Golden Earring

Golden Earring was a Dutch rock band that started life in 1961 as The Tornadoes. The band released two Nederbeat albums on Polydor between 1965 and 1967 under variations of the pluralized “Golden Earrings” banner before the arrival of vocalist Barry Hay. Between 1968 and 1981, the band recorded 16 albums for the label before Mercury promoted the 1982 release Cut to a global audience. From 1970 onward, their albums bear the singular “Golden Earring” nameplate.

Members: George Kooymans (vocals, guitar), Rinus Gerritsen (bass, synthesizer, keyboards), Hans van Herwerden (guitar, 1961-63), Fred van der Hilst (drums, 1961-64), Peter de Ronde (guitar, 1963-66), Frans Krassenburg (vocals, 1964-67), Jaap Eggermont (drums, 1964-69), Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute, saxophone, 1967-present), Sieb Warner (drums, 1969-70), Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums, percussion, 1970-present), Robert Jan Stips (keyboards, 1975-76), Eelco Gelling (guitar, 1976-78)


Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by teenage guitarist George Kooymans (13) and his bassist neighbor Rinus Gerritsen (15). They originally called themselves The Tornadoes. After learning about the English instrumental band with that name, the boys renamed their band The Golden Earrings, taken from the title of a song performed by another UK instrumental act, The Hunters.

Guitarist Hans van Herwerden and drummer Fred van der Hilst completed the original Golden Earring lineup. By 1964, they were replaced by Peter de Ronde (guitar) and Jaap Eggermont (drums). Frans Krassenburg joined on vocals and they signed to Dutch Polydor.

1965: Just Earrings

As The Golden Ear-Rings, they debuted with the album Just Ear-rings in 1965 on Polydor. It features three songs by Kooymans (“She May Be,” “Holy Witness,” “Now I Have”), two by Gerritsen (“No Need to Worry,” “I Am a Fool”), and six co-writes, including “I Hate Saying These Words” and “When People Talk.” Side two opens with a cover of the Titus Turner standard “Sticks and Stones,” also covered by The Zombies.

Just Ear-rings was co-produced by Arie Merkt and Fred Haayen, who also produced Nederbeatsters Hu & The Hilltops. Sessions took place over two days at Phonogram Studios Hilversum in October 1965.

Two tracks, “Please Go” and “Lonely Everyday,” date from an earlier session on 8/8/65. Polydor lifted both songs as singles, respectively backed with the non-album co-writes “Chunk of Steel” and “Not to Find.”


  • Just Earrings (1965 • The Golden Ear-Rings)
  • Winter-Harvest (1967 • Golden Earrings)
  • Miracle Mirror (1968 • Golden Earrings)
  • On the Double (1968 • Golden Earrings)
  • Eight Miles High (1969 • The Golden Earring)
  • Golden Earring (1970)
  • Seven Tears (1971)
  • Together (1972)
  • Moontan (1973)
  • Switch (1975)
  • To the Hilt (1976)
  • Contraband (1976)
  • Grab It for a Second (1978)
  • No Promises … No Debts (1979)
  • Prisoner of the Night (1980)
  • Cut (1982)
  • N.E.W.S. (1984)
  • The Hole (1986)
  • Keeper of the Flame (1989)
  • Bloody Buccaneers (1991)


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