mardi 15 août 2017

Michiel Gunning's artistic past

Luv' singer Marga Scheide has been happy with her partner Michiel Gunning for 12 years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Michiel was active in the music business and the youth press.

Facebook friend Stany van Wymeersch interviewed him for his book "We All Love ABBA" that came out last year (see article posted on May 27th, 2016).

Michiel told Stany that he hung out with the members of ABBA during their promotional visits to Holland in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to his connection with Dutch photographer Peter Mazèl. Hclicked particularly with Agnetha Fältskog

Agnetha (of ABBA) and Michiel Gunning (aka David) - article published in Popfoto in June 1979

Michiel/David interviews ABBA for Popfoto (December 1980)

Here's what he said in Stany's book about his collaboration with Peter Mazèl and how he became "David" in a photonovel published in Popfoto:

"It was the time of those boys, you know: Claude Vanheye, Govert de Roos, Nick van Ormondt and Peter Mazèl, all very talented photographers. Peter Mazèl was in close contact with all those artists that I would later get to meet. He worked as a freelancer for Popfoto and Muziek Express in Holland, Pop Rocky and Bravo in Germany, Circus in the US and Melody Maker in England [Mazèl passed away in 1996 while working on a project at a jazz festival]. We became good friends when Peter got a freelance assignment for a photo story in Popfoto. By coincidence, I became the main character in this photo story and ended up playing the part for ten years. They didn't use my proper name, Michiel, in the story but instead chose David. During the mid-70s, David was a popular name: David Bowie, David Cassidy, David Essex, David Soul - too many to count them all. Each month, a three-page photo story was published in Popfoto, photographed by Peter Mazèl. That's how our partnership began. In the story, I had the role of a charming but clumsy guy. Any issues at stake were solved and, in the end, everything always worked out. After a while, I became more and more involved in the development of the storyboards and got to write all the dialogue.....I did 120 photo stories, over a time period of exactly ten years. I decided to hold on to the complete collection of Popfoto magazines that featured them. I'm glad I did because this way you can understand them in relation to a specific time with regards to fashion, music, and so on. I'd started in June 1976. It first began as a joke, but it became popular. I got fan mail, and the editorial board decided to retain it as a regular feature in the magazine. By June 1986, I was in my early thirties, and I felt I had to be careful that I did not become a caricature of myself. I wanted to avoid that the fans - the girls - would start writing, "Dear Popfoto, David is clearly getting older...," and so my last story was published, and we celebrated it with a splendid party.

Michiel's partnership with Peter Mazèl went beyond the photonovel for Popfoto. He accompanied him to TV shows (TopPop, Disco Circus) and concerts in Holland and abroad. He became his assistant. 

Funnily enough, Marga and Michiel never met during Luv's heyday. Here's what the couple explained to Stany in his book:

"Stany: Your path never crossed?

Michiel: No, although we were both featured in the same magazine.

Marga: What a shame! Ten years ago (in 2005-2006), when we first got to know each other, Michiel said: "Do you remember me?" and I said, "Help me out, I can't remember." "I'm from the photo story in Popfoto!" But I had never looked at it in Popfoto, unlike José who did know him. She used to read all those photo stories, so she also read the one in Popfoto. The first time I took Michiel to a Luv' performance, José exclaimed, "Aaah, but that's David!" I thought: who the heck is he (laughs)?"

Moreover, Michiel was involved in several music projects.

In 1979, CNR Records released the single "Love Concerto" performed by "David":

A side: Love concerto 
B side: Dancing on the beach 

In 1982, he was the lead singer of the male group "Strawberry Vocal Choir" that put out two singles.

Dutch record sleeve of "Summer Is A Coming"

German record sleeve of "Summer Is A Coming"

"Summer Is A coming" - released by Philips in the Netherlands and by Avon in Germany in 1982. 

A side: Summer Is A Coming
B side: Beach Party

Strawberry Vocal Choir on TV (1982)

The follow-up record was entitled "Saturday Night At The Movies". 

Dutch record sleeve of "Saturday Night At the Movies" (Philips, 1982)

A side: Saturday Night At The Movies
B side: I'll Be Home When The Baby Comes

In 1984, Michiel was part of the mixed pop group called "Voo Doo" that released the single "Veronica" (named after the famous Dutch broadcaster).

Record sleeve of "Veronica" by "Voo Doo" (CNR Records, 1984)

A side: Veronica
B side: Veronica (Instrumental Version)

Voodoo on Nederland Muziekland in 1984 (video posted by Siegrfried Stelte)

Nowadays, Michiel often accompanies Marga to Luv's shows and events. The lovebirds have a second home in Ibiza.

Michiel is a happy father. His daughter, Renéeappeared on RTL 5's reality show "Echte Gooische Meisjes" in 2010. She is a model and is involved in communication activities (including RTL Live Entertainment). 

Michiel, Renée and Marga were present at Luv's 40th-anniversary party in Best last month

Source: Google image, We All Love ABBA (by Stany van Wymeersch),,, YouTube

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