World's Oldest Teen-Ager Retires

Writer Jane Scott, right, interviews The Who, from left, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Roger Daltry, in the late 1960's. AP

When Jane Scott began writing about rock 'n' roll for The Plain Dealer, the Beatles were new.

Now, a month before her 83rd birthday, she's retiring.

Scott's last column appears in Friday's editions. She announced her retirement at a private luncheon for newspaper employees on Wednesday.

"All of a sudden it dawned on me - what am I trying to prove?" she said. "I just felt maybe it's about time."

She's well known in Cleveland and the rock music world as just Jane, or sometimes as the world's oldest teen-ager.

She was a 1941 graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in English and drama. Her first day at The Plain Dealer was March 24, 1952, three days after the world's first rock concert - Alan Freed's Moondog Coronation Ball at the old Cleveland Arena. She began as a society writer, and later wrote columns for teens and senior citizens.

When the Beatles performed on Sept. 15, 1964, at Cleveland's Public Hall, Scott was there as a reporter.

"I never before saw thousands of 14-year-old girls, all screaming and yelling," she said. "I realized this was a phenomenon. The whole world changed."

She became the newspaper's rock writer, scoring an interview with Paul McCartney when the Beatles returned to Cleveland for a performance in Municipal Stadium in 1966.

"It went on from there," she said. "I got hooked on it."

She wrote about the Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie and other future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers early in their careers.

She had a knack for spotting talent.

"His name is Bruce Springsteen. He will be the next superstar," she wrote in a review of a 1975 show at the Allen Theatre.

"You always felt you were extremely important when Jane was talking to you," said Michael Stanley, a Cleveland rock legend with The Michael Stanley Band.

Her ability to infiltrate the backstage area, even when performers were off-limits to the media, never has ceased to amaze veteran concert promoter Jules Belkin.

"Invariably, Jane finds a way to show up," Belkin said. "Everybody knows her."

She would break the ice with musicians by offering to read their palms or analyze their handwriting.

"We're talking about some of the most depraved people in the world," Stanley said. "But with Jane, it was like they were talking to their mom or their grandma."
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