Thursday, July 7, 2011

Everything I Learned About Rock Music In The Sixties I Learned From This Woman

Jane Scott Is Dead at 92; Veteran Rock Music Critic

I met Ms. Scott back in the 70's when I was working at an AOR*-formatted radio station, but I'd been reading her column since I was 13.  The same year we met I had interviewed Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Denny Laine of Paul McCartney's band, Wings, and jazz legend Larry Coryell, but she was the one of whom I was in awe.  Jane Scott was a great lady and a great reporter, and very patient with what I'm sure were some tedious interview questions. 

What made her a great reporter was an instinct that cannot be learned, as illustrated in this quotation from the obit: "She found her lifework on Sept. 15, 1964, the day four lads from Liverpool came to Cleveland. No one at the paper was interested in covering the Beatles, and Ms. Scott volunteered."

The evening I met Ms. Scott, we were in attendance at the same concert in a 200-seat venue in Cleveland's Playhouse Square.  “He looked like a cross between a dockhand and a pirate,” she wrote in The Plain Dealer in 1975, reviewing a young musician. “He stood on the darkened Allen Theater stage last night in a black greaser jacket, blue jeans, a gray wool cap pulled over an eye and a gold earring in his left ear. ... His name is Bruce Springsteen. He will be the next superstar.”  She made this observation at the age of 56, and was the first to do so.

Good on you, Jane.  You made the New York Times.  Ave atque vale.

*AOR = Album-oriented Rock