Arts & Culture

Check Out These Never-Before-Seen Photos of The Rolling Stones

Pictures of the rock legends as youngsters are debuting at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York.
IMAGE MICHAEL COOPER/MORRISON HOTEL GALLERY
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September 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the making of the Rolling Stones' album cover Their Satanic Majesties Request. To commemorate the rockstars, the Morrison Hotel Gallery is exhibiting a collection of never-before-seen images from their shoot with legendary photographer Michael Cooper.

Peter Blachley, owner of the hotel gallery, assembled the project with Michael's son, Adam Cooper. By no coincidence, Mr. Cooper was the visionary behind the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers album cover shoot earlier that year, which became the inspiration for the Stones' aesthetic. In contrast with the Beatles shoot, though, Michael worked closely with the Stones from conception to execution, enlisting the members' help in the creation of the set. (Glue guns and tape were heavily involved.) Now, 20 images from Cooper’s archive are on display at the Soho gallery.


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“The Rolling Stones obviously have meant a lot to many generations,” Blachely said. “We’re not just looking for that person who knew the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, but we’re looking for those people that followed the Rolling Stones through their lives."

While the album cover was considered a knock-off of the Beatles image — even stirring rumors of competition between the bands — the exhibit illustrates the friendship between the band members and Cooper. Michael, who shot many prominent musicians including Eric Clapton and Allen Ginsberg, worked well with the Stones. It's because he was first and foremost their friend, explained Adam.

“Today, if you asked the Stones to build their own record cover, they’d say, get the hell out of here,” Cooper joked. “Keith is quoted saying nobody other than Michael could get us to do that, which is today inconceivable.”


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Adam also highlighted the qualities of his dad’s style and composition, which influence his artistic endeavors today. Michael had a clear understanding of their dreams and the 60s, John Lennon is quoted saying, he is "without a doubt the best documentarian of this magnificent decade." The praise for Michael's artistic eye is shared by various bands and musicians that worked with him.

"The idea that a photographer could work with both bands at very seminal points in their career—and a very powerful creative point in both their careers — says something about Michael’s work," Blachley said.

The images will be on display until September 20th.


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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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