Nevermind Baby Screen Test | Spencer Elden School Photo
For the 10th Anniversary of Nevermind, a reissue was discussed featuring this yearbook photo of the official Nervermind baby, Spencer Elden.
In his economic study “It’s Now My Duty to Completely Drain You: The Commodification of Grunge, Rap and Antifolk,” alternative rock historian Alexander Martin described this potential reissue as “the moment late-capitalism finally decided to mock aging rock fans for their mere mortality and expected them to laugh along.”
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | The Infamous $7,500 Stock Image.
This was the stock image that DGC Records and the band had agreed on—until the stock house unveiled their $7,500 licensing fee.
“Does this baby picture look like it’s worth even $5 to you?” DGC Record’s art director Robert Fisher asked us when we showed him this photo.
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | photo 100 from a roll of 100.
According to the album’s producer, Butch Vig, this girl became upset following the shoot, when she accidentally saw Cobain’s voluminous and graphic collection of medical photos on a picnic table by the pool.
“She was in tears. Her parent’s tore up the releases. It was a mess,” Vig says.
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | Gold Brick Shoot
“Kurt used to say in interviews that he and I came up with the idea for the cover while we were watching a TV show about water birthing,” Dave Grohl told us.
“Seeing this image, reminds me that we were also watching ‘Salute your Shorts’ a lot. Kurt loved that show. He thought Bobby Budnick was hilarious. I think we spray-painted a lifeguard training brick for these.”
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | Alternate Cover.
“At some point we were about to give up and go with ‘Sheep’ again,” Krist Novoselic remembers. “Sheep” had been the first proposed title for Nirvana’s second studio album.
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | photo 009 from a roll of 022.
Five-month-old Angie Horowitz depicted here with the wallet of Courtney Love’s father, Chicago Love.
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | unknown photo from an incomplete roll.
Art director Robert Fisher, Nirvana’s drummer Dave Grohl and its bassist Krist Novoselic all could not remember a single thing about this portion of the shoot. Carl Stavros, a former employee of Novoselic’s political action committee, JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee), claims this series depicts his mother, Jean, and younger brother, Lance Stavros.
“This money was actually my family’s money,” Carl told us. “Maybe that’s way they didn’t use it. I think it’s against the law to photograph real money.”
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | photo 029 from a roll of 073.
Cobain said in multiple interviews that he was largely ambivalent about writing Nirvana’s lyrics—a stance that infamously drove Lou Barlow (of Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh fame) to describe the band’s provocative language as cynical.
The above photo came from a period during which the band had briefly considered retitling the album after the song “Polly” which had, by then, gone through several alternate titles, “Hitchhiker,” “Cracker” and “Baby Cuban Peso.”
Nevermind Baby Screen Test | photo 002 from a roll of 020
Dave Grohl says, “This kid was too old and wasn’t scheduled, but his parent’s ran the municipal pool, so […] I remember talking to him about ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’”