- The correct title of this article is Omēga. The macron cannot be represented due to technical restrictions.
Omēga (prounounced /oʊ.miːˈgʌ/ OH-MEE-GUH) is a fictional character portrayed by Marilyn Manson in the album Mechanical Animals. A gender-ambiguous alien discovered on Earth, Omēga is kidnapped on behalf of the recording industry and transformed into a rock star, fronting the group Omēga and the Mechanical Animals.
Omēga decorates the cover of Mechanical Animals, which is believed to rank among the greatest and most controversial cover art ever. The infamous photo is the brainchild of longtime Manson photographer Joseph Cultice of New York City. Designer P. R. Brown has said of the cover, "I'm extremely proud of it. I said more in one of his covers than any novel could. It made people think and cringe." The Greatest Album Covers of All Time explains that "The shock of the image was increased because it looked like a real photograph," which Manson claimed to represent "sexlessness and vulnerability," in addition to his own "affection for prosthetic limbs." Omēga also appears in a music video filmed for "The Dope Show", which won an award for "Best Cinematography" at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. Manson's future outfits and makeup throughout the were usually consistent with his Omēga appearance, however this was the only time he sported the iconic prosthetic breasts.
The prosthetic breasts Manson adorned for Omēga were manufactured specially by George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic. Interestingly, Manson has stated in interviews that Johnny Depp is the current owner of these prosthetic breasts, while Manson himself owns Johnny's strawberry-blonde wig worn in the film Blow. Manson is in reality naked and covered completely in latex paint, also provided by Industrial Light and Magic, and his genitalia is covered by a thin cup of plastic. Omēga's hips in the image were superimposed from another photograph, sometimes rumored to belong to Elle McPherson, and other times Heidi Klum. Originally, Omēga had nipples adorning its breasts in the Mechanical Animals cover image, however these were edited out of the final product.
There are seven songs on Mechanical Animals which are purported to be Omēga and the Mechanical Animals recordings. These are "The Dope Show", "Rock Is Dead", "I Want to Disappear", "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)", "New Model No. 15", "User Friendly" and "Fundamentally Loathsome". During the Rock Is Dead tour, Marilyn Manson's performances were even frequently introduced with the message "Ladies and gentlemen, from the drug capital of the world – Hollywood, California – Omēga and the Mechanical Animals."
- The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. Barry Miles, Grant Scott and Johnny Morgan. Anova Books. 2005.