Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Happy 90th Birthday to Jane Scott


Legendary former Plain Dealer rock critic Jane Scott turns 90 years old today.

For those of you that are outside of Cleveland, this link will give you some entertaining material to read about Jane. And for even more reading, check out this 2004 interview with Jane!

How about this stat from Wikipedia:

Scott retired in April 2002, after 50 years at The Plain Dealer. Scott estimated that she had attended over 10,000 concerts and music events during her career.

One of those shows was Woodstock '94:

Frankly, my common sense told me it would be foolish to go to Woodstock ‘94 in Saugerties, NY.

Hundreds of thousands of people as far as your trifocals could see and probably very few senior citizens. I might be the oldest one there. But then, I might never get another chance (Woodstock 2019 seemed a little far away).

So go I did.

I must say that the young people there didn’t stare at me, or even question what I was up to. However, one streetwise 19-year-old took me under her wing and said I should get with the 90’s. Her binoculars unscrewed and revealed two flasks of hootch.

But I was done in, along with three young things, by a dirty three-letter word: Mud. I not only slipped on a little hill the second day, but couldn’t get enough traction to stay up.

A kindly photographer retrieved my mud-covered glasses and led me through the tent cities to the press area.

I sneaked out early the third day and watched Bob Dylan on pay-per-view while nuzzled in a cozy armchair at a nearby bed and breakfast.

In spite of the flaws and failures, there was good music. Melissa Etheridge came into her own with her strong, raspy voice. The Neville Brothers and Blues Traveler stirred up the crowd, mud-coated Nine Inch Nails was electrifying. And who could forget Dylan.

This video, produced by Mary Cipriani, will give you some more nice visuals from Jane's amazing career, featuring a smattering of the artists that Scott interviewed throughout her career.

Artists pictured: Paul McCartney, The Who, Brian Wilson, Joan Baez, Mary Travers, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Rick Derringer, Ian Hunter(w/ Steve Popovich, Hank LoConti), Phil Collins, Kevin Cronin, Billy Squier, Billy Joel, Michael Stanley, John Waite, Meatloaf, Huey Lewis, Heart, Sting, Til Tuesday, MOD, N'Sync, Mark Wahlberg, Joan Jett, Indigo Girls, Lene Lovich, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Lyle Lovett, Adam Clayton-U2, Bruce Springsteen.

Michael Heaton of the Plain Dealer shares details on how you can send a birthday card to Jane, and has a GREAT suggestion:

Sweet Jane: May 3 is the 90th birthday of the first lady of rock critics, Jane Scott. A small army of family and friends will gather at a private party to help her blow out the candles. Send birthday cards to Jane Scott, c/o Ennis Court, 13315 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 44107. Isn't it about time Jane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the nonperforming category? I think it is. Perhaps Curator Jim Henke can get that ball rolling.

Jane was/is a giant Bruce Springsteen fan, and Bruce always had a backstage invitation waiting for Jane, and often a song dedication from the stage.

For me personally, I was very intrigued by the 70-something rock critic when I moved to Cleveland in 1989. I recognized Jane immediately the first time that I saw her at a show. Of course, I had to go up and introduce myself (I was all of about 16 or 17 years old at this point.) Jane couldn't have been nicer, and I saw her at many shows from Black 47 at the Phantasy to the reunited Foreigner at North Coast Harbor in 1993. Every time that I would see her at a show, she would always have a story to share about the older bands (in this case Foreigner,) that would blow your mind. She would tell me these stories, and we would converse, all the while with Scott taking notes in a small notepad. Jane was this way with everyone, and little did most know, that anecdotes from their conversations would likely wind up as part of the concert review in the Plain Dealer that next day.

Jane is a legend, and to date, the coolest person I've ever had the pleasure to meet. She ranks higher than any celebrity you can name that I might have met, and taught me a great deal about the kind of person I wanted to become professionally - most importantly, how to treat the people you come in contact with. I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet her.

Dear Jane,

Long May You Run....

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Rose Institute

  • Craig

    “Jane you watched me change from a boy to a man”

    I didn’t write that, but I bring it up because I actually told her this once. She was sitting in front of me at a Moody Blues concert some years ago, with her pen an pad in hand. I tapped her on the shoulder and blurted out the classic Beau Coup lyric. Because it was true, even though I do not know her personally, she has been a part of my concert going experience since the beginning. I think it’s safe to say I would walk by her at %80 of the shows I went to, always saying hello or waving at her. She was and always will be a part of the Cleveland music experience, and the reason I saved all the Friday magazines back in the 80’s. :)

    Happy Birthday Jane!

    BTW: Let’s show Beau Coup some Love!


  • Mike Hayward

    Very cool story, Matt! Thanks.

  • kevin

    A legend in her own time. She ought to be inducted into the Rock Hall if she hasn’t been already.

    However, I don’t see her kissing that weasel Jann Wennner’s ass to get in so it probably isn’t likely…

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