Nirvana are currently being sued by Spencer Elden, who appeared nude on the cover of their album Nevermind when he was four months old, which he argues makes the image exploitative child pornography.
A month after the lawsuit was filed, Nirvana announced a 30th anniversary super-duper-extra-special deluxe reissue of Nevermind. Presumably the reissue was already planned well before Elden’s lawsuit was filed given marketing and production timelines are typically set many months in advance, although it is possible Elden had knowledge of the coming reissue prior to filing the suit.
Now Elden, who is seeking an injunction on the use of the original cover artwork and roughly $2.5 million in damages, wants his genitalia removed from the cover of the reissue. TMZ report that Elden‘s lawyer, Maggie Mabie, is demanding that UMe redact the image of her client’s privates from all future releases of the album, stating it’s time to “end this child exploitation and violation of privacy.”
Amongst Elden’s claims in the lawsuit are that neither he nor his legal guardians consented to the photo; that the band failed to make good on a promise to cover his penis with a sticker; that he has been sexually exploited; and that he has suffered lifelong damages as a result of the image. He’s seeking $150,000, at minimum, from each of the defendants named in his suit (including surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, the estate of Kurt Cobain, photographer Kurt Weddle, and the band’s label), which would total a minimum of $2,550,000. Additionally, Elden is seeking legal fees and an injunction.
Elden has in the past embraced his role in rock history, getting “Nevermind” tattoed across his chest and participating in a recreation of the album cover photo shoot in 2016.
Press copy boasts of the Nevermind reissue: “A total of 94 audio and video tracks — 70 previously unreleased — will be made available across configurations ranging from Super Deluxe Editions to standard digital/CD and single disc vinyl with bonus 7-inch. In all formats, Nevermind is newly remastered from the original half-inch stereo analog tapes to high-resolution 192kHz 24-bit.” It comes out on November 12. Pre-orders are here.