For a second time now, a federal court in California has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Spencer Elden, the baby who appears on the iconic album cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991). Elden has accused the rock band of distributing the image of a naked baby, himself.
It is the second time that Spencer Elden, who is now 31, has lost a lawsuit against the former members of the band for the cover in which he appeared naked underwater looking at a dollar bill. Judge Fernando Olguín dismissed the complaint on Friday because Elden knew he was the protagonist of that album for more than 10 years and took too long to make his claim.
Last January, the same magistrate dismissed the first lawsuit by Elden because he did not file within the deadline his response to the petition by Nirvana’s former members and heirs to have the case dismissed. Olguín was then open to amending his decision if the plaintiff filed a new lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed.
In his original complaint, Elden accused Nirvana of intentionally and commercially promoting his image and using the strength of their name to promote themselves and their music.
The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants profited and continue to profit from Elden’s “exploitation.” Among those named in the complaint were Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who along with the late Kurt Cobain comprised the classic lineup of Nirvana.
The lawsuit also targeted Kirk Weddle, who was the cover photographer for Nevermind, and Courtney Love, Cobain’s widow and heir to Cobain’s estate. Strangely, it also accused Chad Channing, who was Nirvana’s drummer in its early years and who left the band in 1990, that is, before Nevermind was released.
The cover of Nevermind is considered one of the most iconic in rock history and shows a baby diving into a pool and hunting for a dollar bill. As a teenager and as an adult, Elden has jumped back into the pool to recreate it several times. He did so, for example, in 2016, when it was a quarter of a century since the album’s release, while on other occasions he has shown before the press his displeasure at being linked to that image.
Text courtesy EFE