Baby Destructo with Michael Jackson and crew in the late 1970s
Few of the kids at HARD Fest would consider Destructo "old school." A lot them may not even know that he's the CEO of the HARD empire—the company that brought you Holy Ship in Miami, Day of the Dead in LA, and countless other electronic music festivals from New York to Australia and back. But the fact that he played at my club nearly 22 years ago makes him a proper OG.
This 1992 NASA flyer is one of my faves. I still remember us doing it with Mike Szabo at 2AM at Kinkos:
Another NASA flyer from '92:
Destructo, aka Gary Richards, began DJing and producing undergrounds parties when he was 18 in the early 90s in Los Angeles. His first party was called "Magical Mickey's Holy Water Adventure," but his most notable one was the infamous "RaveAmerica" at Knotts Berry Farm on New Year's Eve in 1993.
Gary was picked by Rick Rubin himself for an A&R position in electronic music at Def American Recordings, launching his noteworthy career with acts like Lords of Acid, Messiah, Basement Jaxx, and Dub Pistols. He also founded 1500 Records and Nitrus Records. After delving into the world of metal with a stint at No Name Management, he returned to his dance roots in 2007 by creating HARD.
Here's a flyer from his first warehouse party in 1991.
Destructo's self-titled mixed tape from 1992 is a good example of what he was playing in those early days of electronic music in LA. The A-side was the "medium" side, and this half, the B-side, is the "hard" side, with classic hardcore tracks like "Digeridoo" by Aphex Twin, "Acid Drill" by Edwards & Armani, and "Poing" by Rotterdam Termination Source.
I couldn't find any good photos of young Gary, so I reached out, and holy shit did he deliver.
Check out baby Destructo with MJ:
This is (from left) Tim Palmer, Richard Russel, Rick Rubin and Gary:
You can connect with Gary here: