In the latest RE/Search newsletter V. Vale reports that sad news that legendary San Francisco punk rock promoter Dirk Dirksen passed away on November 19th. Dirk booked thousands of bands in the 70’s and 80’s at North Beach’s Mabuhay Garden and On Broadway, including The Ramones, DEVO, The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. Vale writes:
Dirk Dirksen, to quote Winston Smith, “changed the world!” Almost single-handedly he made the early beginnings of Punk Rock possible in San Francisco, by providing an all-ages, low-admission-charge venue where anybody could play – once, at least. Wannabe performers had to submit a “3-song demo tape,” a photo, and brief description, and almost nobody was rejected. He suffered 7 broken noses, a broken ankle, an above-elbow replacement and various internal injuries while fending off deluded humans who mistakenly equated “Punk Rock” with violence–a notion implanted by corporate media, the enemy of authentic cultural evolution everywhere.
Joel Selvin wrote a great eulogy for Dirk Dirksen: “‘pope of punk’ amused, insulted S.F. crowds” (November 22nd, San Francisco Chronicle)
A Dirk Dirksen Memorial Fund Auction has been setup and is running from December 3-16. A Dirk Dirksen Memorial Message Board has been created as well and a memorial concert is being planned for January or February of 2007.