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Float Around: Photos From Nirvana’s Underwater ‘Nevermind’ Shoot

Pics from photographer Kirk Weddle’s long day with the band in 1991

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain photographed for the Nevermind album cover shoot in Los Angeles, California in 1991

Kirk Weddle

The 1991 day photographer Kirk Weddle shot Nirvana's Nevermind album cover was not necessarily a pleasant one. "Bad weather, bad swimming pool, cloudy water," Weddle recalled in 2011. "Kurt was a couple hours late and then went right to sleep at the side of the pool, and nobody wanted to wake him up." Perhaps it wasn't the greatest plan to photograph a touring rock band early in the morning – but you can't argue with the results. Weddle's shot of baby Spencer Elden grasping for the all-mighty dollar underwater is one of the most iconic images in rock history, and the ensuing session he did with the members of the band is remarkable, too. Now a fuller collection of pics from the shoot are available for sale from Rock Paper Photo. See a preview of the set here:

Nirvana

Kirk Weddle

Nirvana in the Pool

Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain photographed for the Nevermind album cover shoot in Los Angeles in 1991.

Kurt Cobain

Kirk Weddle

Kurt Cobain Takes Five

"We were shooting a touring band in the morning, bad idea. Kurt showed up, wrapped himself in a bathrobe and immediately went to sleep on the pavement. Nobody wanted to wake him. We put a guitar next to him and shot a few frames," photographer Kirk Weddle said.

Nirvana

Kirk Weddle

The ‘Nevermind’ Cover

"Baby Spencer Elden. He is a hell of a model. He was four months old and that was his first time in the water," photographer Kirk Weddle said. "He couldn't swim but he could drift really well. We probably shot him for less than five minutes. The kid is a natural."

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