When concert promoter Danny Zelisko says, “I’ve got some stories to tell,” he isn’t kidding. In his remarkable new book, ALL EXCE$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter, takes you both backstage and on stage with music’s top stars, recounting his incredible five-decade career in which he has produced over 10,000 concert events throughout the country.
“I say that the book took me four years to write, but it’s really 60 years in the making,” Zelisko says. “Since all this stuff actually happened, the story wrote itself. I just had to be there to decipher it, which was the hard part!”
Along with his vivid, insightful and highly entertaining recollections, Zelisko shares an eye-popping array of never-before-seen photos from his personal archives that might have readers thinking he’s a rock ‘n’ roll Zelig: There’s stories and shots of him with Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Roger Waters, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck, Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Chuck Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Bennett, Muddy Waters, Genesis, Tina Turner, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, The Monkees, James Brown, John Prine – as they say, the list goes on and on.
In addition, Zelisko chronicles his lifelong love of sports, his passion for collecting memorabilia and autographs, as well as some of the incredible friendships he formed while in his pre-teens with giants such as Chicago Cubs shortstop/first baseman Ernie Banks and Chicago Bears stars Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers (the bond between the latter two was the basis of the beloved film Brian’s Song). Of Sayers, who recently passed away, Zelisko says, “Gale knew how close Brian Piccolo and I were, and was a great comfort to me and my dad at Pic’s wake. I won’t ever forget his kindness.”
Zelisko also talks about his first impressions and situations that followed with concert business legends Bill Graham and Shep Gordon, who went on to be his close friends and mentors throughout his career.
What message does Zelisko hope readers will take away from the book? “Anything
How does a starry-eyed Midwestern kid go on to become one of the biggest concert promoters in history? Zelisko details his rise from scrappy beginnings to overseeing iconic stadium shows. “A lot of people have no idea what a concert promoter actually does, so that’s something else I hope people take away from the book,” he says. “There’s the great times – hanging out with the stars, the fun, the partying – but there’s awful times, too. And there’s the work. My team and I are responsible for every aspect of putting on a show. Without the great people who have supported these promotions, day in and out, I could never have done it.
At its heart,
ALL EXCE$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter is available at
Here’s what the stars have to say about the book!
I approve of your book. I particularly like the photo of you with the big box of cash after the Pseudo Floyd gig. Though the touching bit is the ’72 Chicago gig, Pat Leonard stuff. Nice!
“Never a dull night hanging out with my friend Danny Zelisko and hearing classic music stories of the bands I grew up with. Looking forward to reading his book.”
From Chuck Berry to Barbara Streisand to Whitney Houston as well as
“So proud of my dear friend and legendary Arizona concert promoter Danny Zelisko as he releases his memoir “All Excess”. Danny has promoted most every
CALIFORNIA ROCK NEWS covers music and related events mostly from the Southern California scene.