7.11.2008

FreeDarko X-Files #Ur-0000000001



No need for much introduction here. If you're a Polvo fan, and like the NBA, you probably read this site; you've also probably heard rumors that Shaq once attended one of their shows. Today, we can say with certainty that this did in fact happen; what follows is a description of that night's events, based on stuff Dave Brylawski told myself and, in a separate conversation, my pal Wingo. Sometimes, urban legends simply must come true.

It's 1994, and Polvo's playing in Orlando. The venue is on the main strip of bars where everyone's nightlife is. Dave can't recall if he started talking smack about Zo's superiority before or after he realized Shaq was in the place. This happened when a bunch of audience members started murmuring and craning their neck to get a look at "the silhouette of a 7'1'' man in a Kangol standing in the back, arms crossed." Anyway, as anyone who saw Polvo back in the day knows, Dave's sports banter from the stage was an important feature of their live shows; he was a big Hornets fan, and Orlando and Charlotte "were rivals in the way only struggling Southern expansion teams can be," so it was only natural he'd mouth off about O'Neal/Mourning. It's also worth pointing out that one saw athletes around Chapel Hill all the time, so to Dave the situation didn't (relatively speaking) seem that weird, or potentially awkward, at the time.



Turns out it was Shaq's 23rd birthday, and he was celebrating by wandering the strip with only Brian Shaw in tow. No entourage whatsoever. The two of them ended up staying for all of Polvo's set; Dave was kind of embarassed, and felt bad for giving Shaq a hard time on his birthday, so afterwards he went up to O'Neal and apologized. Shaq was super-friendly and cool with the whole thing. When the band's tour manager asked O'Neal what he thought of the show, Shaq "looked at Brian Shaw and said something like 'they were slam dancing, but I think I scared 'em.'" It remains a mystery exactly what he meant by "slam dancing," since Dave says none took place.

Dave calls this "one of my favorite Polvo memories," and I think it's safe to say that, for the rest of us, it's absolutely mind-blowing to find out this is true. Now, if only someone could get Shaq's account of the evening. . .

In case you don't know what Polvo sounded like around this time:

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15 Comments:

At 7/11/2008 1:41 AM, OpenID tredecimal said...

Just for (fun?), if Wikipedia has Shaq's bday right, this would put the date at March 6, 1995, and the year the Rockets would end up sweeping them in the Finals.
Polvo's most current release at the time would have been Celebrate the New Dark Age.

 
At 7/11/2008 1:44 AM, OpenID tredecimal said...

argh..ignore above.

 
At 7/11/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

cor-crane, lifestyles and celebrate the new dark age all would have been out at that point. as well as the criminally overlooked "two fists" single.

 
At 7/11/2008 11:57 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I'd say it's more likely Shaq's age is off in Dave's story than the year. And that vid is from late 1993, which is the closest YouTube gets. Celebrate the New Dark Age came out mid-1994. . . I just wanted to give the non-knowers some impression of what Shaq heard.

 
At 7/11/2008 12:35 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

One does so want to picture Shaq turning to Brian Shaw in the middle of one of those extended guitar freakouts and saying, "Yeah, this shit's tight."

 
At 7/11/2008 1:00 PM, OpenID seamusfurr said...

This is my first ever visit to FreeDarko (no excuse), and the Polvo reference just made me a fan forever.

"Thermal Treasure" was my college anthem.

I love you.

 
At 7/11/2008 1:45 PM, Blogger Business or Leisure? said...

This reaffirms my belief in, well, everything good in this universe.

I imagine Brian Shaw asking the bartender for earplugs and Shaq leaning over to him to call him a homo right in his ear. Shaw watched dejectedly from there on.

 
At 7/11/2008 2:55 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I heard the Shaq story at a Polvo show in spring of 1995, and it was told like it had just recently happened, so I think the March 6, 1995 date is probably correct.

Shoals and I have long wondered whether Shaq and Shaw thought Polvo sounded like some white boy rock shit or whether they realized how strange it was.

 
At 7/11/2008 3:30 PM, Blogger trouc said...

You trying to tell me that isn't some white boy rock shit?

More importantly, where's your Vegas coverage?!

 
At 7/11/2008 10:38 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

trouculent, yet true

 
At 7/16/2008 12:47 PM, Blogger Clare said...

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At 12/26/2008 10:51 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I was at this show. I don't remember Dave saying anything about Mourning, but I do remember the first thing he said after seeing Shaq was "Mugsy Bogues is gonna school your ass!"

Small also played that night and was staying with a friend of mine, so I was hanging around after the show. About an hour after the show, Dennis Scott pulled up in a low-rider truck and asked me if I had seen Shaq around.

 
At 4/13/2009 2:22 AM, Blogger 平平 said...

^^Thanks!!

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At 11/23/2009 2:21 PM, Blogger Ol' Feezy said...

my first band opened this show!!! and i coulda SWORN it was Shaquille's 21st bday for some reason.

 
At 3/22/2013 6:41 PM, Blogger Jim Philips said...

The picture is too dark. You can seen anything there. they should try it to take it in a place with better illumination.

 

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