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Dave Grohl hints that ‘Nevermind’ album cover could change in future

"I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover"

By Hollie Geraghty

Dave Grohl and the Nirvana 'Nevermind' Cover
Dave Grohl and the iconic 1991 ‘Nevermind’ album cover (Picture: Alamy, DGC Records).

Dave Grohl has reacted to the lawsuit brought against Nirvana by Spencer Elden, who was photographed naked as a baby on the 1991 ‘Nevermind’ album cover.

Elden, now 30, alleges that the picture of him naked underwater was child pornography and sexual exploitation. It shows him at four-months-old swimming towards a dollar bill hooked to a fishing line. 

Former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Grohl said: “At some point, unfortunately, it [lawsuits] just becomes par for the course.” Speaking to The Sunday Times, he revealed that he has “many ideas of how we should alter that cover.” He added: “We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good.”

“I think that there’s much more to look forward to and much more to life than getting bogged down in those kinds of things. And, fortunately, I don’t have to do the paperwork,” Grohl explained.

He is one of several defendants being sued in the suit, along with former band bassist Krist Novoselic, the estate of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Universal Music Group, and others.

Elden alleges that his parents never signed a release authorising use of the image for the album, adding that his “true identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day”.

Legal papers filed in California claim: “The images exposed Spencer’s intimate body part and lasciviously displayed Spencer’s genitals from the time he was an infant to the present day.”

Elden’s lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, also argues that the inclusion of the dollar bill makes the baby seem “like a sex worker”.

He is suing for at least $150,000 (£109,000) from each of the 15 defendants. 

Elden previously recreated the cover in clothes for the album’s 25th anniversary in 2016, following his recreation for the 15th anniversary.

Now he is requesting that all future releases of the artwork be changed, including a deluxe 30th anniversary reissue of ‘Nevermind’ which has been officially announced for release on November 12.