Danny Zelisko can not help however be a name-dropper.
That is what occurs once you spend your complete profession with celebrities. When he says Alice, he means Cooper. When he mentions Perry, he means Farrell.
Zelisko, the president of Danny Zelisko Presents, has been a live performance promoter in Phoenix for nicely over 40 years, throughout which he is introduced the largest musical acts on this planet to city for the listening pleasure of generations of native music-lovers.
After all, 2020 hasn’t been the most effective yr for anybody whose livelihood facilities round live shows, which is why Zelisko thought that now was the fitting time to lastly end his memoir.
All Exce$$ — Occupation: Live performance Promoter is the story of an unbelievable life, from Zelisko’s childhood in Chicago (when he earned cash reserving talking engagements for baseball gamers who wanted additional money) to his arrival in Phoenix within the early ’70s, to his a long time of working with probably the most well-known names in music. Full of photographs and tales, it is an in-depth take a look at what occurs behind the scenes and offstage.
Folks all the time informed Zelisko he ought to write down his tales, however the ball obtained rolling in an surprising method.
“I noticed a man on Shark Tank who was promoting that he was a ghostwriter,” he says. Zelisko ended up hiring him, which meant that he might simply discuss his life and never fear about writing every little thing down in chronological order.
The venture started in 2016, and there have been intervals when it was deserted for months on finish (hey, Zelisko’s a busy man). Then, the pandemic hit.
“Immediately, we weren’t selling reveals anymore. This appeared like the most effective time to get it going,” he says.
To advertise All Exce$$, Zelisko will take part in a dwell Zoom occasion at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22. The occasion is hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore. The associated fee is $5 to look at, $37.84 to look at and to select up an autographed copy of the e book at both Altering Fingers location, or $42.84 to look at and obtain an autographed copy within the mail.
“In lieu of getting no reveals, that is the subsequent neatest thing. You’ll be able to image all of the reveals in your thoughts whilst you’re studying it, and there’s a number of photos that will help you together with the story,” Zelisko says. “I’m very pleased with it; it’s an excellent assortment of tales that truly occurred. It reads like a fantasy story in some elements, nevertheless it was my fantasy and it turned out to be my life.”
We just lately spoke with Zelisko as he zipped round city delivering copies. Listed here are some highlights from the interview. (Quotes have been edited for size and readability.)
On what a live performance promoter truly does:
You gotta determine the place the most effective place is to do it, safe the corridor for the date or dates that [the band wants] to play, and all of it takes off from there. You’ve obtained to place a suggestion collectively that everyone agrees on that’s going to dictate the phrases of the present between you as the client and them because the band, and you then gotta market it, you gotta increase the ticket gross sales, you gotta have all of the people who find themselves going to work on the present to drag it off, from the ushers to the stagehands to the caterers and everyone in between, and also you gotta purchase all of the promoting and promote the tickets.
And on the finish of the day, in the event you don’t promote sufficient tickets to satisfy your proposed bills … all these prices, you gotta pay for for that present. There’s 1,000,000 issues that each one fold collectively, and also you’re accountable for each a type of issues. And so they gotta all work collectively for the one who buys the ticket to have the ability to simply go in and revel in themselves. We’re there to ensure get what they paid for.
On when common dwell reveals will return:
Your guess could be about pretty much as good as mine proper now. My crystal ball is foggy. … Initially, we thought that by this time this yr, we’d be again to regular once more. Like lengthy prior to now, we had been pondering it’d be a month or two. … If proper now, every little thing was positive and every little thing might resume, or at the least we might go to reveals and put on a masks, and have sufficient individuals come to the present to pay the payments for doing the present, you’d nonetheless want a pair, three months to mobilize to start. … Consider the handfuls of individuals for every present, between the company, the supervisor, the band, the crew — all these issues are going to must be began from scratch in lots of instances. You watch how briskly these individuals mobilize as soon as it’s capable of occur.
On drive-in live shows:
I do know there are a bunch of individuals doing these drive-in live shows and parking zone issues. I’m positive these are enjoyable and good; I simply haven’t gotten my arms round doing that simply but. I like doing reveals in actual locations, not makeshift ones. Good for them they’re doing it — individuals gotta work. Folks gotta play, they don’t need to get rusty. In case you don’t use it, you lose it.
On his most memorable Phoenix present:
It was the primary Paul McCartney present I did, at Solar Satan Stadium [on April 4, 1990]. He had come out of retirement; he had stopped touring after he obtained busted in Tokyo on that pot cost. It actually got here collectively magically, and he was unbelievable, and it was actually fairly an occasion for months main as much as the present, from promoting it out instantly to coping with all of his individuals for the primary time.
On his favourite Beatles music:
God, there’s so many. That’s such a troublesome query. You understand, “Please Please Me” was the primary music I ever heard by The Beatles. It was so unbelievable to listen to that music, and what it did from there and the way it impressed me to love them, love them, and inform my mates about them. And I’ve been a fan ever since. Anytime I’m listening to a Beatles music, it’s my favourite music, however I must go along with [“Please Please Me”] only for that purpose.
On missed alternatives:
I used to be with Perry [Farrell, of Jane’s Addiction] when he got here up with the idea [for Lollapalooza]. He’d been engaged on it for fairly some time, and really, it was one evening round 2 a.m. after we determined the identify could be Lollapalooza. On the time, we didn’t understand how big it was going to be and that it will nonetheless be happening 30 years later or one thing. However it’s, and it’s an enormous deal, and we had been simply a few younger children speaking about it. And good for him that it occurred. I want I obtained a bit of it.
On being inducted into the White Citadel Cravers Corridor of Fame:
Final yr, they gave Alice an Alice Cooper’s Nook on the one in Scottsdale. Each Alice and I are large, large followers. One time, at a dinner that Alice and Styx had been being honored at in Nashville, we didn’t just like the meals they had been serving, so I despatched out for White Castles for everyone in the course of dinner, so I obtained to the know the individuals from White Citadel.
When Alice was doing this factor final fall with them, I stated John Prine wish to go within the Corridor of Fame; John had White Castles after each present when he’s in a White Citadel metropolis. I requested him if he wished to go within the Corridor of Fame and he stated, “Certain, I’d like to,” and so they requested me if I’d, and I stated yeah, after which Tommy Shaw [of Styx] can also be an enormous White Citadel fan. That’s the way it all got here to be, and we had a good looking little ceremony final week.
On what he hopes individuals get from the e book:
No matter it’s that you just like, particularly on the subject of the humanities, all it’s a must to do is be persistent and be keen to go hungry, and you may survive at it at it, in the event you’re ok to be higher than someone else.
This isn’t the form of profession or life that lots of people final at a very long time. It appears to spin off into different issues, or in lots of instances, luck runs out as a promoter, otherwise you simply make the incorrect strikes, or say sure too many occasions to the incorrect issues, and increase, you’re out with the trash. Happily for me, that hasn’t occurred.
I nonetheless actually like doing it, and I believe I’m extra into it than a number of different individuals. I just like the takeaway that you just higher be good at one thing in any case these years. It’s solely bragging in the event you can’t again it up.