The man responsible for many of the Avengers, Dead Kennedys, VKTMS, Negative Trend, etc. shows at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens and On Broadway passed away on Sunday. From the SF Chronicle's Joel Selvin.
Dirk Dirksen, the godfather of San Francisco punk rock and the often abrasive ringmaster of the North Beach punk emporium Mabuhay Gardens, died unexpectedly in his sleep Monday night. He was 69.Mr. Dirksen presented acts such as the Dead Kennedys, Devo, the Ramones, Flipper, the Mutants, the Nuns, Black Flag, the Go-Go's and literally thousands more in the 10 years he operated the Broadway nightclub, fondly known as the Fab Mab.Mr. Dirksen, who called himself "the pope of punk," was known for peppering audiences and performers alike with abuse and insults."I'm sorry to see you're that easily pleased," he told the crowd at the end of one band's performance. "You should try and show some intelligence and sophistication and not just accept any slop that's thrown in your trough."He turned to the musicians, who were trying to stalk off the stage, thinking he was not going to let the band have an encore.
"I'll give you one," he said, "but only because the next group is an absolute pimple in the armpit of progress. Now everybody, please pay attention because it's time to play 'People Are Stupid.' "
"He was super obnoxious onstage," said Penelope Houston of the Avengers. "He would stand there with that little dog under his arm, being a target for whatever they wanted to throw. At the same time, he loved all those people. In a way, they were his family."
The dog's name was Dummy.
Mr. Dirksen once estimated that his nose had been broken seven times during his years as a nightclub impresario.
Among the highlights of the Mabuhay's annual calendar was always his birthday celebration, where each year he dreamed up a different mock torture for himself — flogging, beheading, etc. One year he had himself burned at the stake.