About 4-5 years ago, guy comes up to the bar, says to me, someone just tagged up your bathroom. I think I know who did it, too. He describes the graffiti “artist” to me, I know exactly who he’s talking about. I tell my fellow bartender, I’ve got to handle something, I take off, looking for this kid.
I find him in the back, with two of his skater buddies. I confront him. I hear you’ve been tagging up the bathroom. Is that true? No, man, he says, denying, of course. Wasn’t me. He’s got a suspicious looking backpack leaning up against his legs. I say, why don’t you let me see inside your backpack? He says, flat-out, no. I say, if you don’t have spray paint cans in your backpack, then we’re good. You didn’t do it. So show me.
And you should of seen the tag in the men’s room. It was just huge. Took up one entire wall.
No, he says. You’re not looking in my backpack.
Here’s the funny part. The guy HAS PERFORMED at the Mews before. Yeah. Number of times. Real smart.
I tell him, check this out. I don’t want to EVER see you in the Mews again. You understand? You’re BANNED FOR LIFE.
I turn around, go back to the bar, start bartending again.
Now, through the years, I see him on the street, he looks away. Occasionally, he’ll pop his head in the door, speak to the door person for a second, then leave. I see him, I just stare him down. He messed with the wrong person.
Last week, I look on our site, I see the same guy is performing. Oh great. How did he manage to do that? Pretty sneaky. But, you know what? It’s been a number of years, maybe the guy has grown up.
I’m setting up the bar, I see the kid. He’s probably 26-27 years old now. He doesn’t say anything to me, which is fine. You do your thing, I’ll do mine. I get everything ready, start bartending.
The night is slow, the music is fine. The kid performs on stage, he’s not bad. He has a certain mania about his performance. He needs to learn how to stand still, just give it to the audience. Instead, he’s all over the place, from one side of the stage to the other. Come to find out, he’s the promoter for the night, so he’s running the show. Good for him. Maybe he’s cleaning up his act. I’ll give him a second chance. I’m not that much of a hard-ass. He could be my son, you know? And I made mistakes when I was young, too. I cheated on French tests in high school. I’d go to Hardee’s, get a cup of water, dump it out, pour Sprite in it. You know, big mistakes.
Around 8pm, show gets done. There’s no late show, so I start picking up, cleaning the bar. Everybody’s gone, the sound guy approaches me, says, I think the performers are in the green room fighting. And at that moment, I hear…
BOOM. BOOM. CRASH.
What the living hell?
The sound guy and I run to the green room, push open the door, look down, the kid is sprawled out on the floor, with old mic stands crumpled around him. Two guys are next to the couch, in fighting pose. I say, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!? One of them says, sorry. Sorry. I say, there’s no fighting in the green room. GET OUT OF HERE!!!!
I leave. Just when I thought, ok, cool, another show over, no casualties, it happens. And this kid. You know, first impressions are ALWAYS RIGHT.
The kid comes out 20 seconds later. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, he says. I had a lot of anxiety about this show. I say, you know, whenever you come in, there’s trouble. He talks to the sound guy for a second, then leaves.
I go back to work, but then I realize, the two guys are still in the green room. I barge in, say, what did you not understand? I said you need to leave. NOW. They grab their sketchy backpacks, leave.
I’m chatting with the sound guy after, we’re talking about what happened. He says, you know what my first thought was, when I heard the crashing in the green room? I say, I don’t know. What? He says,
Oh. Here’s another story for Clint.