"He was a longtime and valued customer," a store representative of art and architecture bookstore Hennessey + Ingalls said Thursday. "We'll miss him."
"Someone mentioned that Michael Jackson had been in their store," Dutton said by phone Thursday, "And everybody said he'd shopped in their store too."
It was the early 1980s when Dutton first saw Jackson, who came in wearing "very large sunglasses." He had bodyguards with him, but he was solitary and quiet. "There was no display of 'I'm Michael Jackson,' " Dutton recalled. "I don't remember him actually saying anything." Each time he shopped at Dutton's store, he'd buy four or five books.
Brother Dave Dutton got a call in the late '80s or early '90s from an assistant, who asked if he'd close his store early so Jackson could shop there alone. "We did close early," he recalled by phone as his wife Judy and son Dirk discussed Jackson's visits. "About a quarter to 9 he showed up in a big van," Dave Dutton said. "Once you got over the initial caution because of those burly guys with him, he was very nice."
In later years, Jackson would wear a surgical mask during his visits. In an X17 online video of him on New Year's Eve 2008, in what appears to be Hennessey + Ingalls, he browses for books under a black umbrella, often held by an assistant.
"He loved the poetry section," Dave Dutton said as Dirk chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson's favorite. "I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics."
Largely an autodidact, Jackson was quite well read, according to Jackson's longtime lawyer. "We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues," Bob Sanger told the LA Weekly after the singer's death. "But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . Freud and Jung -- go down the street and try and find five people who can talk about Freud and Jung."
Hours after his death, Jackson's 1988 autobiography, "Moonwalk," despite being out of print, entered the Amazon bestseller list for biography and memoir at No. 25.
"I've always wondered if there was a library in Neverland," Doug Dutton mused. Indeed there was -- Sanger told LA Weekly that Jackson's collection totaled 10,000 books.
And while the seven-bedroom Holmby Hills home that he leased this year had a sunny pool and other luxuries the sunlight-wary Jackson might not have taken advantage of, it also featured something he very well might have: a wood-paneled library.