Winterland, San Francisco
May 25, 1974
Photos by David Miller
Text by Michael Collins Morton
Editor's Note: Although the members of Golden Earring are from the Netherlands, not the United Kingdom, we are happy to feature these photos and memories of their performance at Winterland.
The Golden Earrings (who later changed their to Golden Earring) were formed by George Kooymans (guitar, vocals) and Rinus Gerritsen (bass, keyboards) in the Netherlands, in the early 1960s. Several singers and drummers passed in and out of the lineup during the next few years, but at the beginning of the 1970s, Golden Earring had settled on a steady membership, with George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen being joined by Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute) and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums).
Golden Earring, in common with other Continental bands at that time, started out by looking to both the UK and the USA for musical inspiration, before finding their own direction. Their first single, "Please Go," and their first album, Just Earrings, were released on Polydor Records in 1965. More recordings quickly followed, including the singles, "That Day" (1966), "If You Leave Me" (1966), and "Sound of the Screaming Day" (1967), and the albums, Winter Harvest (1967) and Miracle Mirror (1968). In 1969, after Golden Earring had established their name in the Netherlands, they undertook their first tour of America, supporting Led Zeppelin and other famous bands. During the early 1970s, they toured Europe in support of The Who.
In 1973, Golden Earring finally achieved a strong breakthrough around the world with the release of "Radar Love," a single taken from their latest album, Moontan. "Radar Love" became a major hit in Europe, the UK, and the USA. On the strength of "Radar Love," the music of Golden Earring soon became more widely known to new audiences, and the band toured extensively, particularly in America, where it was rare to hear musicians from the Netherlands.
Golden Earring had hit the charts with "Radar Love." That was the only song of theirs that I had ever heard, so I didn't know what to expect from a Dutch rock band. They were dressed slick. They played very tight and rocked hard. I remember the intensity they displayed and the sweat streaming down their faces. The vocals sounded English. It was difficult to believe that they were from the Netherlands. Barry Hay was very lively and versatile. I was surprised that he also played the flute. I found that to be different than most other bands. I only knew of one other, Jethro Tull.
I remember the crowd cheering when the drummer and bass player started off "Radar Love." The crowd surged forward and pressed me up against the stage. They were bouncing to the beat. Between singing and playing his flute, Barry Hay would pantomime driving a car. At the end of the set, the drummer leaped up in the air over his drums with an explosion behind him. That was very exciting. I managed to photograph part of him as he was airborne. I thought he was going to land on top of me!
They were an excellent live band and very professional. I had a great time photographing their performance. They looked sharp and the lighting was perfect. The photos turned out to be some of the best that I ever got.
Barry Hay, the singer, worked hard to keep things moving from one song to the next. He frequently did a funny sort of dance, playfully moving from one side of the stage to the other, and with his curly hair and flute, he made me think of the Greek god, Pan. George Kooymans also worked hard with his guitar, and looked particularly good in his leather pants and stylish jacket.
Throughout their set, the four members of Golden Earring performed with a strong understanding of what it takes to put on a show. After their final song, there was a burst of light and smoke behind the drummer, Cesar Zuiderwijk. At the same moment, he jumped forward, leaping over his drums, and landed on his feet at the front of the stage. It was an amazing thing to see.
Next: Robin Trower