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Who Is Spencer Elden — the Baby on Nirvana’s Iconic 'Nevermind' Album Cover Suing Kurt Cobain’s Estate

Joe Akins
Aug 27, 2021
02:20 A.M.
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Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana enjoyed an incredible breakthrough following the release of its album, "Nevermind," which had a child as its cover. 30 years later, the child is a grown man seeking compensation.

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Elden Spencer was only a few months old when the world had a glimpse of him submerged in water as the cover of Kurt Cobain’s album “Nevermind,” which was a huge success at the time.

Now, Elden is a grown man suing Cobain’s estate for using his pictures, claiming Nirvana engaged in child pornography by doing so. The picture in question was taken in 1991 and had the little Elden naked in the pool, chasing a dollar bill.

Pictures of Spencer Elden recreating the Nevermind" album cover and Kurt Cobain | Source: twitter.com/PigsAndPlans  |  Getty Images

Pictures of Spencer Elden recreating the Nevermind" album cover and Kurt Cobain | Source: twitter.com/PigsAndPlans | Getty Images

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The picture alongside the quality of music in the "Nevermind" album helped shoot Cobain’s band to unprecedented success, bringing in riches and fame for the group. Now the grown Elden wants a share of it.

Before this, the 30-year-old appeared to have been excited about his role in creating history and reportedly recreated the moment for the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries, though he did not pose naked.

Kurt Cobain performs with Nirvana for  'MTV Unplugged, on November 18, 1993 | Photo: Getty Images

Kurt Cobain performs with Nirvana for 'MTV Unplugged, on November 18, 1993 | Photo: Getty Images

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Now, Elden has had a change of heart and filed a federal lawsuit against band members like David Grohl and Krist Novoselic and Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love.

Elden claims the group’s album profited from his nakedness which he considers a form of exploitation considering that over 30 million copies sold worldwide, making it one of the most successful records of all time.

It remains to be seen if his former statements would counter his lawsuit.

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The lawsuits filed against the group in a California federal court claimed that the band knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography showing Elden.

It also claimed that the album caused Elden various damages, including emotional distress due to his association with the cover, making him lose his income-earning capacity.

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One of his lawyers claimed Elden has been through different therapy to help himself out of the effect of his image on the album cover; since the album depicted his genitalia, it caused him to lose his sense of privacy.

Elden, who previously built on his fame from the group, is reportedly seeking a whopping $15,000 as compensation from each party involved. At the time the picture was taken, the photographer, Kurt Weddle, paid Elden’s parents $200 for the picture.

Initially, Nirvana had planned on a different cover but decided to go with a baby chasing a bill. Representatives of the parties involved are yet to give a response to the claims of exploitation.

In a previous interview, Elden

acknowledged

that being a part of the cover, although unintentionally, opened doors for him, and he was open to another reshoot. It remains to be seen if his former statements would counter his lawsuit.

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