December 21, 2014

"In 1968, he used a bread truck to smuggle [The Grateful Dead] onto a Columbia University campus that had been shut down by student strikers."

"The next year, he may have arranged for Hells Angels to provide what turned out to be grossly inadequate security at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, where a man was stabbed to death as the Rolling Stones played."

Just 2 of many interesting sentences in the obituary of "Rock Scully, Grateful Dead’s Manager Who Put the Band on Records."

He leaves behind a daughter, Sage, and a stepdaughter, Acacia. He had a son too, by a woman named Tangerine, but he died in Thailand 10 years ago in the tsunami.

The Dead fired Scully for his drug addition, in 1984, and they blamed him for the drug-related death, 11 years later, of Jerry Garcia. Scully eventually overcame his substance abuse problem, and he entered into a part of his life that his brother called "a very humbling time": "he returned to Carmel, where he took care of his mother, painted houses and became involved in local civic issues."

20 comments:

Fritz said...

Umm. Jerry died in 1995. Layers of fact checking.

Ann Althouse said...

"Umm. Jerry died in 1995. Layers of fact checking."

That was my misreading. I fixed it.

Ann Althouse said...

The blame is crueler with the longer time line.

Mark said...

Rock supplied Jerry for years and they were roommates during Jerry's biggest junkie phase in the 70's. He was part of the problem, given he provided a lot of the Persian that Jerry loved.

That said, Rock Scully's book on the Dead had some of the best and funniest stories from their early years. Kind of the polar opposite of Steve Parrish's book which told the more real story of the Dead road crew.

Fritz said...

“Rock was a big part of it all,” Mr. Weir said in a statement. “He put in the miles with us. He knew the words to all the songs.

Which is more than Bob Weir can say.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fritz said...

Layers of fact checking.

Congratulation. You're now one of the layers.

JSD said...

Another geezer click-bait post. Yeah, I confess that I liked the Dead 40 years ago. Musically, the four years spanning 1969 – 72 were pretty good. It also helped that Jerry Garcia was a very good musician. The rest of their catalog is really uneven.

Culturally, they became the tutelary guardians of hippiedom. Through circumstance they carried direct connections to the 50’s beat through Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and other characters.

The band was host to a pretty extended horde. I’m sure they’ll be lots of these eulogies in the near future.

David said...

Tags for "Dead" and 'hippies." You like to economize on tags. Why not consolidate to "Dead Hippies?"

Robert Cook said...

One can combing the two words "grateful dead" to describe their music: "dreadful."

Charlie said...

They "retired" in October 1974. They should have stayed retired.

William said...

The real back story had more to do with squalor and drugs than flowers and freedom. There was a period when they were In the zone and produced some terrific music, but a lot of it was infinitely worse than an extended solo by Ravi Shankur......I never heard of this guy. I suppose his life was less pointless than many drug addicts, but my guess is that his surviving children have lots and lots of unhappy memories of their time with him.

madAsHell said...

1. His parents, Robert and Dorothy Scully, named him Rock after his great-grandfather’s beloved horse.

Really!?!?

2. He has a brother named Dicken?

OK...it all makes sense.

Robert Cook said...

@William:

How can you claim to have been a fan of the Dead and not know the name Rock Scully? I was NEVER a fan of theirs, and I know of him.

retired said...

You had to be intoxicated to tolerate their music. The worst band of the era. As a friend asked, now are they greatful?

chuck said...

I was at that Grateful Dead performance at Columbia, it was quite wonderful. No doubt some of the appeal was due to context...

traditionalguy said...

It sounds like many are grateful that he is dead.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Listened to Europe 72 in the summer of 1974... absolutely awed by them... saw them at the Philly Civic Center that August... the Dead at their peak... didn't much listen to them after that... when I have a rental car with xm, I'll listen and that awe will return in spurts. Wouldn't trade those feelings for anything.

Gary Rosen said...

Q: What does a Deadhead say after you cut off his pot for a week?

A: Boy does this band suck!

ganderson said...

I'm sure it was not easy to be Rock Scully's kid- there is much about the culture of the deadheads that was unappealing, but:

At the height of their creative powers, which I'd put at 1969-78, they could be awesome. Garcia was a melodic genius- just to point out two examples listen to his Feb 1978 version of "Second that Emotion" now commercially available; or almost any version of "Scarlet Begonias" from 1977- awesome stuff. I though they got much more inconsistent after '78- still could pull out a good show now and again- and the Garcia Band I felt was more interesting overall during the '80s. In an interesting (at least to me) irony, Garcia had very catholic musical tastes- much more so than many of his fans, IMHO! I understand why people don't like them, but they'll always have a special spot in my heart.

ganderson said...

Or- listen to their version of "It's All Over Now" February 4, 1978 at the Milwaukee Auditorium. Magic!