|Origin||The Hague, Netherlands|
Progressive rock (mid)
Psychedelic rock (mid)
Golden Earring is a Dutch rock band, founded in 1961 in The Hague as the Golden Earrings (the 's' was later dropped). They had international chart success with the songs "Eight Miles High" in 1969, "Radar Love" in 1973, "Twilight Zone" in 1982, and "When The Lady Smiles" in 1984. In their home country, they had over 40 hits and made over 30 gold and platinum albums.
Current members of Golden Earring are:
- Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone, member since 1968)
- George Kooymans (vocals and guitar, founder of band)
- Rinus Gerritsen (bass and keyboard, founding member)
- Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion, member since 1970)
Golden Earring claim it is the oldest rockband still performing in the world and have sold millions of albums worldwide. In Australia a band called the Tornadoes have been playing continually since 1960 with only minor line-up changes. March 2009, Golden Earring celebrated its comeback in the United Kingdom with two concerts, at the Ipswich Regent and at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. Golden Earring's newest studio album was recorded live in a studio in London with producer Chris Kimsey during spring 2011 and released in May 2012. The album is called Tits 'n Ass and climbed to #1 in the Dutch album charts.
Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally the name of the band was The Tornadoes. The name was changed to 'The Golden Earrings' when they discovered that "The Tornadoes" was already in use. The name 'The Golden Earrings' was taken from a song, originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts. The boys had their first chart success with their debut single "Please Go", recorded in 1965. It reached number 9 on the music charts in the Netherlands. because the band was not happy with the quality of the Dutch recording studios, the next single was recorded at Pye Studios in London. The song recorded at Pye, 'That Day', reached number two on the Dutch charts. It could not beat the 'The Beatles' 'Michelle' which stayed on number one position for weeks.In 1968, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the pop song "Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong".
1969-1984 Golden Earring international [change]
This was followed by the success of their psychedelic album 'Eight Miles High' in 1969.It was the time of the hippies, flower power and Woodstock. On this album the most important song was an 18-minute version of the title track. The original text and music were written by The Byrds.
Golden Earrings live version, which could last 45 minutes, was one of the reasons the young band became very popular in America, in the summer of 1969. It was the first time the Golden Earrings did a tour in the USA and they discovered a country where rock music was made in a professional way.They played with Led Zeppelin, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton. This way they learned a lot and the band slowly was becoming a true hard rock band. Golden Earring went on their first major US tour in 1969 - 1970. Between 1969 and 1984, the band completed thirteen US tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for The Who,Carlos Santana, Pink Floyd the Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special and played together with a lot of other famous musicians.
After their classic rocksong 'Radar Love' became an international super-hit in 1974, Golden Earring even had KISS and Aerosmith as the opening-act of their concerts. in 1970 Jimi Hendrix wanted bass player Rinus Gerritsen in his Jimi Hendrix Experience. But Rinus wanted to stay in his own band so he said "no". Golden Earring enjoyed a brief period of international stardom but were unable to get further chart success until 1982's "Twilight Zone", which was followed by "The Lady Smiles" in 1984.
This became a #3 hit in Canada but in the USA the videoclip for this song was banned from MTV because of nudity. Golden Earring turned their focus towards Europe, where they continue to attract large crowds and continue to perform. Golden Earring has recorded over 30 gold and platinum albums and singles, and inspired over 200 fellow bands who have covered their 1973-74 international hit and rock classic "Radar Love", including REM, U2, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams and White Lion, who gave Radar Love a second run in the American charts in 1989.
1991 to the future [change]
In 1991 they had another hit with "Going To The Run", a rock-ballad about a Hell's Angels motorclub member who was a friend of the band and died in a crash. The 'run' is how the Angels call their meetings, when they go driving their bikes together somewhere. The Russian rock band Aria made a successful cover of "Going To The Run". From 1992 to 2004 the band released three acoustic live unplugged albums which became an instant success. Since 1992 the Earring does also 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. Golden Earring: the same unchanged line-up of the same four musicians and friends since 1970, (augmented from time to time with a fifth member), in a band founded in 1961. These two facts show clearly that Golden Earring is the one and only band which may truly carry the title "the longest still performing rock 'n' roll band on earth". But the four sworn friends from The Hague always keep their head cool as they heat it up night after night in sold out venues and theatres, when the crowd goes wild for these four living legends. Together they may be "rock's best kept secret" in the music universe.
Golden Earring is perhaps the oldest rock band in the world that is still performing and active on the road.In March 2009 they will make a comeback in England with concerts in Ipswich and London. On the 21st of March a big concert in the Colorline Arena in Hamburg Germany is planned as well as a new CD for which some songs have already been recorded.
Golden Earring was one of the first major European rock bands to tour the United States, in 1969. They were at first inspired by The Beatles and other typical sixties pop groups like The Kinks.in 1966 The Golden Earrings performed together with The Kinks (famous for 'Lola') during a legendary concert in The Hague, Holland. On their first USA tour bands like Led Zeppelin and The Doors inspired Golden Earrings music and professionalism. They saw that the Americans had very good soundsystems and electrical equipment.Later they were influenced by Pink Floyd,Santana, Te Who when they performed together during the many American tours Golden Earring did.In total the band has been in over 40 US-states,even Hawaii. The Golden earring has used almost all styles you can find in rock and pop music, mostly straightforward (hard)rock nowadays,like guitar-rock, but in many of the over 400 songs they have recorded you can hear influences of hard metal, rap, disco, folk, country, gospel and even Latin. In the past their music was more psychedelic and progressive; this you can hear on albums like Moontan, Wall of Dolls (Golden Earring) and Eight Miles High. Golden Earring always seeks ways to experiment with new styles and variations in the music they make. Usually they are their own producers and have a strong influence in the studio, because it is very important to 'catch' the typical Earring-sound on tape in the recording-studio. This is why the band often plays 'live' in the studio, that is: everybody plays together so the original live-sound is approached in the best way possible. For information on the instruments, the gear and technical equipment the band uses their own website is the best way to go to.
Radar Love [change]
Golden Earring has released music worldwide and enjoyed brief superstar status in the seventies when "Radar Love", from the album Moontan, became a hit in both Europe and the USA. Moontan itself was awarded a gold record in the US. The ultimate Earring hit song Radar Love has its own website . On this site are also found more than 200 covers of this classic rock song, which was voted "best car song ever" by readers of USA Today in 2005 and second-best "greatest driving song" in a poll of BBC's programme "Top Gear", after "Don't Stop Me Now" from Queen. A number of artists like U2, White Lion, R.E.M., and Bryan Adams have covered this international hit and rock classic. In total, over 200 covers exist of this song.
Twilight Zone [change]
George Kooymans wrote "Twilight Zone", which appeared in 1982 and brought Golden Earring a second international round of success. This song was accompanied by one of the first rock videos, directed by Dick Maas. As the music television channel MTV had just been launched in 1981, the airplay helped "Twilight Zone" secure a Top Ten hit in the States. The song was inspired by the popular TV series The Twilight Zone.
When The Lady Smiles [change]
"When the Lady Smiles", from the album News, was the next international hit in 1984, again helped by a video. It became a top hit in Europe and Canada. But it never became a hit in the US because the original video was banned from MTV because of nudity and the rape of a nun. In 2008, Hillary Clinton used this song during her campaign to become the democratic candidate for president of the USA.
The Naked Truth [change]
Their best selling albums ever were Moontan of which over 1 million copies were sold worldwide, and the unplugged acoustic live CD/DVD The Naked Truth in 1992, which sold over 500,000 copies in the Netherlands alone and laid the foundation of their successful unplugged theatre tours that started in 1992 and continue to date. The first unplugged acoustic live album was followed by Naked II, and the trilogy was completed in 2005 with Naked III Live at The Panama. During unplugged concerts Rinus, the bass-player, sometimes uses a standing contrabass.
Other websites [change]
- Official Golden Earring website
- Radar Love
- Virtual Golden Earring Museum
- Golden Earring Record Research
- Golden Earring's George Kooymans English spoken interview for German 'MusicMirror' (click on photo of George to listen to interview)