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Five members of '80s rock band Flying Tigers. Four male members gathered around lead singer Jumi O'Brien.
Flying Tigers

A MYSTERY NO MORE!: Ladies and Gentlemen, Flying Tigers!

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Never say “Never”!

With our September 14, 2022 blog post “Does Someone Know My Name?,” I thought the Library’s—and my—long mystery photo saga had come an end.

In the beginning, we had over 100 unknown photos.  At the time of the September posting, we had just 17 left.  By any measure, this effort had been a success.

The final blog post was mainly put up just to have one central place where readers could easily find our last remaining unidentifieds.  Though many people continued to look and guess, I held little hope that these final 17 would be solved, since we had already shared them so many times.

But…never say never.

Just this past week, “Now See Hear” reader Mike Lee took a gander at the final few.  And it was #3—which we always assumed was some sort of rock group–that caught Mike’s eye.  Could the man on the far right be Mike Fleck, a drummer he once knew of?

Well, “Columbo” move over!  Mike was on the case.

What other groups had Fleck once played with?

Eventually he came to the hard-rocking Flying Tigers—a late ’80s/early ’90s fixture on the LA and San Fran scenes.  Before they all went their separate ways, Flying Tigers had various incarnations.  At one time it was a four-man band with Fleck, Carlos Panetera and Rob Sundberg.  Also in the group:  Larry Elliot.  Lee thought Elliot looked like one of the other men in our mystery photo.

Throughout the day, Lee kept posting to the blog with his findings.  As they came in, I tried to react to them and run down his leads.  I found a contact–I thought–for Fleck and reached out to him.  But, before Fleck had a chance to respond, Mike began Googling and then found the following…

And that’s how this mystery got solved.

Our mystery pic is indeed an incarnation of Flying Tigers.  From left the line-up is:  Mike Fleck, Randy Bush, Jumi O’Brien, John Warburton and Larry Elliot.

This grouping of Flying Tigers were together, according to Jumi O’Brien, for about 10 years, performing mainly in Hollywood and San Francisco, playing “all the best toilets,” O’Brien says now with a laugh.  Today, still an artist, O’Brien lives on the East Coast.

The aforementioned Fleck lives in Northern California and still performs.

Larry Elliot is still out west and still plays music but also has a non-rocking day job.  Randy Bush stills plays but mainly works in the healthcare industry.  We haven’t tracked down Randy yet.

But if the band isn’t together anymore, they still endure, in photo form, at the Library of Congress.  And now their identities—individually and collectively—are known.

So, in conclusion:  Never say “never.”  Oh, and never forget to say “thank you.”  So:  THANK YOU, Mike Lee and everyone!!!


More pictures of the band below, courtesy of LarryElliot.









Comments (4)

  1. I really enjoyed this article! It was fun to watch all of you refuse to admit defeat. It goes to show that diehard armchair detectives can still thrive.

    Thank all of you for your dedication in your quests for knowledge.

    Mary C. Melchor

  2. Well done librarians & LoC fans!

  3. Fantastic work, and I love the guesses! I had to check out who Oliver Wakeman is, and I must say there’s a slight resemblance. I have ZERO keyboard abilities, though. Thanks!

  4. A really hard working band, with a unique, beautiful lead singer, Jumi. Rock solid drumming and fierce guitars. Hard and dark, catchy songs. Always in tune and tight.

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