Jacket Copy

Books, authors and all things bookish

« Previous Post | Jacket Copy Home | Next Post »

Michael Jackson's bookstore visits leave a collectible behind

June 25, 2009 |  5:24 pm

Michael Jackson wasn't the only celebrity who'd shop at Elliot Katt Books on the Performing Arts in West Hollywood, but he was, perhaps, one of the friendlier ones. "The owner got to know him fairly well," says Malcolm Bell, a friend and colleague. "On one occasion he asked him to sign a copy of his book."

That's where the personalized edition of Michael Jackson's 1988 biography comes in. Bell listed the book on EBay today for $999 (the "Buy it Now" price is $1,500).

"I think there's a lot of fans right now that would like to have this book," Bell said, noting that Jackson's death had left him in shock. "It brings back memories of Elvis Presley's passing."

Elliot Katt's bookstore, which carried high-end books on the performing arts, has been closed for some time. Six or seven months ago, he left just one item from his collection with Bell to sell on commission -- his signed "Moonwalk" by Michael Jackson.

Bell runs the independent Mystery and Imagination Bookstore in Glendale with his wife. Katt's bookstore, he says, was a "fine-quality cinema bookshop." Now in his 70s, Katt has retired, Bell says, to Arkansas -- far from the neighborhood where a pop star was a regular customer.

-- Carolyn Kellogg