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: