Every man has a story to tell, but not every man knows how to tell it. Michael Cooper could certainly tell a story. He didn’t do it with words; instead his tales were best told through images of the most notable names of the freewheeling 1960s. It wasn’t only his talent, visual skill, seductive charm, charisma, and endearing personality that summarized his magnificent work. He really was an alchemical presence. Through luck or foresight, he was always there when it mattered.
Michael’s relationship with the Stones began in the early 1960s. With his camera in hand at all times, he became the de facto court photographer for them, on stage and off. He worked closely with the band, forming a strong friendship that allowed him to capture in a very honest and sensitive way the triumphs, tragedies, joy, and tears of those early days, and he encouraged the adventure to create in collaboration the iconic cover for the album Their Satanic Majesties Request.
Michael was a unique artist with an obsessive involvement, able not just to record but to participate, telling everything just like it was. He had not only an innate ability to get inside your head, but also beyond it, and with the candor and nobility to capture the intimacy of it all.
His photographs were the foundation of album covers from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request.