Rocking through the Ages
- The Beat Goes On
The Beatles. Mick Jagger. Bruce Springsteen. Paul McCartney. Otis Redding. Sonny and Cher. What do they have in common? Jane Scott. She's been Cleveland's premier Rock 'n Roll Editor for more years than she cares to count and at 82 years old she's met them all.
Jane was born right here in Cleveland, Ohio at Mt. Sinai Hospital and is a very proud graduate of Lakewood High School. She went on to the University of Michigan where she majored in English, Speech and Drama. Then back to Cleveland to the Wilcox College of Communication which was then located right on Public Square.
Jane learned secretarial skills as she went along, even though she knew early on this was not what she wanted to do. She just wanted to have a back-up plan in case she ever needed it.
The first paper she worked on was the Michigan Daily while she was in college. Once she came back to Cleveland (she actually lived in Russell at the time) she went to work for the Chagrin Valley Herald as the Women's Editor.
This opened up new doors for her and soon she was a "stringer" for the Plain Dealer. As such, she was not a member of the staff, but it was her job to cover anything that happened in Chagrin Falls, Russell, Bentleyville and Pepper Pike.
She would go to town meetings and all major events in those cities and phone in anything of interest. If they used her information, she'd be paid. If not, well, maybe next time.
Jane Scott signing autographs November 2007
A position opened up at the Plain Dealer as Society Assistant, covering the "A List" weddings and Debutante Balls. It was a "humbling" job, Jane recalls. "It was a lot like sales, making cold calls, trying to get information and invitations. It was a time in Cleveland Society when you just weren't it if your daughters wedding didn't make the front page! "
Jane got a big break when she covered a story of Identical Twins becoming engaged to Identical Twins. The story was picked up and carried throughout the world, as far away as Pakistan!
The scope of Jane's job began to grow. She was now simultaneously writing for the Boys and Girls Page, Young Ohio and the Rock Page as well as articles on Golden Agers. Names like Golden Age never appealed to her, so she named her column The Senior Class. Since she was covering such diverse age groups she liked to tell people she covered everything "From Pimples to Pensions".
Working on the teen stories brought her in contact with a lot of young people - and she loved working with them. She went to a lot of events with local bands. The first Cleveland Band to hit the charts, she recalls, was The Choir with their hit "It's Cold Outside."
Jane finds it puzzling how few Cleveland based groups really make it big. She always thought the Michael Stanley Band should have been bigger than it was, but something kept them from making it all the way to the top. "But local Clevelander's make it in other fields besides music", she says "such as acting and business"
Jane Scott with Guitarmania Guitar
In preparation for her eventual work as Rock Editor she spent every Saturday night for six straight years at the WEWS station watching The Upbeat Show being taped. She met (and loved) Simon and Garfunkel at one of these tapings, just the first of many stars she would be in contact with throughout the years.
She interviewed The Beatles and to this day Paul McCartney is one of her favorites. She spoke to Otis Redding on the day before he died, but never did get to meet Elvis. "But I have to tell you - nobody tried harder than me. I was relentless, but it never paid off - at least not with Elvis!"
"In those days", Jane remembers "there was only one concert now and then, so going to a live rock concert was a very big deal. Now, there's so many almost every night of the week, so you really can't go to them all"
She finds Neil Young to be talented, but not overly friendly; she had Billy Joel confess to her that he likes having written songs, but does not like the writing process; and has no problem understanding Julia Robert's attraction to Lyle Lovett (although she does NOT understand the break-up!)
Mick Jagger was a lot of fun, but she can't respect the way he treats women and nothing could ever embarrass Rod Stewart even though Jane thought a few times he should have been.
Larry Morrow, Jane Scott and Drew Carey
Jane makes a distinction between Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. She likes Hard Rock, especially Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but has little use for Heavy Metal.
And she is not at all pleased with the excessive life style of many of the stars. When it comes to the sexual exploits of the stars she wishes they would just "control themselves". "It is much harder to find a good friend than a good lover and I wish they would concentrate on that!"
Jane herself is a wonderful example of self-control and discipline. She has no desire to do any type of drug, not even caffeine, alcohol or nicotine. She values her freedom and refuses to be controlled by any substance she may put into her system. She watches what she eats, but admits her big temptations are chocolate and caramel.
She is also appalled at the cost of concert tickets. Having paid $2.50 a ticket for the best seats in the house, she struggles with trying to understand a $90.00 ticket price.
Daffy Dan and Jane Scott
She's a true music fan - not just Rock. She remembers Benny Goodman coming to play in her school gym. She loved it. Tommy Dorsey's "Marie" still brings a smile to her lips. And there's nothing quite like the old blues - her favorite is Pinetop Perkins.
Jane has many interests besides music. She is an avid deltiologist, which you may or may not know is a postcard collector. Her collection centers around Cleveland Postcards.
She's at the top of the list when people are looking for speakers. She talks about her memories of Cleveland, and people tell her theirs. She's also a sports fan - especially football and baseball.
This year's Superbowl was high on her "must see" list because not only did she get to watch a great football game, but one of her favorite bands, U2, would be playing.
She swims laps and loves to read, although doesn't always have the time she needs to read everything she would like to. She's traveled to many different countries including Ireland, Holland, Lithuania and, Germany.
She remembers being in bed one night in County Limerick, Ireland and hearing the click of people walking around on the cobblestone outside. She thought to herself "I should be part of that" and got up out of bed and went out to join the fun.
Jane has always been "part of that". She has always been where the action is and, in fact, is often the one causing the action. She smiles with sincerity and depth and you can't help but smile back.
April 3, 2002, Jane Scott retired. She won't be writing about the rock scene any more. But for her, this is not the day the music died, but rather the day a new song began. She will never retire from her active life; she will merely replace one activity for another.
Bob Dylan wrote, " May you be, Forever Young". They say he wrote it for his child. I think Jane Scott took it to heart and is, in fact, forever young.
Profiled in 2002 by Debbie Hanson
Update: Jane Scott, Cleveland's Oldest Teenager, passed away on July 4, 2011 at age 92. We expect she is currently doing interviews with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and many others.
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