The seller responded in a way that suggested that he interpreted me as having questioned the authenticity of the photo, and in his reply, gave some history behind having worked with the band, and invited me to check out his YouTube channel, where I saw a thumbnail for a familiar video.
I'd first seen this clip on a revamped TVT Records microsite about Nine Inch Nails in the early 2000s - I think it was in Quicktime format, and it still had timecodes overlaying the video, and there were interview clips cut in and out of the footage, but it was some of the clearest pro-shot video from the Lollapalooza tour I'd seen. This clip would later resurface on a leaked DVD cut of Closure, and in 2010 around the time Pretty Hate Machine got a reissue, the footage was part of a montage uploaded to Vimeo as NIN Live: 1989-1991.
Still, I clicked on it, and as I watched, it occurred to me that the fidelity of the recording was just a bit better than what I'd seen before. Initially I compared it to other YouTube clips, which showed that this was dramatically higher quality, but even comparing it to the Vimeo upload, there's detail in the grain that's not there in the officially released footage. Setting the videos up side-by-side in Vegas, it became apparent that there were a handful of quick alternate cuts, too.
That's because the person selling this photo, and who uploaded this video, is the director Maxwell Hudson, who shot a lot of footage of Nine Inch Nails in the early years. Max has been hesitant to say much more, and is probably weary of me, a rando, asking him about what I'm asking him about, so rather than keep it all under my hat, check out that eBay auction photo, and enjoy the video below.
If I learn anything else worth sharing, I'll let you know here.