Dirk Dirksen and Frank Moore at the Balazo
Gallery, October 15, 2005.
night, Dave Swan of Dog House called us to tell us Dirk had died in
his sleep Sunday night. Dirk is a major figure in my life as well in
music, the underground culture, etc. He has needed another heart bypass
for years ... simply couldn't afford it. He called us about every other
week about some project or another ... leaving on our message machine
long surreal monologs as different characters ... trashing me! Hey,
in the Mabuhay days he used to introduce me as his brother that mom
loved more ... it always ended up with his threatening to push me in
my wheelchair onto the freeway! We have been sending him boxes of food
for years. The last time I actually saw him was a year ago at a show
I was doing. Here's what I wrote then ...
"So +DOG+ was there when we got at the gallery as was Dr. Oblivious,
and Dr. Gruve and the rest of our crew … but not the first band
(which will remain nameless … sure they will … read on!)
Nor any audience! The situation hadn’t changed at 8pm when the
show was supposed to start. But the Pope of Punk, Dirk Dirksen, walked
in! For you ignorant (or young) ones, Dirk put punk on the map in San
Francisco when he turned THE MABUHAY club into the punk Mecca from the
mid-70s to the early 80s. I had asked him to introduce the bands at
The Balazo. Like for the last 20 years i’ve asked him to do things
with us … he always says yes … but it never never happens!
So I was shocked when he walked in! The shock was increased by my knowing
that he has been in extremely poor health (this is a call to action
to all the bands, artists, mutants, etc. To whom Dirk gave breaks, support,
encouragement, a stage to do their/our thing on, an opportunity to get
through sucking … IT IS PAY-BACK TIME!). So here I am sitting
with this legend who walked here, risking a heart attack, and who couldn’t
stay for more than an hour because of his health … with no fucking
first band or audience! Then I realized that I was just going through
what Dirk had gone through during all those years! And of course when
I finally asked +DOG+ to set up to be the first band, the nameless first
band finally showed up and had a pussy fit about not being the first
band! Why in hell ain’t I a boozer! So I gave them back their
first band slot. But by the time the band had set up, we had a great
But what I didn't write then was Dirk told me then he was ready to die.
But he'd wait for a year so that he could wrap up some projects like
a book about the Mab. Then he would take a hike up a steep s.f. Hill
until his heart gave out. Obviously he didn't have to take that hike!
Sunday I had Ann Cohen on the show ... which turned out to be an amazing
celebration of her late husband Allen Cohen ... the poet, the founder
of the S.F. Oracle, the force behind the first Human Be-In, etc. ...
an amazing night of poetry, song, photos, and deep conversation! It
turned out she had done things at the Mab. So we started talking about
Dirk ... probably around the time he was passing!
Here is my contribution to Dirk's book (he better not have left before
it was finished!):
By Frank Moore - 11/9/2005
My night at THE MAB, eh? Truthfully my nights at THE MAB have all blurred
together because I hold the record of performing the most in the historic
dive, doing the early show between 1978 and 1981…first an over-the-edge
comedy and then the popular cult show known as The Outrageous Beauty
Revue (except in Dirk’s diseased mind which turned it into The
Outrageous Beauty Pageant) every Saturday, and often on other nights
as well! I was the guy in the wheelchair with all of those babes! Anyway,
the first night I ventured into that den of punk insanity, the singer
smashed his beer bottle onto the black brick wall behind the stage,
glass shards ricocheted into the audience and right into the arm of
one of the women who were with me. Now I have always thought Dirk gave
me THE MAB as a creative theatrical lab because he was an artistic visionary.
But it might just have been his way of avoiding being sued! Never know
with Dirk! I never figured out his book-keeping method. A lot of bands
thought he ripped them off. True, when there was a large audience, we
got almost nothing. But when there was nobody in the audience, Dirk
gave us fistfuls of cash. But you have to realize that Dirk had a strange
mental condition. He thought that I was his brother for whom he has
always harbored a painful jealousy because Mom obviously loved me more!
He was always threatening to roll me in my wheelchair onto the freeway.
But as I said, my MAB nights have all melted together. Like I remember
a night when we only had a very small audience ... only Frank Zappa,
Robert Fripp, a reporter from Readers’ Digest, a pregnant woman,
a television crew from That’s Incredible!, a European film company,
and a teenaged punk eating spaghetti tripping on acid. After an act
in which Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw Magazine, admitted he
was a virgin, it was time for the finale … our “meat act”
… nude dancing girls in cellophane and glitter … dry ice,
strobe lights, me in horrific make-up singing sympathy for the devil
… a vixen barely dressed in black with two bloody naked monsters
lurching threatening in the audience attacking the pregnant woman, carrying
her screaming onto the stage, ripping her guts and the unborn fetus
out and eating them. This was when the television guy shut off his camera
in disgust … and when the brain of the teenaged punk got expanded
terminally. He would grow up to be Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Just another night of cultural subversion at The Mab!
LINKS ABOUT DIRK DIRKSEN
Francisco Chronicle Obituary
an interview by Frank Moore of Dirk Dirksen from 1995