Tales from the Door Side: Neither bands nor fans are safe from Rex's column

Bullshit or Bust


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Concert goers live in a world they believe to be loud and free. But there is, unheard by most, an outer world, a barrier between in and out, just as loud but not as free as they thought — the world outside a venue, where the door guy simply wants you to pay the cover charge. Welcome to a few nights in the life of Tin Roof's door dude, Rex Stickel.


8:10 p.m.

Me: "...And tonight is the first night for our new PA system."
Band who's never been here before: "Oh, cool."
Me: "You're welcome."


8:08 p.m.

Band guys keep apologizing to me for how many guests they want in for free, not sure if they realize I get paid the same no matter how much they make.

8:25 p.m.

Me: "The cover is $7."
Guy: "No stamp? No wristbands?"
Me: "Nope!"
Guy: "YES! No one will be able to tell ME where I was tonight!"

8:52 p.m.

Me: "Are you paying for 2?"
Guy: "I'm paying for 2. He's paying for..."
Other guy: "I'm paying for 3."
Guy: "2."
Me: "Wait...so.."
Guy: "2."
Other guy: "I'm paying for 2."
Me: "Who's paying for him?"
Other guy: "I mean 3."
And this went on until I died of natural causes.


8:43 p.m.

Me: "The cover is $7."
Guy: "Well the website says $5."
Me: "Oh yeah? What website is that?"
Guy: "I don't know."

9:14 p.m.

The next band starts bringing their gear to the side door.
Me: "Wow, the entire band is helping carry the drum set. You guys must still like each other, cute."

9:18 p.m.

Me: "Hey guys, we're taking $7 tonight."
Guy: "The guy behind us is the money man."
Me: "I hear you're the money man."
Other Guy: "Well, there's a first time for everything."


8:00 p.m.

Me: "You guys staying for the show?"
Guy: "We're not sure. What type of music is it?"
Not knowing I look toward the stage.
Me: "Well they have a drum set, and it's pointed sideways, toward the wall, actually so that ... means, um...we'll see!"

8:07 p.m.

Two Guys walk up and pay the cover.
Me: "You guys have fun at the show."
Both Guys in unison: "You too."

9:30 p.m.

Small group walk in.
Me: "Hey gang, the cover tonight is $7."
Guy: "Here you go."
Me: "Cool, just one more needed."
Guy: "Well shit, I threw a 20, figured that'd be enough."
Me: "Well, not if you do math."

10:47 p.m.

Never a good thing when the touring band turns on all three of the remaining audience members.



Band guy: "You're doing a good job. Sorry you have to sit out here in ... the bullshit."
Me: "Hey man, the bullshit is where I belong."
Band Guy: "Me too — I walk into a place that ain't bullshit and I find myself needing to be gone."


8:41 p.m.

Headlining Comedian: "Are you a part of the show? Do you have a set?"
Me: "No, I keep my hilariousness to myself."
Show Host: "He has a monthly column in the City Paper that's really funny."
Me: "...Well, I keep my hilarity to myself and everyone who reads the paper."

The Journey:

Hears music
Loves music
Buys instrument
Learns instrument
Meets band members
Forms band
Writes songs
Rehearses set
Books shows
Plays shows
Records album
Prints T-shirts
Prints vinyl
Emails bands
Emails venues
Books tour
Mails flyers
Promotes social media
Sells car
Rents van
Loads van
Drives 1,000 miles
Unloads equipment
Gets on stage
After ALL this:



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