child and a teenager did you dream of a career in show business? Who were your first musical heroes?

Marga: Every child, especially girls, has dreams about being famous. This rarely happened to me. My dreams were pretty much constantly about travelling and  exploring different countries. My all time musical heroes were (and in a way still are) The Beatles and Dusty Springfield.

Ralph: Prior to your career as a Luv' singer, you took part in beauty pageants and you were a photo model. How did it happen? Which beauty pageant are you the most proud of? Which advertising campaign are you the most proud of as a model?

Marga: At the age of 16 when I was shopping one day in my hometown Amsterdam, I was spotted by a modelling scout and from that moment the roller coaster took off. 

There were several beauty pageants but the most impressive one was probably "Miss Young Holland". Because I was too young to participate in the official "Miss Holland" contest I was sent out one month for photo shootings in Tokyo and took part in the "Miss Young international" contest. It was far away in Tokyo, Japan. A whole month all alone...ouch! In those years it was very unusual for a teenager to travel that far and being away from home that long. But in retrospect, it was a great learning experience.

The commercial I will always be associated with is the one I did for SiSi, a lemonade comparable with today’s Fanta. TV commercials had only just started in those days which made the experience very special. There were four different commercials of the product which resulted in the fact that people started to recognize me in the streets because it was a new sensation at that time.

Ralph: How were you exactly recruited as a member of Luv'?

Marga: I was spotted after a campaign for Phonogram (a record label belonging to the Dutch electronics giant Philips). As I posed for record sleeves I must have caught the attention of the producers who invented Luv’.

Ralph: Is it true that before the group's breakthrough you considered Luv' just as "a part of your work" and you continued with modelling?

Marga: Yes that is true. My modelling career was rocketing and not even in my wildest dreams I could have thought of the huge success Luv’ was going to be. 

Ralph: When and why did you stop modelling? 

Marga: When our very first #1 hit “You’re the Greatest Lover” was a fact, both producers forced me to go for Luv’ and not surprisingly I decided to stay on board out of free will.

Ralph: What are your favourite songs of Luv'?

MargaYou’re the Greatest Lover” and “Boys goodnight". And so many more on our albums.

Ralph: What's the Luv' song you appreciate the least?

Marga: Probably “Ann-Maria”. A lovely song but live on stage it somehow didn’t work the way it should have.

Ralph: I'm French. Any good memories of TV performances in Paris? Which French celebrities did you meet backstage? Any anecdotes in the French capital? 

Marga: Our French record company was Carrere which was very active with a bunch of generous people. It’s a long way back but I remember being on the same TV show as Julien Clerc.

I have sweet memories of the Andy Gibb's invitation at the iconic George V hotel in Paris where we had a ball….:-))

RalphIn 1983, you released a Supremes medley as a single. Is it true that your song was played on black American radio stations? Were you honored that some music experts thought you were a black vocalist?

Marga: Of course I was proud that these black American radio stations were under the impression I was a black singer after listening to my Supremes medley. I was very high in the playlist of those stations.

They later asked for a music video to promote the record. It caused the immediate end of the project because the performing artist was as blond as the Dutch dunes which was not good for the R&B stations who targeted a black audience at the time.

Ralph: In 1989, why did you trademark the name of the group? 

MargaThis was simply done to prevent to misuse the name Luv’. When a successful act such as Luv' remains unprotected, there is always the risk that certain people use the name illegally and cause damage to the image of the group.

A good example of what could have happened to us is Boney M. At one point there were five or six acts, both in the Netherlands and Germany, calling themselves “Boney M.” and performing just like the original line-up.

That is when I undertook action to prevent that this could happen to us, obviously without the intention to make money with this operation. It even costed me money due to the yearly fee for registration.

Ralph: You are the most business-minded Luv' lady. How many companies did you launch? Are you still running a business?

Marga:  Apart from Luv', I ran an online music store plus a cosmetics firm. At this moment in time, Luv' is all that keeps me from the streets…Haha.

Ralph: Why did you decide to resurrect Luv' last year? The ladies and you were supposed to record new material produced by Juan Cristobal Losada in Miami? Why hasn't it happened yet?

Marga: It all started last year when there were constant requests for performances and on top of all we got in touch with Henk Schorel, a Dutch business man based in Miami (CEO of Viva Canal, an international TV, music and entertainment company). He is a close friend of Juan Christobal Losada, the hit producer of several artists who are famous worldwide (Ricky Martin, Shakira, Enrique Inglesias...) and does some business with him.
There were serious plans in an advanced stage to make a record with us but sadly enough the wife of this Dutch contact became seriously ill. Slowly but surely she is recovering. So at this moment, the plan is put on hold and we are simply waiting for the green light from Henk whenever he is ready.

Ralph: If the partnership with Losada doesn't happen, do you consider other options?

MargaWe simply continue what we are doing and take further steps when they come on our way.

Ralph: Last week, Dutch girl group O'G3NE revealed the song "Lights And Shadows" that they will perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. Do you think they have potential to win the competition? By the way, 0'G3NE shared the same stage with Luv' at the Zomeravond Spektakel in Etten-Leur and at the Ladies Day festival in Hellevoetsluis. How was the meeting with the three sisters?

Marga: We met the girls several times and we liked them a lot! I am very proud that they represent our country at the ESC! They sing like angels and are very down to earth. So I like them a lot and I know that Ria and José are also very fond of them. I wish them all the best and hope they score highly!! 

Luv' & O'G3NE backstage at "Ladies Day" in Hellevoetsluis, NL. on August 13th, 2016

Many THANKS to Marga and José for making this interview possible!!!

10 great dates in Marga's career:

  • September 2nd, 1978: "You're the Greatest Lover" by Luv' hit the number one spot in the Netherlands. It later sold one million copies worldwide and charted in a dozen countries.
  • December 16th, 1978: Luv' had their second #1 hit with "Trojan Horse". It was also a million seller thanks to its strong presence on the hit parades of twelve territories.
  • December 31st, 1979: Luv' received the Conamus Export Prize for being the "Best Dutch Export Act of 1979" thanks to their success in Benelux, German speaking countries, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Mexico. Between 1978 and 1980, the trio collected 12 gold and platinum records. They eventually sold 7 million records worldwide.
  • March 4th, 1981: Luv's first break-up was announced to the media.
  • March 16th, 1985: TROS/Nederland 2 broadcast "ABBAcadabra", a TV musical based on songs from the Swedish pop group "ABBA". Several Dutch celebrities were part of the cast (José Hoebee, Marga Scheide, Ron Brandsteder, Benny Neyman, Bonnie St. Claire....).
  • October 21st, 1989: Luv's single "Welcome To My Party" entered the Dutch charts. This song featured the vocals of the line-up consisting of Marga Scheide (the only original member of Luv') and two other girls: Diana van Berlo and Michelle Gold (later replaced by Carina Lemoine). The single peaked at #22 on the Dutch Top 40 and #19 on the Nationale Hitparade in the Netherlands. It reached the 28th position on the BRT Top 30 in Belgium.
  • April 26th, 1993: The original Luv' trio (Patty Brard, Marga Scheide and José Hoebee) reunited to perform at the legendary "It Club" in Amsterdam to launch their "Gold" CD.
  • May 26th, 27th and 28th, 2006: The Luv' ladies took part in the mega shows of "De Toppers" with Bobby Farrell (of Boney M.) at the Amsterdam ArenA.
  • August 11th, 2012:  The original Luv' ladies gave their final show at the Dutch Valley Festival.
  • March 16th, 2016: Dutch most read newspaper "De Telegraaf" announced that Marga Scheide, José Hoebee and Ria Thielsch (member of the 1980-1981 lineup) wanted to resurrect Luv'

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