Dirksen died in 2006, 22 years after closing up the "Fab Mab." In the years since, he'd been a devoted servant to the community, working at recreation centers for the handicapped, volunteering at Peck's foundation for hearing-impaired musicians and teaching kids in a Mission after-school cooking program how to make his favorite dish: Spaghetti with Tabasco.
But he is best remembered as the biting host of the Fab Mab, the "Pope of Punk" musicians and audiences alike felt privileged to be insulted by. Famously, he once told an audience "You should try and show some intelligence and
sophistication and not just accept any slop that's thrown in your trough," after a band's sub-par set. Peck -- former bassist for The Contractions, recalls many a day when Dirksen shouted "Shut up, you animals" in her general direction.
In operating "the CBGBs of the West" at 433 Broadway, Dirksen provided a venue for comics like Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and a young Tom Ammiano as well as bands including Metallica, Devo, Blondie, Black Flag, The Ramones as well as "lots of really bad musicians," noted Peck.
The street that will eventually bear Dirk Dirksen's name is currently known as Rowland Alley; nobody has yet been able to answer who Rowland was. And while Peck and others had hoped to rename the street "Dirk Dirksen Alley," the city appears adamant that it will be "Dirk Dirksen Place."
"The punks are OK with that," confirms Peck.