Van Badham Andrew P Street and Andrew Stafford: you may have heard of Izzy – he was the guitarist of the legendary 80s pub act, the Fabulous Zarsoff Brothers. My dad actually booked them once. Write it down, please, somewhere: he was an extraordinary musician, and a very good man.
Van Badham I wrote the following for his life companion, Lynne: Lynne, amidst heartbreak, be consoled that the man who was your beloved companion was no ordinary man. He was a leader, a fighter, a guru, a comrade, a friend. He was a man of independent thought and resolute moral principle. He was an artist, a maker and creator and a bard in the truest sense. Meeting Izzy as an 18 year old was the encounter that inspired the directions I took in my own life – artistic and political. He proved to me in his example that those who are as selfless as they are motivated have the power to open minds and effect change. He had the rare quality of the true champion – to understand the indivisibility of leadership and teamwork. He was good. He was kind. He shared what he learned with uninhibited generosity, he told a cracking story and he was always prepared to take the piss out of himself. He spoke truth to power. And he loved you, truly. He leaves love and good example behind him as he embarks on his next journey, and so he endures.
Van Badham I am thinking of how he used to treat his terrible migraines by trapping his head in a wire hanger. And it makes me think what I should have realised before hearing this today: that he appeared in my life as some kind of sage, or wizard – a Gandalf or Merlin – grey-bearded, wise to the world, stepping out from the edge of a grey forest at a crossroads, and, smiling, nudging me gently towards my true way.