Unmasked

06.06.13

Daft Punk Mystery Solved!*

Winston Ross dug into Internet to unmask the person who posted unmasked photos of music’s most private duo. He barely returned intact. (*Depends on your definition of ‘solved’)

In life, there are some things meant to be sacred and secret. The Easter Bunny not being real. What really happened at Neverland Ranch. Anything about Richard Gere. The way to Sesame Street. And perhaps the most cherished mystery of all: what those two guys from Daft Punk actually look like.

So you can imagine the internet clamor that overtook Twitter and blogs and basically every corner of cyberspace on Thursday after some jacktard decided it would be funny or cool to post a picture of Guy-Manuel de Momem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter — the actual Daft Punk dudes, without their robot helmets or anything, ALLEGEDLY playing champagnepong in the offices of their record label, Columbia.

The Internet basically exploded and then caved in on itself and then mutated into an alien cyborg in response. At first, over at Reddit, where the photo originally appeared, people were all, “Holy what this is what Daft Punk looks like!” And then some of them were like, “Wait that’s not cool I didn’t want to know that!” And then some other people were like, “Wait they’re not playing champagne pong, they’re just drinking champagne and eating macaroons!”

French people do like champagne and macaroons (actually, macarons!), so that part of the story checked out.

Before long came the inevitable: “Who the hell had the audacity to post this photo!”

Well, dear readers of The Daily Beast, you’ll be glad to know that our crack team of forensic Internet investigators has spent the entire day sleuthing out the answer to this question, and if you read all the way to the end of this story (and retweet it and click on every ad on this page and buy something) we will (MAYBE) reveal the answer.

We thought surely that shameless ass-kissing would sucker The Knocks into handing over the identity of the band’s true unmasker.

At first, all signs pointed to the electronic music duo The Knocks, who took most of the initial heat from Those Who Would Forever Preserve Daft Punk’s True Identities. Someone from the band did, after all, post that champagne pic to The Knocks’ Facebook page, before people started hammering whoever did that and the photo vanished back into thin air, except that it really didn’t, because that’s not how the internet works.

“GUESS WE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO POST THAT PIC :X” the band wrote on its Facebook page.

Whoever manages The Knocks’ Twitter feed spent much of Thursday morning battling back vicious tweets like, “I have no respect for @theknocks for their Daft Punk scandal,” and, “I just saw a picture of Daft Punk without their helmets. MY LIFE IS RUINED.”


The Knocks insisted they were innocent — or at least, not that guilty. “We didn’t take the picture. Got it ff (sic) another site thought it had already blownup,” came one tweet, and, “How can we be dropped form (sic) a label we arent on? We didn’t take the picture. We just reposted it from another blog. Doi.”

Doi, indeed. The band also pointed out that neither of them is anywhere near cool or important enough to be invited to that party where Daft Punk was drinking champagne, which seems like a pretty decent explanation — UNLESS they were working there as waiters.

But if The Knocks didn’t do it, who did? After dropping off a burlap sack full of unmarked bills to a creepy looking dude in a trenchcoat, The Daily Beast’s investigative team (of one) discovered the original Reddit Thread and even tracked down the OP (that’s short for “original poster” — it’s a Reddit thing) and we quickly pushed him into a van and sped off to a musty basement to waterboard him orher. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

This is what he said, begging that we maintain his anonymity. The guy is understandably afraid for his life at this point.

“Hey. I just posted it to Reddit after seeing it on The Knocks' Facebook page. They subsequently took it down and wrote that they weren't supposed to post it, so you should probably avoid mentioning them. Also, I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention me. I really don't want to have any unnecessary problems.”

Yeah, sure, buddy. We’ll protect you until Eric Holder subpoenas our email records, at least. But also we stuck a syringe full of truth serum in the dude’s arm, made him drink 12 shots of Patron and administered a foolproof lie detectortest, and he passed (out) so we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

We also rented a helicopter outfitted with a big spotlight and used it to huntdown Stacy Lambe, a freelance blogger and reporter for several nefarious publications. Lambe also admitted posting the champagne pic but insisted he did so exactly 56 minutes after he saw The Knocks posted it on Facebook.

He also naively insisted this whole controversy has gotten a little out of hand.

“I liked the photo, and the idea of The Knocks posting it,” Lambe told The Daily Beast. “It just seemed genuine, like ‘Oh my god we’re so excited to see this.’”

Clearly Lambe didn’t get it, and the mystery had yet to be solved to our satisfaction and it wasn’t yet Happy Hour, so we stayed on the hunt. 

Back to The Knocks, still awash in denial and defensiveness. We slapped around the manager, the publicist, the public relations firm; which is to say, we emailed them with the words VERY IMPORTANT in the subject line.

They ignored us, at their peril. But whoever runs the band’s Twitter account did, after we tweeted at them that we “really liked their jams,” say, “we've done enough damage haha.”

We thought surely that shameless ass-kissing approach would sucker The Knocks into handing over the identity of the band’s true unmasker. But it totally failed. Spokesman Ben-David Fenwick wrote, “Hi Winston- The Knocks are not releasing a statement or doing any interviews regarding the photo. I want to be clear that they did not take the picture. They saw it posted elsewhere and reposted it.”

So even though they retweeted our compliment, The Knocks are insisting they will take this secret to the grave. Menacingly, we told them, “You might wind up in that grave sooner than you planned if you don’t GIVE US THE NAME” but they still didn’t break. Where do these guys record, Guantanamo?

So after all that, after tricking you suckers into reading all the way to the end of this story, we have no idea who committed this cardinal Internet sin, and for that, we’re very sorry. Well, at least a little sorry.

Here, to make up for it, are a bunch more pictures of the guys from Daft Punk without their robot helmets on. You’re welcome.