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Tales from the Door Side: On the Road

In which door dude goes on tour, too


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Concertgoers 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.


8:51 p.m.

Me: "There's a $5 cover tonight."
Guy: "I'm friends with the bass player."
Me: "Cool."
Guy: "So..."
Me: "..."
Guy: "Does that make a difference? I'm friends with the bass player."
Me: "No, I imagine every person in here is friends with him, but we gotta pay them somehow."
Guy: "I mean, I live with him..."
Me: "You can ask him for $5."


10:25 p.m.

A grown man just asked me to "Gimme some love", and I slapped one of his two offered palms. "That's all you're giving me?"


10:29 p.m.

I just ushered in a guy for free after arguing about $5 for a few seconds because he smelled so bad I couldn't take it.

11:01 p.m.

When people ask stupid questions, I like to pretend I didn't hear them at least three times. Taking up some of their time makes it worth it.


9:56 p.m.

Guy comes barreling in.

Me: "Hey man, there's a $7 cover tonight."
Guy: Stares. "I just wanna get a six pack."
Me: "Of beer?"
Guy: Nods
Me: "We don't sell six packs, man, we're a bar."
Guy: "You don't?"


11:01 p.m.

Best excuse not to pay the cover so far:

Lady: "Listen, I gave all my money earlier to this thing for a dog who had this rope wrapped around his neck. Listen, I give away tons of money for a good cause. If this were a good cause, no problem, but, that's probably why I don't have any money — I've given it all away to a good cause."


8:03 p.m.

Lady: "Is there music tonight?"
Me: "Actually, yes, [shows my shirt] my buddy's band Johnny & the Broken Hearts."
Lady: "Johnny, as in Cash?"
Me: "No, Johnny as in Puke." (Yep, it's happened before)

9:16 p.m.

Lady: "Are you the door guy or...just hanging out?"
Me: "Umm...both."

8:29 p.m.

Me: "The cover is $8."
Lady hands me $20 for two people.
Lady: "Just give me back five."
I hand her a five.
Lady: "You can't count, can you? I was just kidding."
Me: "At this point I'll do whatever you say."

TALES FROM THE ROAD: Observations from a Door Guy on Tour

Washington D.C.

Uber pulls up, guy starts getting out holding drumsticks.
"Hmm, the drummer got an Uber."

Guy starts unfolding walking cane, he's blind. He wasn't holding drum sticks.
"Oh, of course. He's not in the band, he's blind."

Driver comes around and pulls keyboard stand out and hands it to the blind guy.
"I officially don't know shit!"

New York, N.Y.

Rock Pro Tip: Roll the gear down the streets; the sidewalk has too many cracks.

Brooklyn, N.Y.

You can tell which people are in this bar to play because, spoiler alert, they're all long-haired white guys.

Huntington, N.Y.

So I walk into this bagel shop and say "Gimme the Billy Joel!" so they poured me a shot and took half my money.

Salem, MA

I'll barely share a glass with a significant other, but I'll finish every stray bottle of water I've ever seen.

Providence, R.I.

We just split a $20 lobster roll four ways, so I guess you could say things are going really well.


Rock Pro/Poor Tip: No money for a beer? Check the merch table. There are four half-full beers there, always.

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