Nirvana’s Nevermind turns 25: What happened to the baby on the album cover?

“It’s weird that my baby self is a grunge rock icon."

Nirvana's Nevermind album
Nirvana's Nevermind What's cover star Spencer Elden doing 25 years on? Image DGC Records

25 years ago, Spencer Elden became the most famous baby on the planet, after appearing, naked, on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album.

Nervermind has sold 30 million copies since its release in 1991, and it’s widely recognised as one of the best rock albums of all time.

But what happened to Spencer?

The Nirvana baby is now a talented artist, living and working in Los Angeles, and to celebrate a quarter of a century since Nevermind was released, loaded got in touch to ask him about how the album changed his life.

Spencer Elden
Spencer Elden Nirvana's Nevermind baby is all grown up Image Facebook/@spencer.elden.1

Speaking down the line from LA, Spencer describes how he came to be on the cover in the first place.

“The way it happened is, my dad got hit up by his friend who’s a photographer. They needed to take a picture, and so they went down to the pool. Then because the photographer is looking for a shot of a baby in the water, and he was hired by the record company to take a picture. 

“He paid my dad like $200, then they took the photos, gave them to the record company… and the rest is kinda history.”

As you’d expect, friends found it pretty cool growing up, and the cover even helped with his love life too. “Yeah it’s a pretty cool fact. I never had a problem with the ladies,” he adds.

When asked how he fells about the cover 25 years down the line, Spencer replies: “It’s weird that my baby self is a grunge rock icon, you know? I feel like I have to do something really cool right now, but I’m just trying to chill, you know? And be ok with where I’m at.”

Spencer is a successful artist now, and could can check out his prints via his website. The music inspires his work too, and one of his pieces is a direct “rip off” of Nirvana’s In Utero album cover, which features a sinister angel.

Yeah, I was trying to rip it off a little bit,” he says, before adding: “I was always like, ‘why did they throw a baby into a pool for the first one, and then paint a girl naked for In Utero?’”

Talking about his career, Spencer says: “I was kind of always involved with it. I grew up in a studio environment. My dad did a lot of custom props and stuff like that. I put my portfolio together, and I shopped it around to get some internships.”

When loaded suggests recreating the cover, Spencer says: “For some performance art? Yeah I think that’d be really cool. I’d probably have to get a private pool and do something like that. I’d have to figure that out. I don’t know, I’ve been thinking about that. If it happens, it’ll happen.

We might be seeing a lot more of Spencer sometime soon…

 

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.