How Your Cover Sausage Gets Made: The Likely Inspirations For Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” Cover


Late Friday night Lady Gaga released the cover for her forthcoming big deal of an album Born This Way, and reaction to it was fairly swift, and mostly “huh?” The cover, as you can see at left, features Gaga as a half-woman, half-motorcycle, and the more vocal Gaga fans out there tried to spin it as some sort of phony-cover “betrayal” to coincide with the release of “Judas,” her slightly Biblically confused single about being in an even worse romance than the one outlined in “Bad Romance.” But a more Monster-satiating cover did not rise from the tomb yesterday, which means that the cover–credited to the fashion photographer and “Born This Way” video director Nick Knight–is likely the real deal. How did Gaga and her Haus come up with this concept? A very likely guess, after the jump.

Gaga’s really been into posing as a hard rocker lately, what with the black leather jackets and big hair and other talismans that she probably first witnessed while on a 1991 school field trip to Nassau Coliseum. So it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the “Wanna take a ride?” imagery and color scheme of L.A. Guns’ 1989 album Cocked And Loaded:


What with Universal Music Group and the always Beats By Dre-equipped honcho Jimmy Iovine taking such an interest in American Idol this season, Gaga’s probably familiar with “Transformer Guy,” who turned himself into an Autobot for the purposes of getting 30 seconds of national television airtime:


The “get your motor running” font used by Gawker Media’s auto blog Jalopnik adds to the revved-up metaphors the cover has to offer, which Gaga further underscored by tweeting about a “highway unicorn” pre-reveal:


The boatload of liquid eyeliner that makes Gaga’s eyes pop out:


It’s the cover to Born This Way! Unless it isn’t and Gaga’s going to keep teasing fake covers as a way to keep herself in the “news” cycle for the next six weeks, since the surfeit of media out there ensures that any breadcrumb of information will be dutifully (if not grammatically) reported upon by dozens of item-bereft web sites out there.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 18, 2011


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