This is the first article I have reprinted featuring this band. Golden Earring is still working as a band today – not bad considering that they formed in 1961. The four members present today have been with the band since 1970, so these are real veterans of the music scene. Check them out on YouTube if you like – I recommend starting with their super-hit “Radar Love” if you don`t already know it, and please watch their official video from that time. It is “special”.
Oh yes, Earring are still around
Pete Makowski has a bite and a chat with Golden Earring before rehearsals for their British tour.
“Somebody ought to give that guy a kick in the balls,” said Golden Earring`s guitarist George Kooymans regarding Bob Harris`s critical comments when the band appeared on `The Old Grey Whistle Test`. “Everyone`s entitled to their own opinion but I`m not sure if an announcer should do more than announce the bands. It`s like the announcer at a concert saying `and now for the shittiest band in the world Golden Earring`. It wouldn`t be right.”
Still despite that, there is a whole hunk of people who do like the band and they have worked hard to establish their position as one of the leading rock bands, in fact the first Dutch rock band. They`ve earnt themselves a solid reputation for hard work and entertainment. The group are curtouring Britain and I managed to catch a few words with George and Robert Jen Stips over a meal before they went into rehearsals.
The group have recently returned from the second leg of their American tour which collectively amounted to a total of eighty dates which has proved to be successful, they have returned with a gold album and two chart singles.
Kooymans is an amiable character who looks younger than his years and is a nervous bundle of energy, constantly moving back and forth with almost childlike enthusiasm, when answering questions. Stips looks even younger and seems quite unaffected by his sudden plunge into success. In fact the whole of Earring have a sobering level headed attitude to their new found success.
They take their ten year slog in their stride and accept it as a form of schooling into professionalism. Even now, Kooymans points out, the band want to take careful steps and not let things go to their head. “Sure it does a lot for your ego playing headline concerts but it`s no good if not many people turn up. We don`t want that kind of superstar trip. In America we would only headline if we knew that we could fill the place.” And they did.
I asked George how the audiences reacted to the band. “At first they didn`t know any of the numbers but soon they were familiar with “Radar Love”, next time it was much better, they knew all the songs.”
Recently in America European bands have become immensely popular and Earring received a lot of attention from the Press. “They were interested in us initially because we sang our lyrics in English, which is understandable. I`m sure if there was a British band that sang Dutch lyrics touring Holland the same would happen.”
Earring have toured the States previously in `69 and `70 but this only amounted to a few scattered club dates and couple of nights at the Fillmore. “This time the whole thing was organised much better. I think it has tightened the band up.
“I really wouldn`t mind living in America, it has everything you want. One of the noticeable things is the music. You can turn on a radio and hear good music all the time while in Holland the radio stations play shit. There aren`t any pirate stations anymore and even then they weren`t much better. The stations in Britain aren`t all that good either. People say there isn`t much new talent coming out of Holland. It`s not surprising when a kid turns on the radio and all he has is that shit to listen to – where can he turn to for his influences?”
Where did George turn for his guitar influences? “I don`t listen to the guitarists, I just listen to the music. If I started listening to the guitarist, it would get me frustrated thinking how much better they are.”
On the second half of their American tour the band introduced their new keyboards man Robert. He formerly played with a Dutch band called Supersister, who many people compared to Soft Machine. They recorded a couple of albums on Uncle Peel`s Dandelion label.
“Reemus used to play keyboards but we realised that we needed something to fill out the sound,” said George. “They asked me to join the same day our band split up”, added Stips enthusiastically. Golden Earring was a totally different kettle of fish to Supersister. “Yes,” agreed Stips, “but it`s something I`ve wanted to do for a long time.”
In between touring the band have managed to lay some tracks down for their forthcoming album tentatively titled “Up And Down Absurdia”. “We`ve still got a lot of backing tracks to lay down, we`re not really sure of the title,” admitted George, “it changes every day but we`re thinking about it. The tracks are much shorter on this album, tighter, I really like it.”
“Candy`s Going Bad” has been lifted off the band`s “Moontan” album and has been released as a single to commemorate the band`s tour. “We were going to do a new show to go with the album, but as it`s not ready yet we can`t, although we will be featuring some new material. This tour`s just to let people know we`re still around.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Dylan, Alan Price, Jeff Beck, The Faces, Jethro Tull, Gary Glitter, Gary Shearston, Wizzard, Doug Kershaw, The Irish Question, ELP, Brian Eno, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver.
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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