Led Zeppelin earned $1.2 million in 2021 money for a single performance in San Francisco, meaning Robert Plant’s cut was $300,000.
Promoter Danny Zeliski told Rock History Music, “Well, what happened was – I worked this Alice Cooper show in Tucson, and after that show, they said, ‘Hey, we’re doing Led Zeppelin up at Kezar [Stadium] in San Francisco in June. Why don’t you come up for the show? And you can work at it.’
“So I said OK- and I didn’t know if I’d make any money, I didn’t know what I’d be doing, I just went up there. And I had to report it at 5 AM to the stadium on the day of the show. And I was immediately put to work lining all the trash cans in the stadium on the field.
“And so I’m going around the field, ‘This was not what I had envisioned… I’m not going to work for Led Zeppelin! You’re putting the garbage can liners in the garbage cans, that’s what you’re doing…’
“By the end of the day, though – I don’t remember how it came about, I was just there, it turned out that there was going to be some long delays between the bands because Jimmy Page was going to be very late to the show. He wasn’t like that typically but on this particular day, he was going to be late.
“So we did extended breaks in between and they asked me if I knew these CDs, and there was a box of CDs, had maybe 12 CDs in it, and in between each act, I had to entertain the audience with these… not CDs – eight-tracks. I’m sorry. There were eight-tracks, I’m not used to saying eight-track anymore.
“So I used the eight-tracks and I pulled it off, and it was fun. I had no contact whatsoever with the band up until that point, I’d seen them in concert a couple of times. One of my very, very favorite groups. And I did get to see them briefly after the show and it was mayhem.
“I remember the tickets were $6 [around $36.5 in 2021 money], and they were talking about in the paper the next day – I got the review that I saved all those years, and it said something to the effect that they made a $1,500 or $2,000 a minute, which was unheard of. I think it was $1,000 a minute. How long did they play? They played 180 minutes, it was six bucks a ticket… Yeah, they made almost $200,000 [over $1.2 million in 2021 money] for the show.
“Think about that, for a stadium, in 1973! But the tickets were six bucks!
“I never got to do an actual Zeppelin gig as a promoter but I did get to work that one, and I ended up doing a bunch of Page and Plant shows when they reformed in the ’90s. And before and after that, I got a bunch of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page solo shows.
“So I got to be friends with them and we had that in our background. They didn’t remember me, of course, but they remember the show. And it was really cool for me.
“We saw Zeppelin at the International Amphitheater and two big things I remember from that show. A girl jumped on stage and started dancing with Robert Plant – it was very cute from where I was sitting, and they disappeared together under the stage during the drum solo. That’s all we’re going to say about that.
“And besides that, I didn’t see anything more but my imagination as a 16-year-old was out of control. The other better part of that night was when they pulled out a couple of chairs, and they handed Jimmy Page a guitar, an acoustic, and he left the double-neck standing on the stand behind him.
“And they sat down, Robert crosses his leg over the other leg, and he goes, ‘These are going to be some sit-down songs, I hope you like them.’ And they whip out ‘Stairway,’ the first time anybody ever heard it. And tears! More tears, sobbing, weeping in front of everybody. The place was just leveled.
“They used to do that all the time because a long time ago, boys and girls, bands used to put out records, and then they’d see how it did, or as soon as it came out, they’d promote it by touring. You would go out and actually spend money to buy the disc.
“And then you buy the albums, and the groups would have income, and they would continue to try to stay together to bring you more music. But now, everybody steals music and nobody wants to make new music.
“So we’re not getting new music out of the masters anymore because they don’t think anybody’s going to buy it. And you know what? They’re right! People aren’t doing it. I hope that changes. I think if anything reverts to old school, we got to go back to buying albums, discs, CDs, whatever you want, I don’t care.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.