Michael Jackson changed my life. I'm sure I'm not the only one. His books educated and inspired not one, but several generations of beer lovers and writers. No-one will ever have the same impact on the beer world.
I can't claim to have known him personally, though we did once exchange a few words. I was always reluctant to pester him when our paths did cross. The last time that happened was at the British Guild of Beer Writers dinner in 2006. Michael Jackson was on our table. He sat next to John White, who was as excited and nervous as a teenage girl meeting her boy band heroes. John spent the whole evening talking to Michael. It seemed rude to interrupt. Later, when the great man had left, John told me it was one of the highlights of his life.
A mere nine months later and both John and Michael are gone. The world is a lesser place for their passing.
I would write more, but, as usual, Michael has made a much better job of it than I ever could. His final columno is a poignant and funny exploration of his own mortality. A fitting epitaph for a truly great man and a wonderful human being.
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