Spencer Elden: ‘Nevermind’ Cover Baby Sues Nirvana for Child Porn | Culture

His image, that of a baby a few months old swimming naked in a pool and chasing a dollar bill, has become one of the most famous and reproduced album covers of all time. Now, 30 years after the album’s release nevermind, from the band Nirvana, the protagonist of the photo, Spencer Elden, decided to sue the American band for considering that photo constitutes a crime of child pornography. Elden claims compensation to repair, as the lawsuit says, “the damage he has suffered and will continue to suffer for life.”

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The popular photo was the brainchild of the ill-fated leader of the group, Kurt Cobain. The idea was to represent a newborn who chased money despite being underwater, naked and helpless, as he reported to the The Guardian the photographer Kirk Weddle. The image was read as a critique of capitalism, but Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s lawyer, offers an unusual interpretation to argue that it crosses the line of child pornography, as the inclusion of money in the photo makes the baby appear represented “ as a sex worker”.

“The defendants intentionally and commercially promoted Spencer’s child pornography, and made use of the impactful nature of his image to publicize themselves and their music at Spencer’s expense,” says the complaint filed in a California court and quoted. by the US media. Among those pointed out by the complaint are Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who together with the legendary Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) made up the classic formation of Nirvana, informs the Efe agency.

Strangely enough, among the possible defendants in the suit is also Chad Channing, who was Nirvana’s drummer in its early years and left the lineup in 1990, before the release of nevermind.

It’s not the first time that Elden – who was four months old when the photo was taken and has the word nevermind tattooed on her chest – shows ambiguous feelings regarding that image, for which her parents received 200 dollars (about 1,000 reais, at the current exchange rate). In 2016, in an interview with the magazine Team, he expressed his indignation at not having received an economic compensation compatible with the fact of stamping the cover of an album that sold 30 million copies and was reproduced in all kinds of products. “Everyone involved has tons and tons of money. I feel like I’m the last bit of grunge rock,” said Elden. “I live at my mom’s house and I drive a Honda Civic,” he complained. Weddle himself, with whom he kept in touch over the years as a friend of his parents, said in the interview with The Guardian that Elden feels “that everyone made money from it and he didn’t.”

Nirvana portrayed in 1991 for the promotion of the album 'Nevermind'.
Nirvana portrayed in 1991 for the promotion of the album ‘Nevermind’.Kirk Weddle (Getty)

Despite the positions he adopted, Elden re-enacted that cover several times, for example for the magazine Rolling Stone. On the 25th anniversary of the disc’s release, in 2016, he proposed appearing naked as in the original image, but the photographer ended up deciding to portray him in a bathing suit, loose hair and covered in tattoos. “He thought it would be weird, so I put my swimming trunks on,” he commented at the time to The New York Post.

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