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Baby from Nirvana's 'Nevermind' cover re-creates photo 25 years later

Twenty-five years ago, Spencer Elden went for a swim in his birthday suit. His photo ended up becoming one of the most iconic rock album covers of all time.
/ Source: TODAY

When Spencer Elden became a rock album cover superstar, he wasn't old enough to actually buy the record. In fact, he was barely old enough to sit up by himself.

But he was a cute little guy — and that's all that was needed to turn him into the baby chasing a dollar bill on the cover of Nirvana's classic 1991 release "Nevermind."

Elden, like the album that made him famous, is now 25.

Time to go back in the pool, which is exactly what he did recently in a photograph for photographer John Chapple (the original was taken by photographer Kirk Weddle). The major differences? No dollar bill on a fishing hook ... and he kept his pants on.

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Growing up as the Nirvana baby has a strange level of notoriety, Elden told Time.

"Looking back, it feels kind of stupid doing interviews about it, because I had nothing to do with it, but a lot to do with it all at the same time. It's a really weird feeling being a part of someone else's momentum — being caught up in this wake of stuff."

Back in 1991, Elden was only a few months old when Weddle asked his parents to let him take the photo for the album cover. Elden's father worked with sets, custom rigging and photo shoot props for a living, which is how he met Weddle.

The initial idea had been to take pictures of babies at a swimming class, but the record company wasn't excited by those pictures. So they used the solo shot of Elden, and the dollar bill was added later. Time spent on the shoot? About 15 seconds. Compensation? $200.

At the time, Nirvana had some independent hits, but "Nevermind" was their big-label breakthrough, selling over 30 million copies worldwide.

This isn't the first time Elden, who lives with his mom in Los Angeles and makes art, has re-created the photo; he's done it twice before, at different stages of his life.

This time around, he told the New York Post, he wanted to be more true to the original image.

MORE: Facebook yanks Nirvana's 'Nevermind' cover

"I said to the photographer, 'Let's do it naked,'" he said. "But he thought that would be weird, so I wore my swim shorts."

And while Elden does have a big tattoo on his chest that reads "Nevermind," he's not necessarily a fan of Nirvana's music.

He told the Post he prefers The Clash and added, "It’s cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don't even remember."

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