When Nathaniel Ayers performed yesterday at the White House, it was only fitting that L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez went along. Ayers, the street musician made famous by Lopez's columns and "The Soloist" book and movie, got a private audience with President Obama before playing on the White House lawn at a ceremony commemorating the Americans With Disabilities Act. From Lopez's online column:
To be honest, I had misgivings about the trip. I tend to err on the side of being overprotective and shielding my friend from stressful situations. Despite remarkable progress, he is still at the mercy of unpredictable storms like those that knocked him out of the Juilliard music school nearly 40 years ago with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
But the dreamer already had the scene in his head — Mr. Ayers goes to Washington. And he made a passionate appeal to our friendship, asking me please to be there with him.
Patti LaBelle also performed on the same bill as Ayers.
Speaking of the LAT: Tribune's bosses urge the staff to stay focused in the face of that report on fraud in Sam Zell's takeover, and the Register's new CEO sort of throws cold water on the idea of a Register-Times merger post-bankruptcy.