Nirvana penis baby loses lawsuit against band

Originally published at: Nirvana penis baby loses lawsuit against band | Boing Boing


( … apparently his name is actually Spencer )


It sure was convenient that the entire statute of limitations was during a period the guy was not self-aware.

Just because he enjoyed it for a while doesn’t mean it wasn’t exploitive.

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Still - he should have been compensated. Maybe a collectors set of their albums or a case of baby formula. Huggies?


He deserves ongoing compensation for headlines like this

ETA: Not a criticism of Rob’s headlines, just saying I can see this being tough row to hoe


Needs more @beschizza

He definitely won’t be a spender now he lost the lawsuit.


“Nirvana penis baby” sounds like an awkward attempt at an insult. “Sure, you lost the lawsuit, but there’s no need to be a Nirvana penis baby about it.” Or the name of an indie band that lasts for like four weeks.




Do you believe the album constitutes child pornography, as Mr. Elden now alleges in his lawsuit? That seems like a stretch at best. If Mr. Elden does actually believe that it was child porn then shouldn’t he be suing his own parents for selling him into sexual exploitation?

Also, FWIW when he posed for a recreation of the photo shoot to commemorate the 25-year-anniversary of the album he told The New York Post that he wanted to do the shoot naked but the photographer didn’t feel comfortable with it.

The band obviously had no idea how big the album was going to be at the time of the photo shoot but after it blew up they sent the then-one-year-old Spencer a Platinum Album and a teddy bear.




Poor lad came up short. I sort of think if that’s his greatest worry in life he’s damn fortunate. How many pictures have we all seen of starving babies in 3rd world countries, or joyful little water babies splashing about or for Christ sake, poor old baby Jesus letting it all hang out.


I was going to ask the same question, but as pointed out in the OP this was his attempt to appeal the case.

To be clear he was openly embracing the connection for some time, he re-created the photo twice as an adult and even got the album title tattooed on his chest. That said it’s perfectly fine if he’s reversed his stance on the matter, but trying to exploit the connection further via a lawsuit feels less like an effort to distance himself from the matter and more like an attempt to further exploit it.


Maybe the complexity around this sort of thing is why the photo should never have been allowed in the first place.

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Ugh, this nonsense again.

Fuckin’ A; all that. It’s possible that after 30 years of bragging about being on a famous album cover, that the asshole in question suddenly realized he felt ‘victimized’… but it’s not very probable.

The parents allowed it and were on set when the pic was taken.

If the asshole in question truly believes it was child porn and exploitation, then WHY isn’t he suing his parents?


“Photographs should not be allowed when there is a possibility that they will later become associated with large profits.”


Reminder of who this guy is:

“I always say, ‘[My penis has] changed, do you want to see it?’” Elden told CNN in 2011.

Also, he doesn’t seem too smart about money…

Spencer Alden’s parents were paid $200 for the original shoot, which was conducted by his dad’s friend, Kirk Weddle. British photographer John Chapple, who lives and works in Los Angeles, paid Alden the same amount to once again pose underwater a quarter of a century later.

I mean, it was 25 years and millions of album sales later. Seems like he would’ve asked for more.

Finally, I wonder if he ever even reached out to the band members to see if he could get some commissions for his street art, or if he just went straight to the suing route.

To be clear, if he really does feel exploited, I hope he can find justice, but he’s going after the wrong people here, so it strikes me as a money grab and not the actions of a victim.


Nuance can be permitted. All told, he deserves more than $200 and the occasional grim all-grown-up-nevermind-baby gig money. But it’s harmful and exploitative in its own way for him to claim that it was child porn and waste god knows how much public money in court dealing with that bullshit. The best thing to do would have been for Nirvana to compensate him in return for an agreement that he never perform or even mention it ever again.


Why does he deserve more money? Do you think people were buying the album because of his naked baby penis? His image was incidental to the amount of money the album made. His failure to become a successful adult has little to do with the band’s success.


His response is to when he was asked about his penis size.

“They usually poke fun at me asking me, ‘Is it the same size?’”

“I always say, “It’s changed, do you want to see it?’”

Seems like a sarcastic remark to laugh it off.

And he did reach out to the band in 2016 when he was doing an art show, he says they blew him off and that’s when his attitude changed.

If that’s when his attitude changed then it’s even more evidence he doesn’t believe his own claim that the album cover constituted child pornography.

The determination of whether a photograph counts as sexual exploitation or not shouldn’t depend on whether the people involved come to support your art show more than a quarter century later.