Cyclist traces Nirvana album art through the streets of Adelaide for Nevermind’s 30th anniversary


Tribute acts don’t usually involve lycra – but an Adelaide Hills cyclist and Nirvana fan paid homage to a pioneering album by forging his own path.

On the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s hit album Nevermind, Peter Stokes has recreated his famous cover art, which shows a baby swimming towards a dollar bill.

With the help of the popular Strava app, which tracks the exercise, he traced the artwork, using the streets of Adelaide as a canvas.

While the trip itself took eight hours, Mr Stokes said the planning took months – and he listened to the Nevermind album during the entire 150-kilometer hike.

“It was definitely something that I had thought a lot about and wanted to do, to be a tribute to what I think is a very good album,” he said.

Nevermind – which includes the hits Come As You Are and Smells Like Teen Spirit – was released on September 24, 1991.

Mr Stokes said the re-creation of the album cover took several months to plan and plot.(Facebook)

Mr Stokes has scheduled his tribute to coincide with the 30th anniversary of that date and embarked on his tour of the streets of Adelaide on Friday – stretching from Campbelltown in the northeast to Plympton in the southwest.

“The face was really tough… but it’s pretty good,” he said.

“We have so much green space, so many parks which, in my opinion, are great for being able to cut and take shortcuts.”

A Strava tribute to Nirvana's Nevermind album.
Mr. Stokes’ journey extended through the suburbs of Adelaide.(Provided)

Mr Stokes doesn’t just limit his portrayal to pop culture – last year he also performed a performance of composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

His method, he said, was to “get up early enough” to avoid traffic.

“Usually I start the day at 3:00 am or 4:00 am,” he said.

A Strava portrait of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Mr. Stokes completed this portrait of Beethoven last year.(Provided)

Nevermind remains an iconic album cover and an iconic image of the grunge movement, but it has also caused controversy.

Last month it was revealed that Spencer Elden, who appeared as a baby on the album cover art, filed a lawsuit alleging that the cover amounted to child exploitation.

But for Mr Stokes, the album, the band and the songs should remain eternal classics.

He is already setting his sights, and his handlebars, towards even more ambitious street art projects.

“I would be really keen to do major works of art,” he said.

“I started trying to design one for Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but it got a little tricky, so maybe I should try some simpler artwork first.”


About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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