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Nirvana: 19 Unseen Behind-The-Scenes Photos From The 'Nevermind' Promo Shoot

It's almost 24 years now since Austin photographer Kirk Weddle was tasked with creating the sleeve for what would turn out to be a generation-defining album: Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. A few months later, he met the band to recreate the famous cover shot, splashing about in a closed Los Angeles swimming pool for snaps that gave a unique glimpse into the trio's personalities and sense of fun. Here's 20 newly unearthed behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot, made available to the public for the first time ever courtesy of Austin's Modern Rocks Gallery...

  • Some of the photos were featured in the recent Cobain: Montage of Heck documentary directed by Brett Morgen.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • The Nirvana exhibition at Austin's Modern Rocks Gallery runs from May 30 to June 27 - the first time the images have been made available to the public.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Weddle was known as one of the industry’s best underwater photographers around the time of the shoot, and managed to convince the band to take the plunge in a Los Angeles pool on "an unseasonably cold morning."

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Weddle snapped some 200 images - many of which have never been made available before. "I've just kept them stacked in a closet, unorganized," says the photographer.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Fun fact - the Modern Rocks Gallery owner Steven Walker you might recognise from stints in well-loved new wave crew Modern English, Spitfire and cult Brit heroes The Auteurs, alongside Luke Haines.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • The band just come off a string of West Coast concerts when the shoot took place, leaving Cobain so exhausted, he took a nap midway through.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Images are also available for purchase on the gallery’s website, y'know, in case you can't make it to Austin.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • An opening reception with Weddle will be held from 7pm – 10 pm on Saturday May 30 at the gallery, in case you are Texas-based, however.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Slint's incredible 'Spiderland', with a similarly aquatic cover, had been out a few months when Nirvana posed for this shot. A tribute? Maybe...

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • The photos in the collection are apparently printed on Chromira metallic paper with metallic inks to bring out the distinct underwater colours.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Here's Krist paddling playfully towards the camera.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Fingers crossed Kurt let his instrument dry out before plugging it in to his amp. Health and safety first, guys.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Cobain striking a pose.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • ...and again...

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • ...and again...

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • ...and again. A bit more sombre looking this time.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Dave Grohl posing crotch first. Very seductive, Dave.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Grohl enjoying his splash-about.

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Water way to have a good time, hey guys? Right, guys? Guys...? Hello?

    Photo: Kirk Weddle/Modern Rocks Gallery

    Added: 13 May 2015