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.


8:24 p.m.

A lady walks up.
Me: “Hi. Here for the show?”
Lady: “Show? What show?”
Me: “Bands. Playing music.”
Lady: “Music? What kind of music?”
Me: “Well, most of the bands have either one or two members so probably chill, acoustic music.”

Lady: “Coostick? What’s coostick?”
Me: “Acoustic.” I mime playing guitar. “Acoustic guitar.”
Lady: “Coostick …”
Me: “A-coustic.”
Lady: “Like a banjo?”
Me: “….”
Both of us at the same time: “No.”
Me: “Not a banjo, an acoustic guitar.”
Lady: “… coostick geetar … OK. I’ll tell my daughter.”

9:09 p.m.

Me: “Hey, gang. There’s a $7 cover tonight.”
Lady: “Honest to God, we just wanna play pool. We’re looking for someplace we can play a game of pool real quick, hand to God.”
Me: “OK, so…”
Lady: “I swear to God, if we stay we’ll pay the cover. Swear to God.”
Me: “I got it, I got it, you don’t have to get Him involved, you can go play pool.”


8:11 p.m.

Me: “Hey, man. We’re taking a $7 cover for the bands tonight.”
Guy: “So, there’s a show? What if I don’t like the bands? Do I get a refund?”
Me: “Depends. Do we get a refund of our time if we don’t like you?”
Guy: “Fair enough.”

9:22 p.m.

A couple walks up.
Me: “Hey, gang. It’s $7 tonight.”
Guy: “What type of music is it?”
Me: “One of the band guys called it psychedelic progressive.”
The lady retracts in horror.
Lady: “Psychedelic? I don’t like psychedelic. Do I, John? We don’t like psychedelic. No, thank you.”
Me: “So, that’s a no on the psychedelic?”
Lady: “What’s psychedelic mean?”


8:22 p.m.

Two ladies walk up, one carrying a large metal case.
Me: “Hello ladies, we’re having a show tonight and we’re taking $10.”
Lady 1: “Even for the wifey of a band member?”
Lady 2: “She’s even carrying their merch!”
She lifts up the case.
Me: “OK, that makes sense, I thought she may have been a DJ or something.”
Lady 2: “Well, we were hoping to go on between sets …”

9:42 p.m.

Me: “Hey, gang. We’re taking $10 for the show tonight.”
Lady: “There’s a cover tonight? For everybody?”
Me: “Well, no, not everybody. Only people that wanted inside.”


7:47 p.m.

A couple walks up.
Me: “Hey, gang. Tonight we have a comedy show, so there’s a $5 cover.”
Guy: “Comedy? I thought it was trivia tonight.”
Me: “Oh … no, we have karaoke at 10 … but trivia on Tuesdays.”
Guy looks at the girl he’s with.
Guy: “Wanna flip this dime I dropped?”
Girl: “Heads and we stay?”
He flipped the dime, they shrugged and walked off.

8:17 p.m.

Guy making a beeline for the door.
Me: “Hey, man — you here for the show?”
Guy: “… I just came out to my car real quick. I paid already.”
Me: “…………. I know. I’m just being thorough.”


8:27 p.m.

Me: “Hey, man. There’s a $7 cover tonight.”
Guy: “For what? To have a beer?”
Me: “Nah, man, for the bands that are playing.”
The guy steps closer to get a better listen. He pauses awkwardly, says, “Nope,” then turns around, jumps in his van, and drives off.