Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper was a great friend and 'court photographer' to The Rolling Stones and formed a very close friendship with Keith Richards. He was one of the few photographers to work with The Beatles and The Stones.

Michael Cooper was a British born photographer who captured some of the most iconic photographs of The Rolling Stones in the mid-60s as well as other leading musicians including The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Marianne Faithfull.  He was a friend and associate of many writers, artists and musicians in the 60s and 70s including Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, William Burroughs and Jean Genet and more.

He developed a close friendship with the Stones' Keith Richards, which opened up an opportunity to capture intimate images of the Stones in their natural environments, For periods, he and his son even spent a lot of time living with Keith and girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg.

Cooper's was one of the few people who had both a professional and personal relationship with the Beatles and the Stones at the same time.  He was the photographer who worked with Peter Blake on the 1967 LP Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover by The Beatles and later worked on the cover photograph for the Rolling Stones 1967 LP Their Satanic Majesties Request.

He was considered to be the best photographer in London at the time and there is speculation that suggests the film Blow-up was based around his life and not David Bailey’s.  He was the staff photographer for Vogue and his charm and humour meant he formed close bonds and friendships with people immediately. Cooper was deeply rooted in the art and music scene in London at the time so his involvement with drugs was almost inevitable.  After spending time with his girlfriend, Felicity Meredith-Owen, in her family home in order to kick his heroin habit, he had a period of a relatively straight and productive existence however in 1973 Michael committed suicide by taking some Mandrax (a sedative drug that was often used as a recreational drug, also known as Quaaludes) and topping it off with Scotch.

Cooper's photographs feature in the book Michael Cooper: You Are Here - The London Sixties, edited by Robin Muir and also in the book The Early Stones, also edited by Perry Richardson.

Our Michael Cooper Collections

Rolling Stones (1)

Books and Box Sets