Steve Lopez:
Today's column: Soon to be
a major motion picture
Steve Lopez
July 27, 2008
Arnold and Antonio: You're off the hook today. You too, Mahony. I'm even declaring a moratorium on the mayor's transportation czar – you know, the guy whose Humvee I manage to mention in one out of every five columns lately.

Normally, going cold turkey on these clowns would leave me scrambling for material. But I'm not just here to hold bigwigs accountable with my inimitable blend of righteous indignation and rapier wit.

I'm also here to help homeless musicians recover from mental illness and play concerts at Disney Hall. Sure, I'm aware of the many selfless Angelenos who do far more important work in soup kitchens or with special-needs kids, but let's face it, their stories just aren't as sexy as a gruff-on-the-outside newspaper columnist with a heart of gold who helps a mentally ill violinist get back on his feet.

That's why I got a book and movie deal out of it.

And it's why I want to introduce you to my next major motion picture project: Sean Watkins, a homeless Gulf War vet who plays flawless air guitar.

In case you haven't been paying attention, this newspaper has gone from media titan to media Titanic. And I'm not exactly on good terms with the boss. (I guess he didn't like it when I heroically pounded on the door of his Malibu mansion and tweaked him in print a few times.)

My editor says I'm too high-profile to get fired, but just in case, I'd like to have another movie deal in the works. Which brings me back to Sean. If Hendrix hadn't choked to death on Mama Cass' ham sandwich, he could've learned a few tricks from this guy.

When I first encountered Sean several months ago, he was playing a rare Fender Stratocaster Air Guitar to a crowd of pigeons in Pershing Square. The next time I saw him, the Fender was gone. Someone had stolen it.

But even strumming a backup air guitar, which was missing two strings, his talent was obvious. And I knew right then and there, after calling my Hollywood agent, that I had to get involved. Stay tuned.