One of my favourite albums of the early 1990’s was Nirvana’s Nevermind album.
I don’t need to go into much detail about the influences of Kurt Cobain & so forth – I managed to see them on their only Australian tour – in Feb 1992.
The baby who appears on the album cover is now 17 years old – and has surfaced to claim his 15 minutes of fame. I guess it’s a good pick-up line – must work wonders with the ladies ! Although, being seen by almost 8 million people would have some effect :
Being the naked swimming baby on the cover of Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album has advantages and disadvantages, according to Spencer Elden, who at 17 is still famous for the photo.
“It’s kind of creepy that that many people have seen me naked,” Elden tells MTV.com. “I feel like I’m the world’s biggest porn star.”
Elden has never met any member of the band – and his parents were paid just $200 for allowing their son to be photographed.
But he’s had a platinum record for Nevermind hanging in his room since he was a kid, and he’s met a few famous people.
Lots of other stories around the photo – I’ve heard some say that it has special meaning such as “since birth, we’re thrown in the deep end, and made to chase money”.
And – that the photo was to be censored, with the “manhood” digitally removed to avoid offending people.
Geffen prepared an alternate cover without the penis, as they were afraid that it would offend people, but relented when Cobain made it clear that the only compromise he would accept was a sticker covering the penis that would say “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.”
I remember when I bought it too – at “Brash’s” record store in Chadstone. Was just before Christmas 1991 – and I’d been on chat-rooms (pre-WWW) discussing new bands, etc. I hadn’t even heard the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” song – and remember playing it to people saying “how cool is that ?!?”
Not long after, the Seattle grunge explosion took off. Pearl Jam, SoundGarden, Alice In Chains – aaaaah, the memories. Might go listen.