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.
Guy: "Do you have some sort of machine where I can get some cash?"
Me: Points to the ATM.
Half of my job is to avert my eyes when people try to push a pull door.
Band Guy holds up a City Paper.
BG: "Do they advertise shows in here?"
BG: "Do they advertise Tin Roof shows?"
BG: "Did they advertise our show?"
Before I'm able to sarcastically ask if I look like I work for the City Paper, I realize I do, in fact, work for the City Paper.
Me: "Not sure, bud."
Lady points to two crates filled with old records marked "Help Yourself" and "Free Records" behind me and asks, "Are you selling those?"
Me: "Yes. Yes, I am. $5 a piece."
A group walks in and passes me. I catch up to them and ask for IDs. One lady waves me off and proceeds to dance into the venue.
Her friend says, "She's 34."
Me: "She's not acting like it."
Me: "There's a $7 cover tonight for the bands."
Lady: "Is the band ... dressed up?"
Me: "Dressed up?"
Lady: "You know, in drag?"
Me: "Oh, no, that was last night. Good show."
Lady: "See, honey? That was last night."
Me: "There's a $7 cover tonight."
Guy hands over money.
Me: "Enjoy the show."
Guy: "What show? There's a show tonight?"
BREAKING NEWS: Over-the-hill scene guy thinks I'm disrespecting him by charging him a cover
Me: Uh oh, that guy didn't finish tuning his guitar before the band started. Oh wait, never mind, his tone is so muddy you can't make it out anyway, it's fine.
Me: "Do you ladies have your IDs?"
Both girls light up and say in unison, "Thaaaaaaank youuuuu! How flattering!"
Me: "Uh, yeah they pay me to ask."
Lady: "Is there a cover tonight? I just came for a drink. I'll give you all the cash I have — here's $2."
Me: "The cover is $15."
It's funny that in a world with absolutely no guarantees it's almost guaranteed that a group of three or more middle-aged adults will find the idea of being asked to pay cash archaic and unbelievable. They laugh about it, they immediately tell stories of the last time they even had cash, almost as if they went from collecting pennies and nickels and dimes as kids to immediately wielding plastic credit cards. Trivial green paper it is to them, why would they possibly carry it?
Guy pays the cover
Me: "Thanks a lot man, enjoy the show."
Guy: "Do I get a stamp or anything?"
Me: "Nope, you're good to go."
Guy: "No stamp? You sure?"
Me: "Yep, I'm sure."
Guy: "No receipt of any kind?"
Me: "Well, there's the memories."
In case you were wondering, an artist's "manager" chose (and forced "his artist") to leave the show before performing because I wouldn't let him in without an ID. So yeah, still got it.
Me: "There's a $7 cover."
Guy: "Damn! This guy gets me every time!"
(Plot twist: I traded his entry fee for a Publix coupon. Don't tell the bands.)