When Your Saturn Return Is Suing Nirvana

Spencer Elden suing Nirvana is a particularly dramatic Saturn Return move. When it comes to tangents, Aquarians are totally dependable. You can always rely on them to step up and throw a “sorry…what?” diversion into the cultural melee.

The Los Angeles artist and Aquarian  – also known as “the Nirvana baby” – has filed a lawsuit alleging that the use of his image for the Nevermind album cover amounts to child pornography.

He’s lawyered up and seeking damages from the surviving band members, Courtney Love (as executor of Kurt Cobain’s estate) and a host of others associated with the album. It’s been 30 years since the image was shot at the Pasadena Aquatic Center, by a photographer friend of Spencer’s father, Rick Elden. It sounds like a suitably 90s scene:

“[He] calls us up and was like, ‘Hey Rick, wanna make 200 bucks and throw your kid in the drink?'” Rick recounts. “I was like, ‘What’s up?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m shooting kids all this week, why don’t you meet me at the Rose Bowl, throw your kid in the drink?’ And we just had a big party at the pool, and no one had any idea what was going on!”

Saturn Return Always Compels A Radical Reframing Of Your Life To Date

Shortly afterward, Nevermind became an unexpected crazy success, and Nirvana became one of the biggest bands in history. Between 1991 and 1994, the last years of Pluto in Scorpio, they were grunge. Kurt Cobain, the band’s charismatic lead singer, was a multiple conjunct Piscean with Uranus exact on his Virgo Ascendant and the zeitgeist channeling genius that goes with Uranian vibe like that.

All his picks, from font and logo to changing the band’s name from Fecal Matter to Nirvana, scored instant culty street cred. Anyway, the Nevermind album cover is considered iconic enough to be exhibited in MOMA.

Spencer apparently received a teddy bear and one of the platinum record editions of the album. Over the years he’s popped up in quirky little news stories, recreating his Nirvana baby pose and sounding – at most – bemused by it. That’s led some to suggest this is just a cynical money grab but I completely disagree.

Nirvana Epitomized The Last Years Of Pluto In Scorpio

During Saturn Return, people often snap to and gaze at their life terrain through a totally different lens. Who hasn’t put on the Saturn goggles, looked back, and thought something along the lines of ‘what the fuq was I doing?’ Or reframed an experience that you’ve always dealt with by minimizing or glamorizing? I thought the child pornography aspect of the lawsuit seemed a bit much and that it would probably have been easier to go with ‘no photo rights’ signed by the parents.

But Saturn Return consciousness can be poignant – maybe he saw or held a young baby and felt super-conscious of the baby’s vulnerability and psyche? He has Saturn conjunct his Mercury so his Saturn Return has also been a year-long Saturn-Mercury transit. Additionally, the Saturn-Uranus square involves his Aquarius Sun at 17 degrees.

Maybe he’s traumatized, maybe he’s broke and doing Saturn-dad issues as well so decided to ask his father why the hell he didn’t negotiate a decent deal for the album rights? It could be tied up in broader disgruntlement about his childhood or even a Gen Y guy – born with the late 80s/early 90s signature of Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn – scorning his Boomer or Gen X dad’s lack of media hustle.

If he’d lived, I think Kurt Cobain would have wanted him to be paid something, right? Or do you think he is smearing the legacy, Saturn Return or not? If he is not equipped to handle the demands of high-profile litigation, going after well-resourced and influential people who will now be defensive, as well as inflaming avid fans, this will be a memorable Saturn Return schooling.

Oh and god, who doesn’t miss 90s pool parties? No phones, no photos and no idea who was going to be there when you turned up.


22 thoughts on “When Your Saturn Return Is Suing Nirvana”

  1. Y’all, the 90’s were so awesome! For reference, just watch this Halloween 1997 Hammerstein Ballroom “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction. EPIC, best intro ever… no cell phones, no FB posts, just straight up 90’s party central. As for this post, I cannot believe it has been 30 years since Nirvana debuted! I see this guy wanting to capitalize on this but unfortunately for him I don’t think he has any legal ability since he was a minor when this happened. He should feel grateful that he was a part of one of the biggest music revolutions in the world instead of creating enemies with those who were part of it. Funny enough, he kind of looks like Kurt Cobain with the hair style and etc. It makes me wonder what his relationship with his father is like, maybe it is not solid and he is using this as some sort of rebellion? If he is not careful, with the whole child porn thing, they may end up removing him from that cover all together thus rendering him obsolete from this album.


  2. Judging this poor fella based on his photo alone, I would say he owes someone some cash for whatever drugs he’s taking.

  3. Thanks for writing about this, it makes so much sense!

    Oh 90s pool parties… phone and photo free with the fun and excitement of a bit of mystery. Yes.

  4. The Lion & The Centaur

    I’m a Pluto in Scorpio baby and this summer Neptune has been trining my Pluto. I’ve been listening to grunge A LOT. Nirvana has always been my love but this summer it’s been more Alice in Chains etc. Let’s see what Saturn Return does to rest of our generation. I’m following Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande with interest, because we have the same Neptune-Uranus conjunction and Sun sign.

  5. did you hear in the news recently about the 43 yr old man who won $35k in damages from his parents tossing out his porno collection that he stored at their house? i bet he’s an aquarian too

  6. I remember being shocked when I saw the cover but that is a very postmodern conceptual practice/intention. Either way we know better now (sounds like a familiar excuse). I’ll be interested to see how this plays out cause we are all sick (no pun intended) of the c < 20-1 news.

  7. I have been pretty transfixed on this and Spencer’s situation – thank you for putting it into Astro perspective as it makes so much sense.
    Nirvana and the early 90’s is still my absolute favourite time for everything zeitgeist. I’m pretty sure I’m still heavily influenced as I still love Nirvana and hold dearly that I was privileged to attend the most awesome concert ever of Nirvana in Melbourne. My 12 year old daughter and all of her friends are obsessed. My partner for my recent 48th birthday bought me a gold gilt framed Kurt Kobain as an iconaclatic Jesus. So, I’m definitely having a different transit to Spencer. Overall, I think Kurt would have recognised his vulnerability as an innocent baby.

  8. Mystic, I think you are right that Kurt would want him paid something. But the child pornography angle he is taking just goes toward diminishing the vile sick world of child pornography. Like the overuse of the word nowadays “triggered.” That used to be reserved for people who had suffered severe trauma. People use it now just going to the supermarket?! It’s like people who haven’t suffered abuse or trauma are now feeling left out? FOMO perhaps?
    ps 90s pool parties forever 🤟

  9. I just read the headline &c and didn’t go deep (love your generational intrepretation, Mystic!). My sense is that it seems poignant that this person hasn’t moved beyond this thing that happened deep in infancy and made them famous without really about who they are in a core way and found something to work at deeply in adulthood (whether it involves prominence or no) that defines them more deeply. A lawsuit seems unlikely to do that–but hopefully the larger introspection will catalysize that next stage. My younger Pisces lover is about to enter his Saturn Return zone this spring (and into the end of 2022) and is thrashing around in the cocoon too.

  10. Good luck with that! It’s a stretch to call it child pornography – the image is not sexualised, and I’m not a fan of the puritan culture that calls any image of naked children child pornography. Maybe it would be more honest to say he feels like he deserves a cut, which is not unreasonable, just unlikely.

  11. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for him to want to be compensated in some way. I wonder what other album cover models have earned from their photo ops. Like the guy on fire on the Wish You Were Here album.

    How about those savage bags under his eyes? He’s definitely going through something… either that or he’s a performance artist. Don’t ask me to explain a Uranus rising native (I’m one too lol).

    1. MoonstoneMagnolia

      In Chinese medicine, Kidney issues …. looks unhappy and those eyeballs with his whites showing at the base of his eyes…. sadness personified

      1. I don’t remember that specifically but it makes sense. I’m a water rising too and have dark circles but not to that level.

      2. MoonstoneMagnolia

        Thank you Narelle. Pisces rising with Cancer stellium … 50% watery (soggy) chart … despite cronedom, eyeballs ok and no savage bags, poss hereditary (mother lived till 96 despite drugs sex and plenty of alcohol, fags & rock & roll) but none here to (sadly) report in the Deep Chilly South

    2. That picture probably has defined his entire life. “I’m the naked Nirvana album baby” always in the background. It’s got to take a toll. From what I’ve noticed, Aquarians can be codependent to a certain thought, idea, object, person, etc. They are famous for being detached but from an Aqua heavy family, that’s my observation. He’s probably sick of it and this is his way of taking control of the situation.

  12. I still think it’s a cash grab… maybe he needs capital to start a new business… isn’t that Saturn return-ish?

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