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Published on November 30th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Legendary Concert Promoter Danny Zelisko On His New Book “All Exce$$,” Future Goals & More

Danny Zelisko began promoting concerts in Arizona in 1974. He founded the legendary concert promoting firm called Evening Star Productions, which brought worldwide attention upon the youngest state on the United States mainland, by the entertainment industry. He became known as one of the world’s best promoters and talent buyers, a true rainmaker when it comes to discovering and booking talent of all levels, genres and backgrounds in all sorts of situations.

Beginning with promoting concerts at Dooley’s Nightclub — 700 capacity — in Tempe, Arizona, Zelisko and his team promoted hundreds of new and veteran bands in facilities across the valley. Acts such as The Police, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, Talking Heads, KISS, Bon Jovi, No Doubt and Nirvana performed at the intimate venue from its opening in 1976, until it closed after several ownership and name changes. In the 1980s Zelisko’s company and staff grew and he became the state’s most prominent concert promoter, producing hundreds of shows each year, while also becoming New Mexico’s busiest promoter. Evening Star also promoted shows in almost every state in the USA during the 80′s and 90′s, while promoting shows in every venue, small and large alike, all over the southwest; Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney were among the 1980s stadium events promoted by Evening Star.

By the year 2000, consolidation of concert promoters began by SFX, as they bought up many of the country’s biggest promoters, including Bill Graham Presents from San Francisco, Electric Factory from Philadelphia, Don Law from Boston and Pace Concerts from Texas. Evening Star joined the ranks of these fabled promoters, by selling to SFX in 2001. Zelisko became President of the Southwest office of SFX. A few years later, Clear Channel Communications bought SFX, and Zelisko and his staff became part of Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2006, Clear Channel spun the entertainment division and all of its promoters and venues into what is now called Live Nation, where Zelisko remained as President and then Chairman of Live Nation Southwest, until he left his post in 2011, to begin promoting shows under the Danny Zelisko Presents banner; that banner remains in tact to this day, of course.

2020 may have put a temporary halt in live event promotion for Danny Zelisko, but it has also brought his first book, All Exce$$, which documents his decades as a top concert promoter. Featuring a foreword by baseball legend Kirk Gibson, All Exce$$ features everything that you would want in a memoir from a music business legend. I had the pleasure of speaking with Zelisko about this and plenty more via Zoom, as embedded below, on November 30, 2020. More on Zelisko and All Exce$$ can be found online via dannyzeliskopresents.com and facebook.com/dannyzeliskopresents.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."


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