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Tales from the Door Side: How to heckle/not heckle a band and other door dude revelations

Loud and Proud


Not just a door guy, Rex Stickel is The Door Guy - PROVIDED
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  • Not just a door guy, Rex Stickel is The Door Guy

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.


9:27 p.m.

After having a guy move his truck from a no parking zone, Guy: "I moved it into the lot, but just so you know, I'll need to eventually get out."

Me: "Oh, you didn't want to live here?"

9:48 p.m.

Two guys walk in.

Me: "Hey guys, there's a $5 cover tonight."

Guy: "We just got off work."

Me: "OK ..."

Guy: "Tell ya what, I'll give you $2."

Me: "Actually, it's $5."


8:52 p.m.

Guy: "Hey, remember me. I'm coming back. Remember I was here already before you started taking money, so I'm legally allowed back in without paying."

Me: "Uh, pretty sure that's not a legal thing."

9:40 p.m.

Me: "Hey guys tonight ther..."

Guy: "I refuse to pay a cover. I'm not paying to get in, OK? I'm going to spend money at the bar, isn't that good enough?"

Me: "Well the bands playing tonight are from..."

Guy: "Do you want me as a customer or not?"

Me: "Well, everybody else inside has paid the cover..."

Guy: "Poor business decision! That's bad business! You just lost a customer."

Oh no, please come back!


7:37 p.m.

Lady: "Are you like, the door guy?"

Me: "I'm not like the door guy, I am the door guy."

7:53 p.m.

Guy: "Oh wow, you can hear all the bands sitting right here, huh? That must be cool."

Me: "Honestly, it's a blessing and a curse."

8:25 p.m.

Me: "The tickets tonight are $15."

Guy: "She told me it was $5."

Me: "She did not have correct information."

Guy: "Can I sit on your lap?"

Me: "This chair is already working as hard as it's gonna."

8:41 p.m.

Me, talking to the singer of the Ataris: "Yeah man, I'm sorry to say the singer of the opening band had an allergic reaction to something and had to leave to see a doctor right away.”

Singer: “No way, that’s terrible. You gotta be careful what you take these days; some things can be laced.”

Me: “You guys party pretty hard?”

Singer: “Well, I’m totally terrified of weed, and all our rider asks for is a case of water and Coke Zero.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you lost me after you said you’re ‘terrified of weed.’”

A Door Guy’s Guide to Heckling a Band

1. BE FUNNY: Not every snarky thought you have during a show should be shared with the class. Keep it funny or keep your yap shut.

2. TIMING: Timing is everything in comedy, and same goes for heckling bands: They are gonna be loud, so try to anticipate a nice, quiet section in the set, like right after a plea to buy merch.

3. BE LOUD, BE PROUD: If you’re gonna have a shot at stealing the spotlight, make yourself loud enough so more than just the friend you brought, who never seems to have any money, can hear it. Remember: Everyone loves a laugh.

4. NEVER REPEAT A HECKLE: If you failed rule No. 3, do your best to not step in the steaming pile that is rule No. 4: If you were too sheepish to be loud enough to hear the first time, you look exponentially more and more stupid as you repeat it

5. DON’T HECKLE THE BAND: No, seriously; It’s not cute. Yelling “Play something from before you sold out” seems fun at the time, but you never want to push a touring musician over the edge. They are far cooler than you, and don’t deserve it.

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