Jane Scott may never be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but as museum president and CEO Terry Stewart puts it, "she will always be in the house." Family members unveiled a life-sized sculpture of the late Plain Dealer rock journalist during a ceremony in the museum's lower lobby on July 5, a day after the first anniversary of her death at age 92.
The cast-bronze figure is a gift to the Rock Hall from Scott's nephew, William Scott, and nieces Linda Scott Cook and Sarah Scott Gooding. It was inspired by the outpouring of affection for their aunt at her public memorial service.
"I was bowled over — we all were — by how Cleveland had embraced her," says Gooding, a retired speech therapist living in California. "We just felt the memorial wasn't enough."
The trio originally envisioned a bench that incorporated Jane's trademark red eyeglasses as the back and arms. But when they visited the Lakewood studio of former Cleveland Institute of Art president David Deming, they were so impressed by his work that they commissioned a rendering of Jane, posed as if she's interviewing someone, on a simple oak bench for two. The design provides the photo op so many fans sought, even after she retired in 2002.
Deming used family photos and feedback to refine every detail, right down to Jane's slightly asymmetrical smile. His own memory of a single meeting over a decade ago helped shape the eyes. "She had a very intense stare, but pixie-like," he recalls. "When she was talking with you, her eyes were wide open."
The lone slightly-less-than-realistic feature is the bobbed coif. The family struggled to determine just how tidy it should be. "You're going to say, 'Well, maybe her hair is a little neater than I remember,' " says Scott, who co-owns a chain of pizza shops in New Mexico.
But everyone agrees on the authenticity of the ticket stub safety-pinned to the jacket, the reporter's notebook inscribed with favorite first questions (the originals will be available to view at the Rock Hall's library and archives), and the glasses, which Deming painted red to "add a little of the joy she expressed." He even tucked a jar of peanut butter in her bag, a nod to the peanut-butter sandwich she packed for every concert. The result is so lifelike that seeing it for the first time was a powerful experience for family and friends.
"It was very emotional for me, to sit there and look at those eyes," Scott says. "You hear her giggle, her voice."