First off, I hate the word bouncer. I’m not a bouncer.
And once I’ve established that with somebody, I take it personally if they call me a bouncer. I do security.
I watch people when they come into the club, see how they’re interacting with others. I watch that guy who’s drinking a little too much. Maybe he gets a little tipsy, bumps into somebody, spills their beer. When you see it starting to happen, you move in, you politely ask him to calm down, maybe cut him off, maybe send him outside for some fresh air so he’ll sober up a little bit. That way he’s not sloshed and running into 27 people, spilling his beer on everybody until somebody knocks him out.
I’ve been doing security work for about six years, starting when I was in school at College Park. I was looking for a job, and there was an ad in the paper that said, “Production company hiring security staff, size or experience a plus.” I didn’t have any experience whatsoever. I’m about 6-3 or 6-4 and weigh about 330, give or take a couple, I don’t know. I’m physically hard to forget.
I get reactions from people a lot. James Brown, when he walked in the door, grabbed his security officer and said, “Did he come out his mama lookin’ like that?!” I’ve made a lot of choices that set me aside from general society. I’ve got tattoos above my neckline and on my forearms, things that are visible just about all the time. I’ve got two-and-a-quarter-inch holes in my ears that are not ever going to go away. I get recognized on the street sometimes. People say, “Hey, you’re that guy from the 9:30 club!” It’s fun but it’s strange. Everyone thinks I work at this club, it must be cool, I see all these famous people and everything. It’s not as glamorous a job as most people make it out to be. I check IDs, I take tickets, I do stage security, I do personal security with the talent, getting them in and out of the building. It’s physical work a lot of the time, hauling trash around and doing that kind of stuff.
The money’s not great. But in my line of work it can’t be about money first. I do it because I love it. The club is my family — as much a part of my family as my sister or dad. People come and go, but the core staff that are there, that’s family to me.
— Interview by Jason McGahan