Diary of a doorman: Pay up, stoney; nobody rides for free.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s another installment of Diary… and to be perfectly honest, I’ve had enough. My thoughts are grim and my actions dire, and somewhere in the gossamer cobwebs of my mind grows a meaty, blue-flamed fire that has its sights set on the cheapskates in this town — the penny-pinching weasels who wouldn’t know good music if it came up and bit them on their ergonomically-fashioned, computer-desk-chair-shaped asses.

Now, some may ask me, “Lenny, why so angry? From what dark, musty, moss-covered well does this animosity spring forth with such fury?” Well, I’m awfully glad you asked…

The God-forsaken deep well that spews forth my vehemence is located on the Ashland plaza. More specifically, it rests directly in front of a certain bar where I maintain my position as doorman/security person/money- and ID-taker/schmoozer (although lately some nights my capacity for schmoozing is greatly diminished). Right on this spot is where I get to hear the ever-cursed question that sends a wicked, midnight-black, tin-can-rattling vibration through my bones that is akin to having lemon juice squirted into your eye: “You guys have a cover?!?”

Yes, idiot, we have a cover. Every damned Friday and Saturday.

“Oh my God, a cover in Ashland????” This coming from one who can’t help but hear the music pounding from directly above their vacant head. “What, is there a band or something?” Jesus…

Yes, damn it. What? Do you think that Ashland is the single oasis in the universe where musicians play for free and get nothing in return? Oh yes, cry your pardon, I forgot: we live in the vortex of all existence where goods and services are simply handed out without compensation. That’s why none of us have any bills and never pay cash for anything we desire. Right? Everyone rides this ‘coaster for free? Bullshit.

Wake up, stoney. The world isn’t offering handouts the last time I checked. The musicians we have come here to play and entertain your sorry ass are paying for gas, food, lodging, and everything else they need.

But, I suppose you want to sit there and say, “Well, I think the musicians just spend all their money on drugs and booze, so why should I support that?” I’ll tell you why. I’ve done the whole touring-musician gig, and I did it for ten years. We were lucky to make enough money for gas to get home. We slept little, ate shit, and worked hard. There is no money for drugs, and certainly none for the type of bands that come to this town to entertain.

So do this for me. Understand that paying a $5 cover to see a really good band is not extortion. You are not giving up your first born child to the music Gods. It’s $5. The music that comes through this town, and even the music that lives, breathes and grows in this town (and there is an abundance of it) is well worth the fiver.

So shut up, pay up, go upstairs and have a damned good time. Don’t act like the powers of the universe are against you; that the Gods above have sent down a glimmering, white-hot bolt of inequity and indifference that will wipe you off the face of the planet.

Suck it up, junior, and pay the fare. Nobody rides for free.

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