zephyr illusions photo by donna October 1992. The view atop Chasseral, Jura Mountains looking across Switzerland to The Alps on the horizon. Fog, intensely thick, rising from Lac Bienne and stretching its fingers high onto the Lignières-Plateau de Diesse after wholly filling the valley below the plateau.

Monday, September 19, 2005

European Adventure 2005 Day10

today, i took the train from Utrecht Central Station to Zevenbergen, a small village south of Dordrecht in southern Holland, via Rotterdam Central Station. it was a nice trainride of about 1.5 hours and i'm happy to say that i had no trouble finding my way around the very busy stations to the appropriate boarding platforms.
so, why was i going to the village of Zevenbergen way down south? why to see Golden Earring do a live show, of course :)
i first saw Golden Earring circa 1973 as one of the very first concerts i ever attended and seeing Golden Earring play in their home country was one of my primary objectives while travelling Holland. i was pleased when Golden Earring put me on their guest list and really looking forward to the show.
although, i wasn't expected at the concert hall until 19:00, i arrived Zevenbergen mid-afternoon so i could explore the village and have some dinner before finding my way to the sports hall where the concert would be held. Zevenbergen is quite small so it took me no time at all to get 'Lost and Found' (Golden Earring songtitle ;) ) before having a nice meal at a lovely cafe on the town centre square.
the plan was to meet Golden Earring's promotional manager at 7pm so that he could give me my pass that would allow me priority admission and also to meet the band members after the show. really exciting stuff, but i got even luckier...
i arrived at the sporthal Lindonk about 17:00, just in time to see George Kooysman, lead guitarist for the Earring, getting out of his car! i had no trouble to recognise him.... teeheehee, as gorgeous as he was 30 years ago with his long hair, tight jeans and rocker attitude he's even more handsome, now. anyway, i walked over to him as he was getting his guitarcase out of the back of his vehicle and said hello. i told him about the first time i saw Golden Earring and how much i've enjoyed his music over the years. typical stuff that i'm sure George has heard a million times. George was really nice and down-to-earth and actually took interest in what i had to say. he looked me directly in the eyes as we had a really nice chat for several minutes and then he offered his hand to mine as we parted. wow! it was really a cool and relaxed interaction between musician and fan. as far as i'm concerned, that was far more special than getting a quick autograph.
a few minutes later, i met Rinus Gerritsen, bass player, as he was walking his dog before going into the sports hall. he was rather shy (but aren't most bass players introverted?) and not very chatty, but flashed me a smiled and blushed a bit when i told him that his bassline on 'She Flies On Strange Wings' is totally kickass rockin' bass playing. he seemed to appreciate that and thanked me for the compliment.
then, making a grand entrance as he jumped out of a black Mercedes, arrived Barry Hay, lead singer/frontman. lol, Barry was the consummate rock star in his black shades, jet black hair, tattoos and confident swagger. he was too busy shouting orders to his driver, the roadies and crew members to say more than "thanks, darlin'" in my direction over his shoulder.
unfortunately, i didn't get to meet Cesar Zuiderwijk, one of the most talented drummers on the rock scene. sure wish i could have because i'm a real fan of power-drumming and Cesar is an awesome and very creative power-drummer.
as i stood there glowing from my good luck and thinking how great it was that concert venues in Holland don't have the strict security as do venues in U.S.A., the tour manager approached me and told me to come with him... hehehee, he told me that i was invited to soundcheck and escorted me into the empty concert hall. (actually, was indoor tennis courts covered with flooring and a large stage.)
wow, how cool to listen to Golden Earring run through the soundcheck while roadies and techs and various crew members scurried about tweaking the stage/sound/lighting setup.

after soundcheck, the promotional manager found me, surprised that i was already there and attending the soundcheck, and gave me my pass asking me from where i would like to watch the show. lol, i really wanted to be backstage, but.... i said that by the mixing board would be the best for sound, but could i please be right up front where i could see the guys play. so, there i was watching Golden Earring from a distance of about 2 metres and just right of center stage, directly in front of George Kooysman's mic stand and pedal effects board :D
the show was great and met all my expectations.... those 4 guys might be 'old' now (in their late 50's, i guess), but they rock just as hard and energetically as they did in the '70's. their classic anthem 'Radar Love' definately showcased their talents as musicians with each member doing super-cool solos... Cesar's drum solo was incredible and complete with gong. better power-drumming i've never heard!
there was no going backstage to meet the guys after the show, though, because the band left immediately after the encore. but, i'm not that disappointed.... despite not having met Cesar, my preshow activities were way cooler than an organized meet-and-greet.

oh, and something else that's cool... one of the roadies gave me a handful of George's & Barry's guitarpicks which i shared with the nice couple next to me. they're active members of the Golden Earring fanclub for more than 20 years and got George's copy of the playlist. wish i had thought to ask for that! but, i'm content to have a photo of it :)
the show ended about midnight and the taxi i had previously arranged to take me back to my Utrecht hotel was promptly awaiting me.
it was another great day of adventure in Holland :)


  1. NIce to hear you had such a great show....

  2. Hello Donna,
    It's a very nice story of The Golden Earring, you wrote.
    If you sent me a e-mail with your home address, I'll send you some pictures of the Golden Earring gig in Zevenbergen.
    And I'll ask, if they have that setlist for me.
    And i send it too you, allraight ?
    The hole story of your journey is very very nice too read.

    Greathings from Cees and Danielle

  3. hallo, Cees and Danielle! :)
    it was very nice to meet you both at the concert
    and it's great of you to some me pics of the Zevenbergen concert... i will email you :)

    tot ziens