FOLKWORKS 2019 STANDING OVATION AWARD WINNER
About Bob Stane (from Coffee Gallery Backstage website)
Bob Stane has been an inspiring and iconic figure in the Southern California entertainment scene for over fifty years.
From 1961 to 1978, Stane supported and nurtured a generation of musicians and performers as co-owner of The Ice House in Pasadena, helping to launch the careers of The Dillards, The Association, The Smothers Brothers, Pat Paulsen, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Gallagher, and David Letterman.
After a failed attempt at retirement, Stane returned to show business in 1998 as owner and impresario of The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, establishing it as one of the area's premier performance venues.
In 2009, the 18-foot-tall Fork in the Road, a surprise 75th birthday present to Stane, became a controversial work of guerrilla art in Pasadena, subsequently serving as a focal point for charitable activities, including food and toy drives.
Bob was honored with the "Best of the West Ambassador Award" at the Folk Alliance - Region West (FAR-West) conference in Irvine, CA in 2009, the organization’s highest honor for non-musicians. Stane received the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest's Music Legend Award in 2012.
The Coffee Gallery Backstage
Bob now channels his efforts and creativity into showcasing a variety of acts within his newest club venue, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, in Altadena, CA. As before, his rule to acts applying for a night’s residency on his stage is “you must be excellent.” That mantra has kept The Coffee Gallery Backstage vigorous for 20 years. Acts from all over the world routinely contact Bob for an evening of entertaining.
For two plus hours - most evenings - Bob hosts “the best of the best” who perform to audiences that developed their taste for excellent music at The Ice House when they were high school and college students back in the day.
Now they are discerning music fans in adulthood. The acts enjoy playing to audiences that know what they are hearing and seeing. They have rapt eyes and ears appreciating every note and the best of wit, humor and sparkling personalities.
Although Bob does not audition acts in this electronic age, his favorite memories are, in The Ice House days, that he auditioned 20,000 acts and never missed hiring even one who became a prominent performer or who “made it big.” His goal is to continue presenting shows that highlight “real music.” There are still audiences that appreciate the genuine article.
Bob Stane was featured in the pages of FolkWorks in 2009:
Bob Stane’s personal reflections was featured in 2014