When you picture the prototypical music insider, someone who has their finger on the pulse of all the hottest bands, your mental image would likely change depending on your favorite genre (a dreadlocked reggaehead, a leather-studded metalhead, a skinny-jeaned indie kid, etc.) But one piece of the picture that’s probably consistent is you were picturing a young person. Jane Scott defied that picture.
At the age of 45, Scott started covering rock and roll in its nascent moments and kept doing so until well into her 80s. The writer for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, who was known, among other things, for her signature red fashion frames, with roundish lenses in the cat eye frames and a keystone bridge, started her beat covering the Beatles’ 1964 Cleveland concert when none of her colleagues were interested in going.
Scott went on to interview some of the biggest names in the music world including Paul McCartney, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Mick Jagger. Though she often didn’t fit in with the rest of the artists’ swooning teenage fanbase − the Philadelphia Inquirer once referred to her as “a drop of bleached blond and pink polyester in a roiling sea of blue denim and black leather” − Scott always kept an open mind, and openly adored many of the acts she covered.
Though Scott grew up listening to music on a Victrola, her vigor and her enthusiasm kept her in the music journalism field until well into the iPod era. She passed away earlier this week from complications due to Alzheimer’s.