Members of the Philadel
phia Public Relations Hall of Fame* recently had breakfast with Los Angeles Times columnist and best-selling author Steve Lopez (bearded, on right) when Lopez returned to Philadelphia to publicize the upcoming movie based on his book The Soloist, the real-life account of a homeless musician with schizophrenia who sleeps each night on one of skid row's most dangerous streets.
The Soloist recounts Lopez's effort to help musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and just to give you some insight into this remarkable story it is subtitled: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, And The Redemptive Power of
Steve Lopez joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times in May 2001 after four years at Time Inc., where he wrote for Time, Sports Illustrated, Life and Entertainment Weekly. Prior to Time Inc., Lopez was a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer which is how we came to know him.
Before that he worked for the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune. His work has won numerous national journalism awards for column writing and magazine reporting.
A California native, Lopez is the author of three novels and a this newest work of non-fiction which has been chosen as the book all of Philadelphia is reading for the for the Free Library of Philadelphia's "One Book" program. We had a great time with Lopez who regaled us with stories of the characters and incidents that peppered his time in Philadelphia where he often funny, frequently insightful and always irreverent column was must-reading.
Lopez says that Philadelphia is "a city where everyone is born here and no one ever leaves" whereas Los Angeles is a place where "no one is born there and everyone travels to or from there at one time or another." He told us that he misses Philadelphia's distinctive characters, wonderful neighborhoods, narrow streets and appealing walkability. "You can always find a story in Philadelphia," Lopez said. "In Los Angeles you have to travel a bit further and dig a bit harder to find a story."
Lopez also expressed his deep concern for the future of newspapers and urged us to "find the biggest advertisers in your local newspaper and then go out and patronize those advertisers."
The Soloist will star Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Fox. It opens in theaters on April 29.
We'll have more on the movie shortly.
*Also shown (from left) Anne Klein Communications Group Account Manager Chris Lukach, Anne Klein, President of Anne Klein CG and Philadelphia PR guru and actress Sylvia Kauders.