Artist News Legal

Nevermind baby demands that the album’s artwork be edited on all future re-releases

By | Published on Monday 27 September 2021

Nirvana - Nevermind censored

As the 30th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album passed on Friday, lawyers for the man who was photographed as a baby for the record’s famous cover have demanded that the image be edited on all future re-releases, basically redacting his genitalia.

The demand follows the recent litigation filed by Spencer Elden against the band, their label, and other people involved in creating the ‘Nevermind’ artwork.

Although in the past Elden has been somewhat blasé about his nude baby photo appearing on the album cover – even recreating the image on a number of occasions (albeit wearing shorts) – his lawsuit says Nirvana’s use of the photo over the last three decades has actually caused him “extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations”.

Claiming that Elden’s guardians did not know how the photo would be used when it was originally taken, the legal filing argues that the ‘Nevermind’ artwork “constitutes commercial child pornography” under US law – and that the defendants “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so”.

Regarding future re-releases of ‘Nevermind’, Elden’s lawyers said on Friday: “Today, like each year on this date, our client Spencer Elden has had to brace himself for renewed unwanted attention from the media and fans alike throughout the world”.

“This is a choice that he has never had”, they added. “It has been thrust upon him, and for 30 years he has dealt with its devastating and painful consequences. Our message to Nirvana is clear – redact the image of Mr Elden’s genitalia from all future album covers”.

Given the 30th anniversary, another re-release is imminent. It remains to be seen if anything is now done to honour Elden’s request.