What Happens if Nirvana Lose Their Nevermind Cover Lawsuit? Dave Grohl Has Ideas
Spencer Elden, the baby from the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, is suing the band.
Elden, now age 30, claims in the lawsuit 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, which would total a minimum of $2,550,000. Additionally, Elden is seeking legal fees and an injunction, which would prevent his penis from appearing on all future pressings of the album’s cover — including the 30th anniversary super-duper-extra-special deluxe reissue, which is set for release on November 12.
What would that mean for Nirvana? After all, Nevermind has, inarguably, one of the most iconic covers of all time. People who have never listened to Nevermind know the cover image.
The Sunday Times recently asked former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl about the lawsuit and what the band will do if they lose, and he seemed none-too-worried about it:
“I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover, but we’ll see what happens. We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good.”
Asked how lawsuit could be resolved, Grohl continued:
“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.”
Now, I am obviously not Dave Grohl or a member of Nirvana’s inner circle, but my read on his lackadaisical tone is that he knows what we’ve all known pretty much since the lawsuit was filed — it’s gonna end in a settlement. Elden will get some, but not all, of the money’s he’s looking for, and the Nevermind cover will remain unchanged.
Or maybe not. Maybe Elden will win, and then the Nevermind cover will end up looking something like one of these:
Actually, I’d be pretty stoked if it was that last one.
Read the entire interview with Grohl here.