Living in the Haight before and during the Summer of Love, Scully was a member of the Family Dog, a group that promoted rock concerts in San Francisco. He first saw the Grateful Dead play at one of Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, and signed on as the band's manager almost immediately. He started to book the band at small local venues like the Fillmore and the Avalon, places where other bands such as Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Quicksilver Messenger Service got their start. Within a few years, the Dead became more successful, and Scully helped negotiate their first record contract, with Warner Bros. He also got them booked into larger concerts like the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. He remained one of the band's key managers until 1984, then returned briefly in 1985.
Scully was the co-author with David Dalton of the book Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead.
Rock Scully was born on August 1, 1941 in Seattle, Washington. He graduated from Earlham College in Indiana. He was with Nicki Scully. They had two children, one of whom died in the 2004 tsunami while vacationing in Thailand. Scully was also married to Carolyne Christie, the niece of the Marquess of Zetland; Christie later married Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. Scully died of lung cancer on December 16, 2014, in Monterey, California.
- Kreps, Daniel (December 21, 2014). "Original Grateful Dead Manager Rock Scully Dead at 73", Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- Martin, Douglas (December 20, 2014). "Rock Scully, Grateful Dead's Manager Who Put the Band on Records, Dies at 73", New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- Vaziri, Aidin (December 19, 2014). "Rock Scully, the Grateful Dead's First Manager, Dies at 73", San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- Joseph, Adam (December 16, 2014). "Former Grateful Dead Manager and Local Rock Icon Rock Scully Has Died", Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Gleason, Ralph J. (December 5, 1969). "Bad Vibes for Rolling Stones", San Francisco Chronicle via dead.net. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- Mabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd: The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus. ISBN 978-1-84938-370-7.
- Reuters (December 17, 2014). "First Grateful Dead Manager Rock Scully Dies at Age 73", Reuters. Retrieved December 18, 2014.