Golden Earring

Get Help on using the Artist Description section

F

ormed in 1961 in The Hague, Neatherlands by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen, the act was originally called the Tornados, but this changed shortly later to The Golden Earrings when they discovered that the former name was already in use. The name "The Golden Earrings" came from the name of an instrumental track, "Golden Earrings", by the British group The Hunters, a band they had served as opening and closing act. Then 'The' in 'The Golden Earrings' would be later dropped. Initially a pop-rock band with Frans Krassenburg on lead vocals and Jaap Eggermont on drums, The Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their 1965 debut single Please Go".

Like the Beatles, The Golden Earrings often used a session musician, pianist Cees Schrama, on their records. Dissatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band's manager and co-discoverer Fred Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at the 'Pye Records' studios in London. The resulting record, That Day, reached number two on the Dutch charts, prevented only from reaching the number one position by The Beatles' Michelle.

In 1967, Barry Hay joined the band to replace Krassenburg as frontman. The first number one hit in the Netherlands came with the track Dong Dong Diki Digi Dong. In the United States, East Coast FM radio Disc Jockey and music critic--Neil Kempfer-Stocker became first radio DJ to champion the band. That single was followed by a successful psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an 18-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of the 1966 hit song by The Byrds. The live version, which played for some 45 minutes, was considered to be the highlight in their first and second American tours thru 1969. The follow-up, Golden Earring LP, known as 'Wall of Dolls', and it's singles spin-offs, Back Home were received poorly in the US but became a number 1 hit back home.

In 1970, drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk joined the band, completing what has become Golden Earring's classic (and longest-enduring) lineup. Cesar was known to use a catapult to launch himself over his drum-kit at the culmination of his drum solos. The band enjoyed brief international superstar status in the 1970s when the single version of Radar Love, from the Gold-certified album Moontan became a hit in both Europe and the USA; Moontan would end off being their bigest hit album. The group then launched their first major US tour in 1969-1970; making them among the first European bands to do so. Owing to American influences, their music now drifted towards hard rock, getting them performances with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum, and Eric Clapton. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring had 13 US tours under their belts, and during this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, King Crimson, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special. As an interesting note: during 1973-74, when Radar Love was a hit, they had Kiss and Aerosmith as THEIR opening act. While signed to the UK 'Track Records' label, the band rented the superb quadraphonic sound system normally used exclusively by The Who.

The act enjoyed a brief period of US stardom but were unable to secure further chart success until 1982s Twilight Zone. The music video for which, was one of the first rock videos played on the new MTV, and helped the song to become a Top Ten hit.

When the Lady Smiles became an international hit in 1984, reaching No. 3 in Canada and becoming the band's fifth number one hit back home, but received a disappointing reaction in the United States; the reason: the music video of the song was banned from MTV due to nudity and a scene portraying the rape of a nun. An edited version of the video was shown, but failed to convey its original intentions. While touring the US in 1984, the band played at the Great Arena of Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey on May 11 and were in the midst of their concert when a fire at the Haunted Castle began on the opposite side of the theme park, killing eight teenagers. Following this tour, Golden Earring turned their attention back toward Europe where they continue to attract a following; to date they have not returned to North America and have never toured Australia, South America or Asia.

The group paused briefly after the release of The Hole, in 1986, to focus on other projects, with Hay and Kooymans both releasing solo albums (Victory of Bad Taste and Solo, respectively) the following year.

In 1991, Golden Earring scored another hit in the Netherlands with Going to the Run, a rock-ballad about a Hells Angels motorcycle gang member who was a friend of the band and died in a crash. A "run" is what a motorcycle club calls an event consisting of riding their bikes somewhere together. The Russian rock band Aria made a successful cover of then song, called 'Careless Angel' (in Russian).

From 1992 to 2004, the band released three acoustic live unplugged albums, which became an instant success. Since 1992, they have performed acoustic unplugged theater-shows which continue to this date and usually sell out. The acoustic albums feature unplugged versions of famous hits of the band, and have been some of the band's best selling albums; The Naked Truth, which sold over 500,000 copies in the Netherlands alone.

Known for their powerful live performances, Golden Earring perform over 200 concerts a year, mainly in their home country of the Netherlands and occasionally in Belgium, Germany and the UK. These energetic live performances have been recorded on several live albums: Live (1977), 2nd Live (1981), Something Heavy Going Down (1984; also later released on DVD as 'Live from the Twilight Zone') and Last Blast of the Century, a live recording of their last concert of the 20th century (available on both CD and DVD). Furthermore, the band's acoustic live albums include The Naked Truth (1992), Naked II (1997) and Naked III (2005). Their latest live album, Live from Ahoy 2006, is a DVD with bonus CD.On October 10, 2011, at the Historical Museum of The Hague, PostNL presented the first postage stamp with music. This stamp was issued in honour of the 50th anniversary of Golden Earring. When a smartphone with a special app is held up to the music stamp, Radar Love plays. This stamp is the first in a series of music stamps encoding real sound highlighting the greatest pop albums ever released in the Netherlands. PostNL is the first in the world with this concept.

On May 11, 2012 the band released their latest studio album Tits 'n Ass and peaked at #1 in the Dutch album charts twice. In order to produce a more intense sound on stage and on this album the band has been augmented with singer and keyboard player Johnny Rooymans. The album features the song Still Got the Keys to My First Cadillac which is marketed as their newest single.


Get Help on using the Artist Dashboard section

Artist Dashboard:


Nation Netherlands
City The Hague
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Hard Rock
Reformations 1
Web Unknown
Active Years 1961-
E-Mail Unknown
RRCA File Code N/A
Diskery ID 1517


Get Help on using the See Also section

See also these artists mentioned in this article:

KISS Led Zeppelin Aerosmith
Rush Jimi Hendrix The Beatles