Yes. These two. Still.
Regular readers of this blog know of our long quest to identify some super-obscure film and TV (and “other”) stills that we found in a collection here at the Library of Congress. (For those who would like a recap, please see the links at the bottom of this post.)
Our crowd-sourcing via this and other LC blogs has proved to be a spectacular success. We started with well over 200 “unknowns” and, now, we have only 18 we don’t know! Thank you all!
At this point in our long journey, it’s quite possible that these final 18 identities will never be solved; these people are just too obscure. Along with blasting them all over the internet and Facebook and getting them in front of as many eyes as possible, we have also employed all the internet “reverse image search” programs out there and sent them all through some amazing (and slightly Orwellian) facial recognition software. And, yet, with our last 18, we’ve still come up empty.
Nevertheless, having worked on this project for so long, these faces still tend to dance through my head. It’s difficult, during bouts of insomnia, not to lay awake and wonder: So who are they? And, specifically, who are these two at the top of this page?
This photo has befuddled us for so long. How much has it stymied us? Well, we can’t even agree if, in a strictly binary sense, these are two men or two women or one of each!
It does seem to be a professional shot. (The photographer and camera set up can be seen in the reflection of the glasses on one of the subjects.) We assume that these two are some sort of New Wave duo. But, unfortunately, they look like every New Wave duo of the New Wave era!
So far we do know that it is NOT any of the following:
Alannah Myles, Book of Love, David Johansen, Dogs d’Amore, Dweezil Zappa, Dwight Twilly Band, Edn-Ozn, Eve Moon, Face to Face, Faster Pussycat, Frances McDormand, Hangmen, Haysi Fantasi, Heart, Ian Hunter, Indigo Girls, Izzy Stradlin, Jacobites, Joan Jett, Karla Bonoff, Kings of the Sun, LA Guns, Love & Rockets, the Main Street Preachers, Marc Bolan, Michael Des Barres, Mickey Thomas, Motels, Paul Hardcastle, Peaches, Paul Westerberg, Randyandy, Richard Hell, Robert Hazard, Rough Trade, Scarlet Fantastic, Slits, Sparks, Strawberry Switchblade, Suicide, Suzi Quatro, The Cut, The Neon Judgement, The Throbs, Tik and Tok, Tom Keifer, T-Rex,the Waitresses, and, no, not Wendy and Lisa. (All of the above have been approached, shown the picture and told us, “Not me.”)
Other guesses that have, so far, not been verified or denied are: 39 Clocks, Balaam and the Angel, Fashion, Lady Wreckless, and Thrill for Kills.
Surely the Library of Congress does not possess the ONLY copy of this photo in existence. Surely it appeared somewhere else–on an album, CD or something? Surely it got posted on a wall or printed in a newspaper. Didn’t it?
But, granted, solving this this great mystery will not be easy. Since their likeness does not pop up seemingly anywhere else on the internet (at least not that we’ve found so far), we are now pretty much looking for someone who might have seen them perform or someone who knows them personally or even the subjects themselves.
Solving this particular photo—in fact, our final 18—now is not so much a media mystery as a missing persons case.