The Notable Musicians That Joined And Left Golden Earring
via Golden Earring/YouTube
Six Decades Of Making Music
Before they made it big in the US with their breakthrough hit “Radar Love”, they were already well-known around the Netherlands and had went through a couple of lineup changes.
Founded by George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen, they eventually got Barry Hay and and Cesar Zuiderwijk on board. These four have been continuous members until February 5, 2021 when Golden Earring announced they would stop playing after Kooymans received his ALS diagnosis. Hay said, “We always said we would keep going until one of us fell over… It sucks, and we would have preferred a farewell tour, but unfortunately it is what it is.”
They were originally called the Tornados before they changed it to The Golden Earrings after learning that another band was already named the Tornados. They got their name from the instrumental by the British group the Hunters titled “Golden Earrings”. Jaap Eggermont, who became a record producer later on, was behind the kit. Hay joined the group in 1967 and Zuiderwijk in 1970 – thus their classic lineup was completed.
In 1973, Dutch blues guitarist Eelco Gelling joined but he left after two years. He rejoined from 1976 to 1978. He was featured as a full-fledged member on 1976’s “Contraband” and 1978’s “Grab It for a Second”. His stellar slide work is prominent on “Bombay” and “Sueleen”. Golden Earring was on a US tour when Gelling left and went back to the Netherlands.
Golden Earring was already successful when they invited keyboard player Robert Jan Stips to play with them in 1974. He appeared on 1975’s “Switch” and 1976’s “To the Hilt.” He even embarked on a US tour with them in 1976. He then left to form his own band but he has made several appearances on Golden Earring projects.
Golden Earring’s last show was in 2019.