Georg Koemans of rock group Golden Earring was made an honorary citizen of the Belgian municipality of Rijkevorsel on Saturday. The group’s guitarist and co-founder from The Hague described it as a “huge honor” to the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
Kooymans, who was born in The Hague but has lived in Rijkevorsel in Belgium for decades, received an honorary citizenship certificate from the municipality of Rijkevorsel at the town hall on Saturday. His wife Millie, their two children and three grandchildren were there, the Flemish newspaper wrote.
Kooymans’ friends approached the city council with a request to make him an honorary citizen. “When this news became known, we had a lot of positive feedback at Regiforcell,” Koeman’s friend Stanny van Osteyn told the newspaper. “Thanks to his labors, George has moved a stone into a musical river. However, he and his family have always remained ordinary people without delusions of grandeur.”
Kooymans is pleased with the appointment and speaks of a “great honour”. “We’ve been living in Rijkevorsel for almost fifty years and feel at home there. We ended up here by chance. The intention was to move to the US in the early 1970s, but it wasn’t easy. That’s why we went to Rijkevorsel to look. I lived here.” For more than half my life, however, I remained Dutch. I did not adopt the dialect.”
Golden Earring is best known for such big hits as Radar Love, Twilight Zone, and When The Lady Smiles. Golden Earring had to stop performing in March 2021 because Kooymans suffers from ALS.
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