Ok I went to The Mab a few times when I was younger but mostly spent time at The On Broadway which was above The Mab. This was around 1981-1984 or sooooo?? Anyways Dirk MC'd The On Broadway too. He was an intersting character.
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.
Mr. Dirksen, who operated the Dirksen-Malloy Productions video firm since leaving the nightclub business in 1984, also worked with the children in the Mission Recreation Center, across the street from where he lived, teaching cooking and helping resolve disputes. He hosted the various Mabuhay reunion events, including a Fillmore Auditorium show last April with members of the Dead Kennedys, the Mutants and Flipper, or the Contractions' recent reunion at the Café du Nord. Only last weekend, he attended the show by the Mutants at Lennon Studios.
Born in Braunschweig, Germany, in 1937, he followed his father, a professor of aerodynamics, to this country in 1948. The family eventually settled in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. He served in the Army as a public relations expert and made his show business debut in 1957, producing an all-night live television remote from a Wilshire Boulevard auto dealership featuring neophyte and amateur entertainers called "Rocket to Stardom." An unknown Lenny Bruce once appeared on the 12-hour weekly broadcast.
He attended San Jose State but dropped out to open a surfing business in Santa Cruz. He worked as a producer on an ABC-TV series about surfing and served as tour manager with acts such as Ray Charles, the Supremes, Iron Butterfly and the Doors. He also managed the 1968 presidential campaign of comedian Pat Paulsen.
He moved to San Francisco in 1974 and, two nights later, stumbled into the Mabuhay Gardens. He started presenting late-night events at the club featuring Les Nickelettes, an all-female guerrilla comedy troupe. Whoopi Goldberg made an early appearance at the club.
When punk rock emerged on the scene, Mr. Dirksen immediately began to book the unruly bands. He presided over his impolite empire with an enduring patience and a sly smile. Robin Williams once described comedy hell as "opening for the Ramones at the Mabuhay Gardens."
"He was a father figure to me and a lot of other punks," said Kathy Peck of the Contractions. "Louie of the Vktms said we thought he hated us, but he loved us."
Mr. Dirksen produced the recent video documentary on the Mutants and had been involved in video production since leaving the Mab, including a long-running, late-night San Francisco cable access show called "Cosmos S.F."
He underwent heart surgery in 1990.
He is survived by his longtime partner, Damon Malloy, and two sisters, Molly Dirksen of Bethesda, Md., and Theodore Ernst-Dirksen of Los Angeles.