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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dirk Dirksen Place‏, Plaque to Remember the Pope of Punk

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Kathy Peck stands at Dirk Dirksen Place
  • Kathy Peck stands at Dirk Dirksen Place
San Francisco doesn't have a walk of fame, but original punk rock promoter/emcee/character Dirk Dirksen will be permanently remembered in North Beach now, thanks to a street sign and a plaque in his honor. After three years of tirelessly working to erect something permanent to honor the Mabuhay Gardens fixture, Dirksen's friends (lead by Kathy Peck) have succeeded. There's now a Dirk Dirksen Place and a plaque where that street intersects 443 Broadway.

The golden pavement fixture opens with Dirksen's signature piss take, "Shut Up You Animals". The text beneath, written by longtime music critic Joel Selvin, reads:"Dirk Dirksen (1937-2006) ringmaster of the circus of the creatively inspired and the willfully deranged, presided as Pope of Punk over nightly excursions into living theater on the premises 1974-1984 at Ness Aquino's Mabuhay Gardens, previously a Filipino supper club. He opened the lid on society's garbage can of new talent to look for truth and beauty that gave rise to San Francisco's counter-culture music scene."

It's a special marker for a notorious legend and special man--you could only hope to leave that kind of impact on this city. Of course, in the true spirit of being a purveyor of "garbage," the plaque already has a chewed wad of pink gum smeared across the lettering. Guess that's better than a gob of spit, which, of course, many of those early punk acts got showered with they hit the Fab Mab stage. 

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Ian S. Port


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