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.


9:59 p.m.

Girl comes in, runs full blast toward me, sees my face, and stops dead in her tracks. “Wait — you’re not my friend!”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

10:18 p.m.

Girl sits drink down next to me, “Hey, I’m gonna leave this here. If you roofie me, I’ll kill you.”

Me: “Don’t flatter yourself.”

11:02 p.m.

Guy walks up and points at the door to the patio. “Is this a door?”

Me: “Yes, that is a door.”


9:53 p.m.

I should be granted another day of life every time I’m forced to show an adult human how to use an ATM.


9:27 p.m.

Band Guy: “Is everyone ready for a night of rock ‘n’ roll music?!”

*proceeds to play some sort of indie-pop all night

9:53 p.m.

Guy wearing orange shirt and black pants: “You’ll recognize me if I step out for a few minutes, right?”

Me: (thinking, ‘Of course, dude, you’re dressed like a fuckin’ pumpkin’) “Of course, dude, no problem.”

10:25 p.m.

Me: “I need to see your ID.”

Girl hands me her ID and insurance card.

Girl: “Whoops, I don’t suppose y’all take insurance cards?”
Me: “Sorry, you are out of our network.”


8:35 p.m.

Couple drives up.

Me: “You guys here for the show?”

Old man: “WHAT?!!”

Me: “… here … for … show…”

OM: “Is this the BBQ joint??”

8:27 p.m.

Band Guy: “Hey, you in one of the other bands?”

Me, sitting next to the door outside holding a deposit bag and clicker counter, “No.”

9:53 p.m.

Me: “Hey guys, it’s $8 for the show tonight.”

Lady: “Ha! What a fucking scam!”

Guy, hands me a 20, “That’s not what Kevin said.”

Lady: “Gonna be an expensive night for Kevin!”


9:07 p.m.

I think I offended him when I asked a member of the group of guys in matching T-shirts sitting at a merch table covered in more literature and pamphlets than CDs if they were a cult.


8:20 p.m.

Me: “Hey guys, there’s a $7 cover tonight.”

Guy 1: “OK, who’s playing tonight?”

Guy 2: “Don’t you read the City Paper? He doesn’t fucking know.”


11:38 p.m.

“This next song I wrote when I was in a really good place, I was doing all the right things, and treating myself and others with respect.” — said no artist ever.

While I Was Out Of Town — Featuring musician Lily Slay on the door—

Working door for touring band:

Band Guy: “You live here?”
LS: “I’d call it more ‘dying slowly in a disjointed and somber waltz with inadequacy and self-hatred on the dull point of a rusty tack that can’t hold anything together’ here.”
BG: “Oh, so you’re a musician, too.”
LS: “You noticed!”

Working the door for less than 30 minutes and a guy told me I looked liked I “need a spanking.”

Me: “I will be the only one kicking ass tonight, sir.”

You can tell you’re working the door for an underage show when no one can park their car straight.

Hadn’t even been working the door an hour before a dude asked me to give him a parking lot legal consultation about his domestic abuse charges. Wow, are you barking up the wrong tree tonight, buddy.

Special thanks to Lily Slay. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @slaythebeast

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