Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Journobit: Jane Scott

Sad to hear of the death of, perhaps, the original rock journalist, Jane Scott.

Scott was hired by the Cleveland Plain Dealer three days after Alan Freed had promoted the first rock and roll show in the city, albeit as a society reporter. Ironically, before she would shift to writing about pop, she had a stint covering senior citizens. For some reason, this was doubled up with a column for small kids; the next step was for her to create a miscellany for teens. And it was while gathering content for that column that she came to see The Beatles when they played Cleveland:

"When the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show, I knew what the kids really wanted to read. Once I found rock, I was never interested in anything else."
Scott did manage to carry on writing the senior's column alongside, though, for the next two decades. The rock writing, though, would continue until 2002.

She wasn't forgotten, though, even when she hung up her notebook (nb: this line must appear, by law, in any piece about a retiring journalist):
"Jane's impact and influence on generations of rock music fans, performers and journalists can be felt in the tributes, messages and notes that have come pouring into us," Plain Dealer managing editor Thom Fladung told CNN. "From the likes of Lyle Lovett, who said, 'Music lost one of the dearest members of its family,' to the fan who simply said, 'Salutations to Jane Scott. What a badass.'
The Plain Dealer has opened a book of condolences, and has offered a generous slice of her archive. Her obit page has them all, but try the Pere Ubu:
Psychedelic. Now that's a word that has been bruited about. It doesn't even show up in Webster's Third International Dictionary.

Most people consider it mind-bending. Most relate it to the acid rock of 1967, which tried to reproduce the distorted feeling through music that you got through LSD or other chemicals.

So what does the psychedelic music of the '80s mean to them? What are the essentials?

A beat. An emotion. A desire to communicate.

Melody means nothing.
Oh, to have been writing about music when there was still so many introductions to be offered.

Jane Scott was 92.