Dave Grohl reveals Nirvana plans to 'alter' Nevermind cover after 'child pornography' lawsuit

Dave Grohl has hinted that Nirvana intends to alter the cover of their album Nevermind after the man who was pictured as a naked baby for the artwork sued the band, alleging it was "child pornography"

Spencer Elden, whose photograph as a four-month-old in a swimming pool became an iconic rock music image following the 1991 release, filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of the band and the estate of Kurt Cobain in August. 

Elden claimed he had suffered "lifelong damages" as a result of the album cover, and stated his legal guardians never signed a release form authorising the use of his image, dubbing the photo "commercial child pornography". 

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Grohl said he had "many ideas" about changing the contentious cover. 

"I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover but we'll see what happens," Grohl said. "We'll let you know. I'm sure we'll come up with something good."

"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." 

Since the lawsuit, Nirvana announced plans to re-release a special edition of Nevermind to mark its 30th anniversary. The artwork for the record remains uncensored on the band's official website

Elden's lawyer Maggie Mabie anticipated a re-release of the album earlier this year, telling the Associated Press: "If there is a 30th anniversary re-release, he wants for the entire world not to see his genitals." 

Now 30 years old himself, Elden has previously recreated the album cover wearing swimming togs to mark Nevermind's 10th, 20th and 25th anniversaries. He also has the words 'Nevermind' tattooed on his chest. 

The lawsuit, which also targets photographer Kirk Weddle and the label behind the release, seeks at least US$150,000 in damages from each of the parties involved.

According to the court documents, Elden is also suing for negligence, distribution of private sexually explicit materials, and what's described as a "sex trafficking venture" that claims he was "forced to engage in commercial sexual acts while under the age of 18 years old".

In a 2016 interview with GQ Australia, Elden said he had previously been "cool" with his involvement in the album, but changed his mind after he reached out to Nirvana to ask if they wanted to be a part of his art show. 

"I was getting referred to their managers and their lawyers. Why am I still on their cover if I'm not that big of a deal?"