They say you either die a hero, or live long enough to be a villain. No one is perfect, and time reveals all flaws. In Spencer Alden’s case, things have come full circle. Elden was featured on Nirvana’s No problem Album cover as a child. According to Diversity, now he’s suing the band. He is alleging that the cover was actually child pornography, and he is demanding a nominal amount from former grunge band members. The ironic part? The photograph of Alden on the cover is a statement on the dangers of capitalism and greed.
‘Nevermind’ has a picture of a naked child
For their second studio album, Nirvana decided to do something a little different. First, the original drummer left the band. Chad Channing was replaced by rocker Dave Grohl in 1990. Second, Nirvana decided to release their album, No problem, One of the most memorable album covers of all time.
On the cover, a naked child swims in a pool of clear blue water toward a dollar bill on a hook. The baby’s genitals are on full display, but it’s not what draws the eye to cover. The picture is a serious indictment of capitalism and materialism. Nirvana is clearly saying that the evils of capitalism corrupt even the most innocent among us.
In the photo Alden is the child. The original photo was just baby Alden swimming. This was digitally changed to include the dollar bill on the fish hook. Alden’s parents were completely on board at the time photographer Kirk Weddle took the picture. She was paid $200 for Alden’s modeling work.
Spencer Alden is suing Nirvana
Now, decades after the picture was originally taken, Alden is suing Nirvana for using his photo on their album cover. Their representation claims that the image is actually child porn. It is important to note that not all images of naked children are child porn. There is a legal difference between art and pornography. Nirvana would explicitly claim that the image is art.
Alden’s lawyers disagree, and they are asking multiple people for $150,000. They are suing the two surviving members of Nirvana, Grohl and Krist Novoselic. There are also names of Kurt Cobain’s estate and its representatives. Alden is suing the photographer who took the photo, the on-set art director, and any company that distributed the album. He’s also suing former drummer Channing, even though that poor guy had nothing to do with the picture. It seems that the only people not listed in the lawsuit are Alden’s parents, who agreed to the photoshoot in the first place.
Will Kurt Cobain’s estate pay for the lawsuit?
Cobain died with a net worth of about $50 million. Thanks to some smart investments, that’s grown to $450 million. Alden’s representatives would have asked for $150,000 hoping that his millionaire defendant would pay just to avoid trial. Grohl is worth $320 million, and according to CelebrityNetWorth.comNovoselic is worth $80 million. Surely $150,000 is a drop in the bucket for them.
Even if he gets the money, Alden doesn’t come out looking this good. He has often used the fact that his photo was on the Nirvana album cover, and even recreated the photo at least three times. The fact that the picture was meant to downplay the dangers of capitalism makes the whole situation all the more ironic. It looks like Alden is chasing dollar bills on the hook, just like in his iconic photo.
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