Feb 5, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT
Nevermind, er, never mind that Ryan Lochte was only seven years old when Nirvana’s Nevermind came out. It’s 22 years later, and Lochte will portray the baby in a re-creation of the classic album cover first released in 1991.
Thankfully Lochte did not re-create the cover in every detail. He wore a swimsuit.
It’s all for ESPN the Magazine’s music issue, in which Lochte will be joined by other athletes making like famous musicians on iconic album covers (Alex Morgan as Katy Perry and Josh Freeman as Michael Jackson are two. Check them out here). Here’s a photo of the cover, featuring LeBron James and Dr. Dre.
The Lochte album photo is right here, plus other photos from the shoot.
Lochte, via USA Today:
“If you look at the baby, he’s definitely happy in the water. And that’s what I am. He’s chasing after a dollar bill. So he’s always on the grind.”
Lochte says that he usually wears goggles when he swims, so the Nirvana shoot was different.
“Usually when I go swimming, I have goggles on. So when I didn’t have my goggles on for this shoot my eyes were definitely burning. Am I blinking a lot, cause I feel like it.
“Hopefully everyone’s reaction when they see it, they’ll be like, daang, look at that guy. I honestly think I nailed the shot.”
Fun facts: The Nevermind cover was Kurt Cobain’s idea, and the actual baby photographed in the pool was the son of the photographer’s friend. That baby, Spencer Elden, is now a 21-year-old artist.
Elden said he is not swimming in cash as a result of his baby celebrity status. His father, artist Rick Elden, agreed in 1991 to work on the cover with fellow photographer Kirk Weddle. He received no royalties for the job.
“My dad was an artist rigging special effects for Hollywood,” said Elden.
“They went to the local pool, threw me in the water and that was it. It was a friend-helping-a-friend kind of thing.”
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