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.


9:06 p.m.

Me: “Cover is $7.”

Guy: “I don’t have any cash. What am I supposed to do?”

Me: “We have an ATM inside, and I’ve got change for you when you’re ready.”

Guy: “So what, I go on there and what, buy cash?”

Me: “Well, it’s an ATM, you don’t really buy it.”

9:10 p.m.

Guy comes out with a $20.

Me: “Right on, man, I got your change.”

Guy: “This is for two. It’s for me and a female.”

Me: “It’s all right even if it wasn’t.”

9:23 p.m.

Older couple walks up.

Me: “Hey guys, the cover tonight is $7.”

Man: “Woah, woah, woah, a piece? Hang on there. Take a look at my lady here. I’d say two for one. She’s prettier than me.”

Me: “She’s not that pretty. It’s $7 a piece.”

10:58 p.m.

Me: “The cover is $7.”

Guy: “Still? Still?”

Me: “You know those rich touring bands, always traveling around trying to take everyone’s money, $7 at a time. It’s gross is what it is.”

Girl: “Here’s $15. Keep the change.”


7:15 p.m.

Guy pays the cover.

Me: “Thanks dude! The front door is right there!”

Guy, points to stage door. “What’s this way?”

Me: “Well, that’ll put you right on stage, so unless you’re looking to make your debut …”

Guy: “I’ll stick to the front door.”

8:18 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, cover is $7.”

Guy: “I haven’t been here in a while, I just wanted to see if the place is still dark and dirty.”

Me: “Well hell man, you’re in the right place. We’re even darker and dirtier than you remember!”

9:13 p.m.

Reassuring a grown woman that yes, all the donation money tonight does in fact, go to “the kitties.”

10:27 p.m.

DAMMIT: the shit parker that screwed up our parking lot turned out to be a super sweet lady and I couldn’t use any of the insults I spent all night coming up with.


11:11 p.m.

Me: “Cool, now I just need to see your ID.”

Lady: “Really? You need to see my ID?”

Me: “So, you want me to agree with you about how old you look?”

Lady: “Here.”


9:13 p.m.

Guy: “Hey I’m not actually going to the show, but I need to use the ATM.”

Me: “That’s fine man, go ahead.”

Guy: “… also I might pee while I’m in there too.”

Me: “Woah, woah, woah. Bring that pee back outside when you’re done.”

Guy: “That’s fine.”

10:57 p.m.

It’s strange, it’s like the more a guy smells like Axe Body Spray, the less he wants to pay the cover.


8:37 p.m.

Guy: “We’re just here for one and done, man.”

Me: “That’s cool, if you decide to stay I’ll be out here to take the cover.”

Guy: “Hey, do you know that guy bartender? He’s got real long dreadlocks, down to his ankles …”

Me: “Sure, you must mean Greg! He works at The Mill! You know him?”

Guy: “No, he’s cool though. Is he in here?”

Me: “No, he works at The Mill.”

9:32 p.m.

Me: “Cover is $7.”

Lady hands me $20. “I’ll do both of us.”

Me: “Hey, whatever you guys are into.”

Guy: “Hell, I’m into not paying any money.”

9:47 p.m.

Thinking of getting a stamp for the door and only using it when people ask for one. Make it say, “I’M A PEDO” or maybe “it’s Dickbutt” or something.

10:40 p.m.

Lady goes inside to use ATM. Pokes her head outside.

Lady: “Hey! Come here! Show me where my money is!”

Me: “Uh…”


I walk inside, look at her receipt.

Me: “It says here ‘UNAPPROVED’.”

Lady: “Oh. Well I’ll try a different card.”

Me: “Come bug me when you have the money.”

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.