Nirvana in Austin

Underwater Nirvana: 10 cool photos from buzzworthy exhibit recall legendary band's precious moments

Underwater Nirvana: 10 coolest photos recall iconic band's fun times

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The exhibit opens May 30. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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"I've always been fascinated by the stuff that went on in the background," says gallery owner Steven Walker. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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"You get a sense from Kurt Cobain of relief. For the first time he's closed off, away from everything," says Walker. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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"I've been blown away by the response," says Walker. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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You'll see some these images in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a new documentary. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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The band was pulled off of an extensive tour to do this photo shoot.  Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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"[These images] show a band on the verge of changing the face of music," said Walker. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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The exhibit opens May 30. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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The exhibit opens May 30. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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The exhibit opens May 30. Photo by Kirk Weddle Courtesy of Modern Rocks Gallery
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Nirvana_Nevermind_pool 1_Kurt Cobain_Dave Grohl_Krist Novoselic_1991
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The year was 1991 and the era of alt-rock was in full bloom. Nirvana's iconic Nevermind had been released, and the trio was poised to change the music business forever.

In late October, Austin photographer Kirk Weddle was commissioned to shoot the band as its momentum picked up. He convinced Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic to jump into a freezing Los Angeles swimming pool for a photo shoot, recreating the same iconic Nevermind moment that he captured for their album cover.

Weddle took more than 200 photos that day, most of which have been sitting in a closet — until now. These images are on display at an exclusive exhibit at Austin's Modern Rocks Gallery.

"[These images] show a band on the verge of changing the face of music," said Modern Rocks Gallery owner Steven Walker in a statement.

"But they also show a band on tour, a band that [is] tired, a band that [is] probably homesick and a little bit grumpy too. And a band that has just been thrown in a swimming pool on their day off because someone from the record company told them that's what they had to do ... and that's why I love them!"

Images are available for purchase for the first time; each print is signed, numbered and limited to 50 prints. The Nevermind exhibit runs through June 27. Click through the slideshow above for a preview of some of the must-see photos.