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Dirk Dirksen, 69; the 'godfather' of punk rock scene in San Francisco

November 25, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Dirk Dirksen, 69, a punk music impresario who ran San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens nightclub during its heyday in the 1970s, died Monday in his sleep, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The cause of death was not reported.

Considered the godfather of the city's punk rock scene, Dirksen presented a who's who of punk acts in his more than 10 years of running the club. Acts included the Dead Kennedys, Devo, the Ramones, the Mutants, Black Flag and the Go-Go's.

After leaving the club business in the early 1980s, Dirksen operated a video production firm.

According to the Chronicle, Dirksen was born in Braunschwig, Germany, in 1937. His family moved to Southern California after World War II and settled in Downey.

Dirksen served in the Army and briefly attended San Jose State before dropping out to open a surfing business in Santa Cruz.

He found his way into the entertainment business as a tour manager for Ray Charles, the Supremes and Iron Butterfly, the Chronicle said.

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