Golden Earring

Golden Earring were a Dutch pop rock group formed in The Hague in 1961 by childhood friends George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen. They started performing as The Tornados before changing their renaming themselves Golden Earring after The Hunter’s instrumental track of the same name. Their first single, the 1965 Nederbeat track “Please Go” broke into the Dutch Top 10 and was later included in their studio debut Just Ear-rings, released later that year. Follow-up singles “That Day” and “If You Leave Me” enjoyed a similar degree of success, peaking at Number 2 and 8, respectively. Golden Earring scored their first Number 1 hit with 1968’s “Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong” and consolidated their lineup in 1970 with the addition of multi-instrumentalist and singer Barry Hay and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. In the following years, they went on an impressive streak of Number 1 studio albums such as Golden Earring (1970), Seven Tears (1971), and Moontan (1973), which made its way into the US and UK charts thanks to the chart-topping hit single “Radar Love.” By this point, the band’s attempt to cater to American audiences found them pivoting to hard rock and touring extensively throughout the US, opening for Santana, King Crimson, and The Doobie Brothers. After a series of well-received LPs, Golden Earring made another foray into the American market with 1982’s Cut, a more polished rock album that spawned the single “Twilight Zone,” which hit Number 1 in the Netherlands and reached the top of Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. Despite their American success proved to be short-lived, Golden Earring remained popular in Europe, where they kept recording and performing well into the 21st century. In 2021, the band announced its breakup after Kooyman’s diagnosis with ALS.

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