By Ray Shasho
Golden Earring is one of the most enduring bands in classic rock history. They continue to tour in the Netherlands, and the band is the longest existing rock band in the world, as they were founded in 1961- one year before The Rolling Stones.
The Dutch rock group was formed by childhood friends, guitarist- George Kooymans and bassist- Rinus Gerritsen in The Hague Netherlands.
Unlike other popular Dutch bands like The Tee Set, The Bintangs, Focus, Trace, and The Shocking blue, Golden Earring has kept the same- four- original band members together since 1970.
Barry Hay-vocals, George Kooymans- guitar, Rinus Gerritsen- bass and Cesar Zuiderwijk- on drums.
The band was originally called The Tornados, but they later discovered the name was already taken. The band then came up with the name Golden Earrings from a song originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947, and it eventually became a hit in 1948 with Peggy Lee.
In 1965, “Please Go” was Golden Earrings first hit single reaching #9 on the music charts in the Netherlands.
After “Please Go”, seduced their manager Fred Haayen, believing he had found a Dutch- version of The Beatles, he rushed the Earrings into Pye studios in London to record their debut album "Just Ear-rings".
Lead singer Barry Hay joined The Earrings in 1967.
Their single "That Day", reached #2 on the Dutch charts. The single was beaten out of the #1 spot by The Beatles love ballad “Michelle.”
Golden Earring earned their first #1 hit in the Netherlands with the pop song “Dong- Dong- Diki- Digi -Dong". In 1969 they released a successful psychedelic album called “Eight Miles High,” originally a hit for The Byrds in 1966. The album featured a nineteen-minute version of the title track. Their on- stage version of the song lasted much longer, and was considered one of the most memorable jams on their US tour.
Progressing into hard rock, Golden Earring embarked on their first major US tour in 1969. The band performed with Led Zeppelin. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed thirteen US tours. During that period, Golden Earring performed as the opening act for Santana, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special.
The band enjoyed international superstardom in the Seventies with the hit single “Radar Love," from their critically acclaimed “Moontan” album. The album was a huge hit in both Europe and the USA.
With “Radar Love” reaching #13 in the US, Golden Earring became an opening act for KISS and Aerosmith.
Golden Earring again secured chart success in 1982 with the release of "Twilight Zone" and “When the Lady Smiles”.
Unfortunately the band would not maintain their popularity in the US so they continued their music efforts in Europe. Golden Earring has recorded over 30 gold and platinum albums and singles.
The bands best- selling albums were Moontan, which sold over 1- million copies worldwide, and the unplugged acoustic live CD/DVD- The Naked Truth in 1992, which sold over 500,000 copies in the Netherlands alone.
Their successful unplugged theater tours started in 1992 and continue to date. The album was followed by Naked II, and the trilogy was completed in 2005 with Naked III Live at The Panama.
Golden Earring's upcoming studio album will be recorded live at the famous Abbey Road Studios London in July this year. In August the Dutch post group TNT Post will honor the band with a Golden Earring commemorative stamp for its 50th anniversary and golden jubilee as a rock band.
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