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.
A lady opens the door.
Me: “Hello, do you have your ID? We’re having a show tonight with a $7 cash cover.”
Lady: “Oh, OK. I don’t have any cash.”
Me: “Right behind you is an AT…”
Lady: “If I order a drink, do I still need to pay the fee?”
Me: “No, it’s a cover to pay the ba…”
Lady: “Can I Venmo you?”
Lady: “Oh … I actually don’t have any cash or an ATM card.”
Me: “What are you doing here, out in the world? Relying on Venmo?”
Lady: “Hold on, I see a friend I can borrow money from.”
Bands, I’m gonna tell you a secret: It’s tacky to bark orders for drinks while on stage. Plan ahead or be polite.
Lady: “Hey, do you know how this ATM works?”
Me: “Yeah, put your card in and do what it says.”
Me: “Hey man, we’ve got a show tonight with a $7 cover.”
Guy: “How long is the band gonna play?”
Me: “The show’s over at midnight.”
Guy: “OK, last time I was here the band started at 8 and ended at 9.”
Me: “Well there are three bands tonight.”
Guy: “Three bands played that night, too.”
Me: “Oh … OK …”
A guy pays the cover.
Me: “Enjoy the show, man.”
Guy: “Thanks, you too. I mean, no… Well, you can enjoy the show I guess, if you want to. I’m sure they pay you whether you enjoy it or not, but…”
A small group walks up.
Me: “What’s up guys, everyone have their ID?”
Guy: “I don’t.”
Me: “Sorry, man. Gotta have an ID to get in.”
Guy: “Umm … would my mugshot work?”
Me: “… even less so.”
Two older gentlemen walk up.
Guy 1: “Is it hardcore tonight?”
Me: “Uhh … it’s hard rock.”
Guy 2: “So not really hardcore?”
Me: “There’s a $7 cover.”
They turn and leave.
A nice lady walks up, offers ID and money, we share a joke, she laughs and goes inside. 10 seconds later she comes back out. She’s at the wrong venue.
Me: “Where are you supposed to be?”
Lady: “The Sparrow.”
I hand her money back.
Another lady walks up, offers ID and money, we share a joke, she laughs and goes inside. 10 seconds later she comes back out. I look at her and think, “No way…”
Me: “The Sparrow?”
Lady: “Yeah, I got confused. Is that in Park Circle?”
A couple walks up.
Me: “Hey, gang. We have a comedy show tonight with a cover of $10 cash.”
Guy: “You take checks?”
Me: “Oh, so you’re one of the performers?”
Guy: “Oh, no I… uh, I was, uhhhh…”
Me: “I’m kidding, $10 please.”
Two guys are paying the cover.
Guy 1: “It’s good comedy, right?”
Guy 2: “Yeah, I want these dollars to purchase laughs.”
Me: “If I were you, fellas, I’d just worry about being a good audience, then we’ll talk after that.”
After one too many mis-gendering foot-in-mouth debacles, all you are going to hear from me now is “Howdy, partner,” and a few “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers.”