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Dr. George "Skip" Gay,
founder of Rock Medicine
1931 - 2008

Memorial Service for Dr. George 'Skip' Gay
Sunday, March 30, 2008 at high noon at Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View CA 94043

Ann Salisbury, Dr David Smith, Emily Smith, Tito Gay, Ron Perez, Joel Williams, & Robbie Porter

Past & Present Rock Medicine Volunteers

Kathy Ferris - Penny Miller-Gay - Leigh Davidson

On February 13, 2008 the Rock Medicine founder Dr. Skip Gay passed away. A memorial for Dr. Skip was held on Sunday March 30th, 12 noon at Shoreline Amphitheater. This was a catered event with a no-host bar and was open to all who want to attend. Many set aside that day to remember and celebrate the life of Skip and the organization he helped create. 35 years later Rock Medicine is still vibrant and providing free health care for concert goers and whoever else needs us all over Northern California.

This brought family and friends from all over the country together as Skip's passion touched so many and sparked so many careers. I owe my life's work to Skip and want this to be a day to remember forever. Feel free to pass this message on to those who might not been able to attend want to share some photos. - Dr Dave

Click Here to Sign the
Online Guest Book for
George R. "Skip" Gay M.D.

George R. "Skip" Gay, MD died February 13th, 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska after a short illness. He was 77 years old.

He was born January 9th, 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended John Burroughs School and then went on to Amherst University. He served four years as a Navy combat air crewman during the Korean War. Upon return, he attended medical school at the University of Missouri, graduating in 1961. Before graduating with honors, he served as class president and one of the first editors and cartoonists for the student yearbook, MUtation. He completed a surgery internship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Missouri and a fellowship in anesthesiology at Boston Children's Hospital. Gay was also a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and the American College of Emergency Medicine. After a stint in private practice in Springfield, Mo., he became an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

As the country was caught up in the fascination of the Hippie Movement with the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco as its epicenter, so was Skip Gay. Drawn to the events and energy of San Francisco in the sixties, Gay opened a private practice in anesthesiology in San Francisco in 1967. He soon gave up his practice however, to devote more time to his volunteer work at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic. His dedication was intense and in time he gave up his corvette, his apartment in Tiburon and switched his Brooks Brothers suits for love beads and tie-dye tee shirts and jeans.

Dr. Gay founded a heroin clinic and drug detoxification unit at the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, where he pioneered the treatment of drug abuse and volunteered as an emergency medicine physician. He testified before a National Institute Health committee in 1969 and was soon granted funds to create a detoxification, rehabilitation and education program. He built programs using a multi-disciplinary approach that involved medical and dental care, withdrawal-management therapies and psychological counseling.

In 1973 he created Rock Medicine, a program that has provided free medical services at thousands of concerts - from the early days of Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead to over 550 concerts and festivals last year and tending to over 3,000 patients.

As director of the free clinic's training programs, Gay shared what he learned with hundreds of medical students. Throughout his first 10 years at the clinic, Gay served as a clinical instructor for state universities in California, Texas and Hawaii. In 1989, Gay returned to academic medicine and joined the department of anesthesiology at the University of California Davis Medical Center. As an associate professor, he mentored medical students and residents, and was the principal investigator in several significant research projects.

Dr. Gay also worked as a physician for the California Department of Corrections. During his tenure as chief medical officer at a large correctional center, he created a program that provided emergency care for inmates who battled floods and fires in the state.

For the last five years Dr. Gay worked in Valdez, Alaska. He found enormous satisfaction in practicing medicine in a small rural community. As the only anesthesiologist for 100 miles in any direction, Gay provided essential emergency medical and anesthesia services as member of the Valdez Medical Clinic. Alaska offered Gay the chance to fish for his trophy salmon and show his champion Samoyeds.

He is survived by his wife, Penny Miller; his sons, Roger (Lorraine) of Monte Vista, California, and Daniel (Brenda) of Indianapolis, Indiana; his daughters, Georganna "Janno" Gay, of Pawlet, Vermont and Tennee (Surya) Anderson of Mendocino, California, and his sister, Tito Gay (Findlay) of St. Louis, and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on March 3rd at the Valdez Medical Center and on Sunday, March 30th, 2008 at Shoreline Amphitheater, One Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View Ca. at 12 noon. Donations in Dr. Gay's honor may be made to: Rock Medicine, P.O. Box 756, Roseville, Ca. 95661-9998

'It's So Good, Don't Even Try It Once': Heroin in Perspective. (Paperback 1972)
by David E. Smith  & George R. Gay (Authors)

Dr Skip Gay in 1969 at the Medical Detox Clinic

Dr George Gay in front of the door he painted "No Using Dope... this could close our Clinic. 1971

Jerry Garcia's Memorial - August 9, 1995
Dr. Rick Lavine, Dr Dave Smith, Barbara Horn, Dr Skip Gay & Rick Clayton

Dr Skip & Raz sitting on the back of the 'Supply Truck'

Here are a few links to stories about
Dr George 'Skip' Gay and Rock Medicine 

Medicine Drugs and rock ‘n’ roll The life and times of George “Skip” Gay
Missouri Medical Review Spring 2001
Article by Angela Wilson
For University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
alumni and friends Volume 20 - Number 2 - Spring 2001

Dr George 'Skip' Gay
Rock Med Director
 1980 - 1984

Dr Skip Gay's 30 Years of Rock Med Slide Show
This is the slide show that Dr Gay used when he went on
speaking engagements for both Rock Medicine &
The Haight Ashbury Free Clinics in the 70's & 80's

Dr Gay's Second Slide Show
of Rock Medicine Volunteers

From the start through the 1990's
Free Clinic's 'Rock Medicine'
crew handles crises at concerts
Oakland Tribune - Sunday, October 25, 1981
by George Estrada, Tribune Staff Writer

Dressed as Santa with his dogs
Dr Skip Gay sends a Happy Holidays
photo card to Rock Med from Alaska in 2003

Rock and Rollers never die --
they find Rock Med instead.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian
By Marcy Sheiner June 28 - July 4, 1995 page 22

Back in December 1994 Scott Winkour of
San Francisco Examiner wrote a story about
me called Santa and the DEAD
in the story Skip tells the story
 about starting Rock Medicine
 "Back in 1972," says Skip Gay, 63, the Jamestown anesthesiologist who...

San Jose Mercury News March 6, 1995
By BRAD KAVE, Staff Writer

Dr Don & Dr Skip 1997

Two docs hamming it up for the camera in 1973


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