Local Music 'Mericans : "Sean Wayne" Leseman, aka The Door Guy
Welcome to Local Music'Mericans, where we'll be meeting some people behind the local music scene who aren't musicians, but more behind-the-scenes folk.
If you've ever gone to see a rock band in Deep Ellum, he was likely your maitre' d, of sorts. He's one of those guys that often finds himself at the center of the action in the local music scene. Aside from his near-two-year role booking bands for DFW rollerderby league The Dallas Derby Devils (a job which can yield some-less-than-boring-scenarios itself), Sean has made a job out of dealing with a broad range of music scene personalities: from bar brawlers and drunken drama queens, mercurial derby-girls and incognito celebrities, to getting a regular earful from some of the most oddball of downtown characters, Sean Wayne has pretty much seen, and heard, a little of it all.
He has carded, stamped and (for the more fortunate) checked off more guest-list names than damn near anyone in our local music scene. He's also collared, bounced, and restrained more than a few patrons of the "overzealous" ilk, when it was called for, in the name of our safety.
Hey, all in a day's work.
Sean says he "started this long descent into madness in October of 1999".
Imagine holding down that stint for nearly 11 years...and all of the wacko, entertaining things you would witness. Sean has quite the archive of stories, and we'll touch on them after the jump.
So, almost 11 years at the door of places like Club Clearview, Darkside Lounge, Curtain Club, and Liquid Lounge. First off, hand stamps. How many, you think?
I want to say it's in the millions. It's easily in the hundreds of thousands.
Surely, you didn't just start off working the venues. There had to be some now-historical musical inspiration that drew you in, yes?
Yes, but early on, it wasn't necessarily Dallas. Growing up in Fort Worth I squandered a good deal of time at the clubs run by Kelly Parker (RIP): The Engine Room, Mad Hatters, and The Impala ruined what should have been productive years for me. The bands that really stand out in my memory are Brutal Juice, The Toadies, Baboon, Dixie Witch, and Caulk. Later, at The Wreck Room (RIP), I was able to see The Riverboat Gamblers when they had just moved to Ft. Worth from a small town. In fact, I remember seeing them play a Tool "after party" in 1999, I think. As far as Dallas shows that I remember fondly, there was Course of Empire, Baboon, and Rubber Bullet at The Bomb Factory..in 1995, I think. I remember it "fondly" because my ears had an electrical ring to them for about 36 hours afterwards. Ahh, well..the eardrums are a worthless organ anyway.
I imagine working a Deep Ellum door on Halloween has yielded some interesting sights. Is there one "character" that stands out as the most colorful?
There was the Halloween where a gentlemen dressed up as deceased golfer Payne Stewart, golf clubs shoved thru his shirt. This was 6 days after Stewart died in a plane crash.
-What's the most significant band/musician drama you've ever been witness to?
While I don't want to say who, or where, but I saw one band break up on stage by devolving into a fist fight.
Give us a little something more from the "crazy shit that happened" files. Here, I'll start it for you....."I remember this one night....."
Um, I had to take a regular to the Emergency Room one night. Did I mention he was in drag? And he was 6'5? ..and made for one ugly chick?
-....and from the files of the Deep-Ellum-surreal?
One night, the guys from Fallen From The Nest randomly brought in Jared from the Subway commericials.
I've also seen a clown get arrested! You never forget that. Good humor, like good country and western music, often rights itself...and that's all I'll say without legal counsel.