You don’t hear many conventional love songs from Essex retro rock band The 1957 Tail Fin Fiasco – so the new single Monogamy Pews is predictably not a celebration of romantic marriage.
In fact, this track from their latest album The Harvard Tango tells the story of Glynn Wolfe, also known as Scotty Wolfe, a Baptist minister from Blythe, California, who holds the record for the most monogamous marriages – 29 in all.
“His shortest marriage lasted 19 days, and his longest lasted eleven years,” the guys (as I call them) told me. And some Googling revealed more of this curious case: When he died in 1997, aged 88, his remains were expected to be cremated and the ashes due to be placed in a collective grave because nobody came forward to claim responsibility.
His widow, Linda Essex-Wolfe, held the record for the most-often married woman, with 23 husbands. The couple were married for just under a year, but spent only a week together and lived in different states.
It’s the sort of quirky, stranger-than-fiction story that appeals to ‘the guys’ (Mal and David), whose distinction between reality and imagination often seems quite fluid.
As with previous posts about their work, I can never be quite sure what to believe, but I take this explanation of their interest in the Wolfe story with a large pinch of salt:
“We learned of Scotty’s monogamous shenanigans whilst spending a winter skiing in Aspen. Neither of us ski – We spent two weeks with the Danish royal family as a masseuse and sommelier. The lodge was owned by the eldest of Scotty’s 19 children.”
The resulting song is a characteristically catchy piano-driven tune, with jokey lyrics from Scotty’s perspective (“a clerical man from Blythe, California”) about how “monogamy will be the death of me” and the piles of unwanted wedding presents – “boxes of toasters and monographed coasters”…
There’s a very funny video too (the guys are adept at comedy videos – they had a starring role in this one for my business Weltch Media, With a T), and if you’d like to download the song, it’s free on Bandcamp from Friday October 23rd 2020, and will also feature a new track, Take Me Dancing, My Love on the B-side.
Despite the title, I dare say that won’t be a conventional love song either.