A picture of Representative Sam Farr
Sam F.
Democrat CA 20

About Rep. Sam
  • In Honor of Rock Scully

    by Representative Sam Farr

    Posted on 2015-01-09

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    FARR of california in the house of representatives Friday, January 9, 2015 Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the life and accomplishments of a truly remarkable man and to mourn the passing of a dear friend, Rock Scully. Rock passed away just before Christmas following a long battle with cancer. The world knew Rock as the man who managed the Grateful Dead from their inception in San Francisco through their rise to prominence to become music legends. I knew Rock as the new kid in the 6th grade who became my lifelong friend. Rock taught the Dead about business. He taught me how to ski. We grew up together, spent time together exploring the wonders of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and later traveling together to serve in interfaith peace camps in Germany and Austria in 1958. Some of my fondest memories were created with Rock. As a Member of this House, I rise to honor Rock's contribution to American culture. But as Sam Farr, I rise today to shed tears for the loss of a friend who I had known for 61 years.

    Rock was born in Seattle in 1941. I first met him when he moved to Carmel in 1952. We became friends in grammar school and went to Carmel High School together before he moved to Switzerland to finish his senior year. Rock attended Earlham College in Indiana before moving back to California for graduate school in San Francisco.

    Rock began his public career in the early 1960s, while studying at San Francisco State College. He helped organize civil rights demonstrations to fight discrimination in San Francisco including the now famous sit-ins at the Sheraton Palace Hotel and at automobile dealerships on Van Ness Avenue in 1964. The sit-ins were successful in improving hiring practices and creating agreements of non- discrimination. They also caused Rock and others to spend 30 days in the San Bruno county jail for disturbing the peace.

    At the same time, Rock found his calling in San Francisco's fledgling rock music scene. He became the manager of The Charlatans, one of the originators of what became known as the San Francisco Sound in the 1960s. He also helped support the fledgling rock scene as part of a collective known as the Family Dog.

    Just before I left to join the Peace Corps, Rock called to tell me he was going to quit graduate school to manage a new band full time. ``You're crazy!'' I said. Rock told me they were amazing and definitely going places. ``Besides,'' he said, ``they have the coolest name: the Grateful Dead.'' Rock may have been crazy but he was right. The Dead was a local Bay Area act when he started managing them in 1965. The band became an American icon in the two decades he was with them. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead put it beautifully in a message he posted upon learning of Rock's death, ``Rock helped explain the Dead to the world.'' Rock chronicled his twenty years with the band in his book ``Living with the Dead.'' He became a voice for the narrative history of musicians and artists that changed the cultural landscape of California. In many ways he was part of the broad and varied movement that helped shape California's openness to innovation, creativity, and diversity. That movement can be traced at the University of California, Santa Cruz, whose library houses the complete archives of the Grateful Dead.

    Rock played such a huge part in so many lives, but especially to his family and friends. I want to extend my condolences to his daughter, Sage Scully and stepdaughter, Acacia Scully; half sisters, Norah Scully and Kate Scully; step sisters, Julie Mayer Vognar and Amanda Mayer Stinchecum; and his brother, Dicken Scully, who travelled with us in Europe in 1958.

    Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for the whole House in celebrating Rock Scully's amazing spirit and in offering our best wishes to his family and friends. To quote the band that Rock managed for two decades, ``A box of rain will ease the pain and love will you see you through.'' ____________________

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