Witness to history. She
probably made some, too.
By Fred Mills
You can count on one hand the number of rock critics that
could genuinely be considered “legendary,” particularly when you consider how
hard today’s crop of scribes seems to be aiming for another term – “hackdom”
and those who’ve been around for awhile seem content to recycle the same old
clichés they were writing two decades ago. But Cleveland’s Jane Scott certainly qualified
for the label, a mainstay of that city’s The
Plain Dealer newspaper for 50 years until retiring in 2002. Word arrived
yesterday morning that Scott passed away on July 4 at the age of 92, following
a lengthy illness.
According to the obituary published yesterday by the Plain Dealer‘s John Soeder at
Cleveland.com, Scott’s byline was in the paper “thousands of times” for
features, reviews and a regular column, “What’s Happening.”
Wrote Soeder, “Scott was on a first-name basis not only with music fans
across Northeast Ohio, but with most of the
luminaries in the rock ‘n’ roll universe. Paul McCartney was an old pal of
hers. Bruce Springsteen serenaded her in concert. And when she met Bob Dylan,
the World’s Oldest Teenager (as Scott was affectionately known) got a peck on
each cheek from the Voice of a Generation.”
“The thing about rock is,” Scott was quoted as saying in 2002, “it gets
you up on your feet and dancing and you forget everything else. The beat gets
Truer words were never uttered.
Scott started at the newspaper in 1952 and was literally witness to the
entirety of rock’s history, from the Beatles’ 1964 appearance in Cleveland to all that came
after – Stones, Who, Led Zep, Doors, Aretha Franklin, Frank Zappa, Springsteen,
Nirvana, Prince, U2… and more.
In 1999 the Raspberries reunited to play at her 80th birthday
party. Hey, fellow scribes – don’t hold your breath about having a classic band
get back together to serenade you anytime soon.
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