First Avenue: What’s your name?
Nathan “Tik Tak” Anderson

FA: Why do they call you Tik Tak?
TT: There were once too many Nathans, and Patty from Dillinger Four called my face tattoos “tik taks.” One day he called me from Florida to tell me that was my new name. I said “That’s not going to happen.” …and here we are, 15 years later, and I’m still Tik Tak.

FA: What was your first show working here?
TT: Inner Circle, the band that did “Bad Boys.” It was Thanksgiving of ‘93. They opened AND closed with the Cops’ theme song.

FA: When was the last time you requested time off for a show?
TT: Honestly? Probably the last one I wholeheartedly meant was The Cows when they played on my birthday maybe… ten years ago? It was The Cows and Babes in Toyland. No wait… I don’t know.
FA: Do you still enjoy bartending?
TT: Yeah, I do. I mean, it has its trying days of course, because people keep turning 21 every day. There’s a learning and a teaching process that people need to be shown how to act in public and with alcohol. There’s never going to be a day when everyone gets it, because every day someone turns 21.
FA: Oh my god. I never thought about that. It’s never going to stop or get better.

FA: Were you one of the people who told me early on that working here kills your love of music?
TT: It doesn’t “kill” it, but it makes your span for appreciating it much smaller. Like now, if it’s my favorite band, I still don’t want to watch them for more than 15, 20 minutes. I think it’s just the repetition of seeing three or four bands, five to six days a week, for however many years now. It’s like…
FA: Bands do band things.
TT: Yeah.

FA: Have you noticed a loss of hearing over the years?
TT: [turns to see if his wife is within earshot]
FA: Do you selectively ignore your wife!?
TT: Yes and no. [laughs] But not really. I do every once and a while get a slight ringing, or the onset of tinnitus, but it goes away after a while, which I’m amazed at actually. I just hope it’s not a switch where one day it’s like, “Whelp, there it went!” That’d be a bummer.


Say hi to Tik Tak next time you’re around. As a customer once told him, “You don’t look like it, but you’re a really nice, polite person!”