Facebook bans Nirvana album cover – then says Nevermind

Social networking site removes image of naked baby from 1991 LP for violating terms of use ... then changes its mind

Facebook can't seem to decide how it feels about nudity on the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind. The social networking site reportedly removed – and later replaced – the artwork in its page for the 1991 album, initially finding the cover photograph violated the site's terms of use.

Although one of the most iconic album covers in rock history, there is no getting away from the fact that the Nevermind sleeve features a baby in the buff. That 20-year-old controversy was revived this week when Facebook removed the image from the site's official fan page, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing nudity. "[Facebook] sent us a form message," a source told Entertainment Weekly. "I'm guessing it's probably due to the baby penis – still making waves 20 years later."

Whether because of fan outcry or through an administrative error, Facebook has since returned the cover – and its dangling digit – to its Nirvana and Nevermind pages. The latter is promoting the 20th-anniversary reissue of Nevermind, due on 27 September. In addition to a digital remaster, Universal Music is releasing deluxe packages that include studio demos, rehearsal recordings and producer Butch Vig's original mix of the album – the "Devonshire mixes". A 90-page book and DVD/Blu-Ray of Nirvana's Halloween 1991 concert in Seattle – the band's only concert ever shot to film – will also be available.

As for the owner of Nirvana's most provocative, er, member, Spencer Elden is notoriously proud of his place in rock history. "Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis," he told NPR in 2008. "So that's kinda cool." The son of a friend of Nirvana's photographer, Elden is now 20.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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