I have not one brother now, but many brothers. Here’s some stories about some of them. Mark Verlander accompanied me on the airplane Monday, stood by us during this toughest of Januaries and created the beautiful illustration of Todd that we’ve been using for the memorials. He also created The Sippy Cups with Doug Nolan and me, and was the guitar player and a songwriter for them. Monday he delivered me into the subway system from JFK. It was a great comfort to have a close friend on the plane with me as I headed away from the familiar to try and understand what happened to Todd in NYC this past Fall.
I arrived at Montrose Ave., Brooklyn and Zak Zaidman, my NY host, arrived at the same moment from Manhattan coming the other way. Todd called Zak ‘the third Godwin brother’. Zak has been a close friend for 18 years and one of Amee’s and my first friends in the Bay Area. Big-hearted, handsome, a Mexican Jew, he’s as uniquely creative and funny as a male Godwin, with some similar emotional terrain to traverse. These ‘sympatico’ factors drew Todd and he closely together since they first met. They were in constant touch while Todd tried to rebuild his NY life from October to January. Zak co-created and produced a flight simulator game called Banzai Bug for his company Gravity in the 90’s, and Todd did many of the voices including the main character, who he infused with his Phone Crazy-style humor. Disney worked with Gravity in those days and seems to have been “influenced” by many of the ideas and characters from this project when they created the film “Bug,” several years later.
Zak has brought so much insight to me surrounding Todd’s last months here and his struggles. It has been important to have these conversations with Todd’s NY family and I will continue to do so this weekend in Woodstock. Sunday we will see many more of his East Coast posse, as we hold a small gathering to honor him on his birthday (April 10, 1957). If you’re in the area and have not heard about the event, here is a link and you are welcome to attend. Link to Gathering For Todd