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In an interview with Sharon Osbourne prior to his performance with Lady Gaga in the old Tower Records parking lot on the Sunset Strip the day before the Oscars, Sir Elton John mourned the passing of Tower and the fate of his favorite L.A. bookstore of 40 years.
“I love record stores … and book stores,” John told Osborne. “If Book Soup, over the road, went as well, then I’d probably throw myself off a cliff.”
This week, Book Soup commemorated John’s endorsement on a sidewalk chalkboard in front of the store.
“He comes in every other month and stocks up,” says Book Soup’s Rob Bieselin, who lettered the chalkboard and constructed a “shrine” to the singer in one of the store’s windows in gratitude for his business and support of West Hollywood charities.
Bieselin says Book Soup’s celebrity-savvy customers leave John alone when he visits and peruses limited editions and the store’s collection of vinyl LPs. “He just does his thing.”
Book Soup, which opened in 1975 and moved to its current location at 8818 Sunset Blvd. in 1985, has long catered to film, music and literary celebrities, as well as hosting untold events for celebrity authors including Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Tom Stoppard, Edward Albee and celebrities-turned-authors like Muhammad Ali, Spike Lee, Herbie Hancock, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Hugh Hefner. (Thompson’s son Juan Thompson will read from his recently published memoir about growing up with the gonzo journalist at Book Soup on March 13.)
Having pledged to end it all if Book Soup closed, John quipped, “There’ll probably be a few people petitioning for Book Soup to close so that I will throw myself off a cliff.”
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