Heard this story before? Small-town kid with talent defies his parents, travels to the big city looking for success only to find crushing indifference and heartbreak, then, almost magically, the Big Break arrives. It's the classic L.A. story -- as well as the 16th century tale of artist Taddeo Zuccaro in Rome, which is told in a series of drawings now on display at the Getty Center. The Getty's associate curator of drawings, Julian Brooks, saw the Tinseltown parallels and that led to a novel notion: This Friday night at the center, 11 L.A. singer-songwriters will perform original works inspired by Zuccaro's struggles. The line-up includes Priscilla Ahn, Dax Bauser and Shannon Hurley, whom Rolling Stone recently named one of the Top 25 artists on MySpace. Call (310) 440-7300 for details . . . Big Boy of Power 106 ain't as hefty as he used to be, but big enough to play Santa a week from today. He's hosting an on-air, salute-the-troops event at Quiet Cannon in Montebello ( 724-4500) next Thursday morning. Expect a strong turn-out by L.A. rap and R&B stars; a military I.D. equals gifts for you or your family . . . Dec. 20 is the 50th birthday of the righteous Mike Watt, the beloved punk pioneer who co-founded the Minutemen. He'll celebrate by playing with his current band Banyan at Di Piazza's in Long Beach ( 498-2461). Bring some quality ear protection.
-- Geoff Boucher@latimes.com