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Concert promoter Ron Delsener, new to Long Island Music Hall of Fame, vows to 'never retire'

Ron Delsener with singer/songwriterAlexa Ray Joel at Cafe

Ron Delsener with singer/songwriterAlexa Ray Joel at Cafe Carlyle in Manhattan on April 1, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

Ron Delsener's secret to success as one of the most powerful concert promoters ever is the same as the neighborhood real estate agent's.

"Location, location, location," said Delsener, the Astoria native who has been a longtime resident of East Hampton. "That's what's important. Absolutely!"

Although he has worked with nearly every major touring musician in the past five decades and handled concerts around the world, it is Delsener's connection to New York locations that will be celebrated when he is inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Thursday night at The Paramount by his "nephew," Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters.

Delsener is the man who brought concerts to Central Park. He brought rock and roll to the Jones Beach Marine Theater. He started in the music business working with the stars who played the Forest Hills Stadium and continues in the music business today with Live Nation, the current incarnation of the company that in 1996 purchased his Delsener/Slater Enterprises, then one of the nation's largest concert production companies.

"I wanted to do concerts for the people," Delsener said of his move to bring rock concerts to Jones Beach in 1983. "It was for those who couldn't afford to go on vacation in the Hamptons. Their vacation is the fire escape."

It was a continuation of the idea he started in Central Park, where he charged fans $1 a ticket to see Led Zeppelin, The Who and countless others, including a young Bruce Springsteen opening for Anne Murray.

Delsener said it's those kinds of unique opportunities that keep him going. He was the one who put together Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel so they could create "Movin' Out" on Broadway. More recently, he brought Sting to the Metropolitan Opera House and Neil Young to Carnegie Hall.

"I'm still looking for stuff like that," said Delsener, who doesn't like to talk about his own age. "It's still in my blood. My father retired at 70 and he said he made a mistake. He said, 'Never retire.' . . . I'm never gonna retire. I'm gonna die with my boots on."

 

WHAT The Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Gala

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 p.m. Thursday, The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington

INFO $75-$150; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com

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