Smells Like Naked Baby

Like many people my age, I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard Nirvana.

I was tutoring a friend of mine, and we had the radio on to one of Amarillo’s top-40 stations, and amidst the Mariah Carey and Paula Abdul, I suddenly hear…

…what AM I listening to?  Good lord, what IS that?  (Click to Listen.)

It was “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  And that one song singlehandedly was responsible for the next step in my musical and cultural evolution.  So much rage.  So much energy.  So unlike anything I had ever heard before.  I was in 9th grade.

I went out and bought the single, and listened to it until the tape wore through.  My mother got my Walkman (look it up, kids,) heard the song, and officially became deeply concerned for what her little boy was listening to.  It was a delicious moment.

An article over at NPR music that my wife pointed me to this morning showed me another side of Nirvana’s Nevermind album, pictured above.  That was 1991.  Seventeen years later, the baby on the cover…?

Yeah, he grew up.  His name is Spencer Elden, and he’s 17.  (Click HERE to read all about it.)

I get the crawls when family looks at my naked baby pictures.  This kid?

“Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis,” he says from his home in Los Angeles. “So that’s kinda cool.”

Thank you, Spencer. And here’s to your inner child.


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The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
July 2008
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