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.


9:19 p.m.

Guy, pays the cover. “Hey man, uh, don’t judge or nothing, but can we vape in here?”

Me, unable to stop my “judge-y” face from showing, “Uhhh …”

Guy: “No, it’s cool man, I’ll step outside.”

10:34 p.m.

Fog machines: a tiny bit cool in theory sorta or annoying as fuck literally every time?

10:45 p.m.

When the band’s drum solo is so long you forget what the band sounded like …

10:48 p.m.

Preppy blonde girl pokes in through the door, smoking a cigarette. She hands me her ID.

Me: “You can’t smoke in here. It’s $7 for the show.”
Her: “What?”
Me: “There’s a $7 cover for the bands.”
Her: “What?”
Her: “What?”
Her: “What?”

I point to the door to the smoking patio, she runs to it.

10:49 p.m.

Preppy blonde guy barges through the door, curiously looking left and right. He looks back at me. I point to the smoking patio door. I know who he’s looking for.


8:12 p.m.

Guy: “So how long have you been a door guy?”
Me: “Hmm, about three years now.”
Guy: “What else do you do?”
Me: “I was in a band for years.”
Guy: “Hahaha, I mean what else do you do?”
Me: “Uh, well, I work the door here …”
Guy: “So what do you do for a living?”
Me: “………..”


8:42 p.m.

Me: “Cover is $5.”
Guy: “What if I’m with the band?”
Me: “Uh …”
Guy: “What if I’m IN the band?”
Me: “You know how I know you’re not in the band? You’re wearing strappy sandals.”


8:52 p.m.

Couple walk up, guy starts lifting his shirt and spinning around.

Me: “Uh, do you think you’re under arrest?”
Guy: “Oh man you just look so official I thought I’d be gettin’ a pat down.”


8:28 p.m.

I’m gonna go ahead and assume the gentleman who is the spitting image of Ted Nugent is in one of the bluegrass bands tonight.

8:03 p.m.

After showing his ID and paying the cover, “So, do you work here?”

9:01 p.m.

Lady walks up, “Hey, so I parked alongside the building where it says NO PARKING. Do you think that’s OK?”

Me: “No, not even close.”

9:48 p.m.

Me: “The cover is $7.”
Guy: “Oh OK.” Points to the building. “This is all one place?”
Me: “Yep.”
Guy: “So this is some type of … entrance?”
Me: “Uh, yeah …”


10:48 p.m.

Military lady hears about the cover. “I went on three tours of duty, and you’re gonna make me pay?”

Band guy overheard and says, “Well, this is at least our sixth.”

Hello darkness, my old friend.


10:55 p.m.

Me: “It’s $7.”
Guy starts digging around for money.
Lady: “Sorry, I date really poor guys. They never have enough money.”
Me: “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s not you.”


9:03 p.m.

Guy in second band: “How long of a set does the first band have?”
Me: “At minute 31, I’m going in there and just unplugging everything I see.”

9:33 p.m.

Band Dad walks up.

Me: “Cover is $7.”
Dad: “Is there a guest list? I’m on it. I’ve never paid for my son’s shows. But here. Here’s five dollars. Put that in the till.”

10:29 p.m.

Group of three walks up.

Me: “Hey gang, the cover tonight is $7.”
Guy hands me a $50 and says, “How’s your night going so far?”
Me: “Great, right up until you gave me this math problem to solve.”

11:10 p.m.

Guy digging around his bag: “Hey man, can I bum a cigarette while I find a cigarette?”
Me: “I do not smoke.”
Guy: “Me neither.”
Me: “That’s probably why you don’t have any cigarettes.”


9:48 p.m.

Guy turns around right before walking inside: “Hey bro, cool if I vape in here?”
Me: “Uhhhh …”

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.