Stephen Staats_NV Blues Festival-Pioneer Saloon

Fabulous People: Stephen Staats

Stephen “Old Man Liver” Staats is the owner of Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings and Buttered Popcorn Entertainment, which heads up mostly music-related events and brands. On its roster: Nevada Blues Festival, taking place Sept. 29 to Oct. 1; publishing and performance royalties from Staats’s rock band of 30-plus years, Earlydawn; BreastFest, the annual breast cancer benefit concert; and more. Learn about Stephen Staats…

Follow at: @Old_Man_Liver

Hometown: Grew up in Baton Rouge. Grew down in Los Angeles. Moved to Las Vegas in 2013 and will be based in Nevada forever. I love it here.

First job: Raking wet leaves…yes, in hot and humid Louisiana. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in NV: Free time…that’s funny. 

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Moving from Louisiana to Los Angeles to pursue music and business when I was 19 with no money, knowing no one and never having ever even been to California before. I felt like a achieved my goals somewhat successfully, at least so far.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Breaking into the music industry is notoriously difficult. Eventually, I realized instead of trying to be “seen” by the right person at the right record company at the right time, it would just be easier to start my own businesses to handle my artistic side. So, I started my first record company with two friends, my drummer and a buddy already in the industry, called Artists Addiction Records, focusing on TV and film soundtracks. It turned out to be a good strategy to take. 

Pioneer Saloon_Exterior 2
Pioneer Saloon

Someone who inspires you and why: Doc Holliday, as portrayed in the movie, Tombstone. I realize the character in the movie is somewhat fictionalized, but I think folks that are “cool” but loyal and with “big hearts underneath” are people worth emulating.  

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: I believe entrepreneurship is a form of mental illness. But, if you have it, you might as well enjoy it. Take opportunities when they are presented and pursue things you’re passionate about, which will make the tough times easier. Know going into any new endeavor, that there will be good times and bad times and don’t be afraid to fail.  

Favorite quote: “Have a good time, all the time.” –Viv Savage, Spinal Tap

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Hall & Oates, the duo from the 80’s, is still my favorite band.

What makes someone fabulous: Honesty.

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