Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings when they discovered that "The Tornados" was already in use. The name Golden Earrings was taken from a song, originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts. Initially a "teenybopper" band, Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their debut single Please Go, recorded in 1965. It reached number 9 on the music charts in the Netherlands. Unsatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band's manager and co-discoverer Freddy Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at Pye Studios in London. The record cut at Pye, That Day, reached number two on the Dutch charts, having been prevented from rising to number one by The Beatles' "Michelle".
In 1968, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the pop song "Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong. This was followed by the success of their psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an eighteen-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of The Byrds hit. The live version, which could last 45 minutes, was considered by some to be a highlight in their first and second American tours.
Golden Earring embarked on their first major US tour in 1969 - 1970, and were among the first European bands to do so. Due to American influences, their music evolved towards hard rock, and they performed along with Led Zeppelin. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed thirteen US tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special; and in the early seventies, when "Radar Love" was a hit, had KISS and Aerosmith as their opening act. They enjoyed a brief period of stardom but were unable to secure further chart success until 1982's "Twilight Zone", which was followed by "When the Lady Smiles" in 1984. After a rather disappoi