Not many would know a ubiquitous security guard by the name of Josh Myrick. But chances are, they've crossed paths with him. The good-natured, afroed gatekeeper known as Whitey is ever present at nightclubs all over town. He's the Little Bo Peep of bouncers, tending the crowd with care while keeping evil at bay.
Give us a rundown of what it is you do.
I currently do security for the Showbox, Neumo's, Havana, and various other clubs and events around town. The term bouncer has so many negative connotations that I call myself a shepherd—I tend my flock while keeping the wolves out. I primarily check IDs, but also do all the other security aspects: preventing fights, removing patrons who are too intoxicated, kicking out people for doing drugs, and embarrassing people for having sex in a nasty club bathroom. Basically, not allowing people to do all the things I used to do! Overall, my job is to make sure everyone has a safe and fun experience.
How many IDs have you confiscated?
By now I've confiscated literally thousands of IDs. The kids keep trying, and they're actually getting worse at it. If you have a fake ID or your sister's ID, go to a store or a small bar in your neighborhood, don't go to the big clubs where we see at least 4,000–5,000 IDs a week. Half the time we can tell it's fake before even looking. But kids will always be kids, and I can't blame them for trying. I just laugh at them.
What's the craziest/funniest/scariest thing you've witnessed while on the job?
There are so many stories from over the years, it's hard to pick one, but there is one scene that I still remember well. About two months into working at the Showbox, we had an all-ages hip-hop dance night at which we required a dress code. A guy decided to put his hat back on inside, and when I told him to take it off, I ended up facing him and six of his buddies. We had enough security that I wasn't worried, but when the melee ensued, a customer let off some pepper spray and a stampede for the door was on. In no time, a thousand people had run out onto First Avenue and filled the block with fights everywhere, people running over cars, and police dousing everyone with pepper spray. Only at Mardi Gras and the WTO riots have I seen that much mayhem in every direction.
What show has been so good, you forgot you were on duty?
This summer I worked the three Murder City Devils reunion shows. They are the only band that has actually made me dance while I was working.
Have you ever gotten a date through your job?
Define "date." I've met a lot of great women while working, and I'm always a flirt, but I try to maintain a bit of professionalism. I'm usually not interested until I meet someone away from work. I met the girl I'm seeing now at the club, but she was also working.
What's the grossest thing you've seen while searching someone's bag?
Just last week, a girl still had her panties from the night before, then bragged about throwing them at the Dan Band. The nastiest was hosting an after-party for the [Rat City] Rollergirls from Bumbershoot. They all had their sweaty outfits they'd been in all day packed into little bags that absolutely reeked. One girl from out of town had her jersey wrapped around her dildo. She refused to say which was cleaner.
Favorite way to unwind after a stressful night at work:
After watching people drink all night, it's nice to relax with a couple of cocktails, but I usually hide at my local pub away from the craziness I work around. I also play a lot of poker—too much, according to my bank account, but I still love it. There's also rumor of a number of security folks regularlytraveling to a bar in the U District to remind frat boys that daddy's money doesn't make them grown, but I would never admit to such improper use of force.
Top five records to listen to while...
Rocking my afro in the hoopdie: The Saturday Knights demo.
Contemplating and appreciating life: Jeremy Enigk, World Waits.
Getting comfortably sunburnt: Band of Horses, Everything All the Time.
Trying to punch through brick walls: Himsa, Courting Tragedy and Disaster.
Remembering I was underage once, too: Roadside Monument, Eight Hours Away From Being a Man.
A weekly peek behind the curtain of the Emerald City music world, Behind the Scene sheds light on folks you won't see onstage, but who make it all happen.