by Rex Stickel
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.
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."
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.
Me: "The cover is $7."
Guy: "No stamp? No wristbands?"
Guy: "YES! No one will be able to tell ME where I was tonight!"
Me: "Are you paying for 2?"
Guy: "I'm paying for 2. He's paying for..."
Other guy: "I'm paying for 3."
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.
Me: "The cover is $7."
Guy: "Well the website says $5."
Me: "Oh yeah? What website is that?"
Guy: "I don't know."
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."
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."
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!"
Two Guys walk up and pay the cover.
Me: "You guys have fun at the show."
Both Guys in unison: "You too."
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."
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."
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."
Meets band members
Promotes social media
Drives 1,000 miles
Gets on stage
After ALL this:
YOU DON'T TUNE YOUR DAGGUM GUITAR??