Spencer Elden, the man who graced the cover of Nirvana’s hit album Nevermind as a baby , is now suing the band and the creator of the photo. Thirty years later, Elden does not agree that he was put on the cover as a baby and says that his guardians did not give permission for it at the time.
The man calls the use of his photo “child porn” and “sexual exploitation” and says he was promised to cover his genitals with a sticker, but this never happened.
Elden speaks of “lifetime damage” in court documents held by TMZ . He demands from the band a compensation of 150,000 dollars (more than 127,000 euros) and wants the image in question no longer shown.
Nirvana’s team has yet to respond to Elden’s charges.
Photographer Kirk Weddle was friends with Elden’s father and asked permission to photograph the then four-month-old baby. It’s not clear whether Elden’s father also gave permission to put the photo on the cover, something the photographer does claim.
Elden was photographed underwater swimming towards a dollar bill on a fishing hook, which was later digitally added to the photo. The image symbolizes the loss of youthful innocence.
Album title tattoo on chest
It is striking that Elden had ‘nevermind’, the title of the album, tattooed on his chest. In an interview with GQ in 2016, however, he said he was no longer happy with his image on the album cover.
Nirvana split in 1994 after the death of singer Kurt Cobain. In addition to Cobain, the American grunge band consisted of Krist Novoselic and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
1991’s Nevermind was the band’s second studio album. The CD includes the big hit Smells Like Teen Spirit .