Two Los Angeles legends are about to join forces for one big night of music. Music executive, concert producer and DJ Gary Richards, aka Destructo, and four-time NBA championship winner and former Lakers center, Shaquille O’Neal, aka DJ Diesel, are teaming up for Let’s Be Friends 2018 at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 1.
“L.A. will always be home to me,” O’Neal said via an email interview earlier this week, ahead of the
The 7-foot-1 basketball player helped the Lakers win three consecutive championships from 2000-2002 and on top of being known for his dunking ability, O’Neal starred in feature films including “Kazaam” and “Blue Steel” and had several cameos in films and hit television shows. He’s also released a number of rap albums, including his 1993 debut, “Shaq Diesel,” which went platinum.
“DJing takes me back to my playing days,” he said. “I have come to miss that game seven energy and when I am up in the booth on a massive main stage in front of 50,000 fans, it feels like I am back in the finals.”
In between NBA championships and acting gigs, O’Neal would DJ at nightclubs and since retiring in 2011, has been working on his eclectic blend of dubstep, hip-hop and trap music as DJ Diesel in venues around the world. More recently, he has popped up at electronic festivals such as TomorrowWorld in Georgia and he surprised the crowd by showing up for an unannounced set at Lost Lands in Ohio.
“I pulled up not knowing what to expect at Lost Lands, on some random farm in Ohio,” he said. “As I took the stage, I was honestly amazed. There were enough people to fill the Staples Center twice over and dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs roaming the festival and on stage. It was definitely my favorite festival of my Summer of Shaq Tour. I threw down the hardest dubstep set of my life.”
The Avalon Hollywood show is the first time Richards and O’Neal have done an event together. Richards is known for curating festivals such as Hard Summer, the sailing cruise fest Holy Ship! and his latest, the All My Friends Festival, which took over downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District in August.
“Shaq is a legit DJ,” Richards, said via a press release. “I saw a video of him DJing way back in the day, when he was playing basketball at LSU. He was rocking the turntables and that Radio Shack mixer — the same set up I had back then. Now he plays some of the gnarliest riddim out there. I’m so hyped to play with him in his first show in our City of Angels.”
Let’s Be Friends with Destructo and DJ Diesel
When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1
Where: Avalon Hollywood, 1735 Vine St., Los Angeles
Tickets: $15-$40; 21-and-over only.