This week in 1973, Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant began enforcing a 90/10 concert gate proceeds split in favor of the band (traditionally, gate revenues had been split 50-50 between band and promoter). The concert industry howled, but Grant informed them that 10% of Led Zeppelin’s business was better than 50% of nothing. The concert promoters caved in, and the other big bands of the day were quick to follow suit.
Grant, a 6’-3” 320-pound ex-professional wrestler, was the kind of manager every artist wants – immensely loyal, undaunted in his efforts on behalf of his clients, and fully prepared to eradicate problems by whatever means necessary. He was known as being one of the shrewdest and most ruthless managers in rock history.
Unpopular as his strategies may have been with booking agents and promoters, Grant was the principal architect of the shift in power from businessmen to artists during the 70s. His tactics are widely credited today with improving pay and conditions for musicians in dealings with concert promoters.