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.


9:19 p.m.

Me: “You here for the show?”
Guy: “Oh yeah, man, I have a really good, good buddy in the band tonight. I decided to come out and say what’s up; I’ve been wanting to be able to see him for a while now.”
Me: “Right on, man. Well we’re just taking $5 for the band, which we do in cash.”
Guy: “Ooh, all I have is a card.”
Me: “Oh don’t worry, man, we’ve got an ATM inside. I can make change, whatever you need.”
Guy: “No thanks, maybe next time.”

10:08 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, I’m not sure how much longer the band is playing but if you could throw $5 their way that would be cool, or if you just wanna check ’em out and then decide, take your time. But we wanna help these guys get paid, but I don’t know when they’re gonna cut it off,” as I’m saying this, I’m realizing — by the swirl of his eyeballs and slurry Southern drawl — this person may have already been drinking.
Guy: “Didju say you was gonna cut my head off?”
Me: “No … $5.”


9:47 p.m.

Me: “Hello, it’s $5 tonight.”
Lady digs in her purse: “You’re lucky I have $5.”
Me: “I’d say you’re the lucky one.”
Lady: “Would you kick me out?”
Me: “Only if I gotta.”


8:35 p.m.

Girl drops ID while handing it to me. ID lands in my shoe.

10:01 p.m.

Me: “Hey gang, there’s a $7 cover tonight.”
Guy: “You? We pay you? You’re the door guy?”
Me: “That’s true, but also, so much more.”


9:16 p.m.

Me: “Hey guys, we’re taking $7 tonight.”
Lady: “Oh, wow.”
Guy: “Our friends aren’t worth the $7.”

10:45 p.m.

Guy comes out of the bar: “My cousin is coming and she left her ID at the hotel. Can she get in?”
Me: “How old is she? She can’t go get it?”
Guy: “No, she’s 21.”
Me: “Is she with her parents?”
Guy: “No, just some friends.”
Me: “If she doesn’t have her ID, she can’t come in.”
Guy: “What if she’s 20 and has her ID?”

10:50 p.m.

Lady comes out of bar: “You wouldn’t happen to have three bucks I can have to get another beer, would ya?”


9:15 p.m.

Me: “Hello, there’s a $5 cover and I need your IDs.”
Girl: “Even if you’re the nanny for one of the guys in the band?”
Me: “Uh, there’s a guy in one of the bands that’s young enough to need a nanny?”
Girl: “Yeah! Wait, young enough? You mean old enough …”
Me: “Oh, you mean you’re the nanny for the kids of one of the guys in the band.”
Girl: “Yeah, that’s what I meant.”

10:01 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, it’s $5.”
Guy: “Ohhh, all I have is a 20. I really meant to have exact change for you.”
Me: “It’s OK man, I’ll just be really mad about it later on.”


9:25 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, we have some bands playing and we’re taking $5 for a cover.”
Guy: “I’m really just here for a beer after work.”
Me: “That’s cool man, everyone in there has paid $5 to help them out, but if you’re just looking for a beer …”
Guy: “Is the band taking requests?”
Me: “Yes, they’re requesting $5.”