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"We called every sub shop in Jersey and we couldn't find him," says guitarist Mike Santos about his effort to locate drummer Scott Clark. Their former band, Lucy's Fur Coat, was asked to regroup for a concert to recognize the 20th anniversary of 91X's Loudspeaker program. Lucy's Fur Coat became one of the first local bands from the early-'90s scene to get a national recording contract.

"I had Charlie [Ware, lead singer], I had the songs, we had Sony," says Santos. "I thought we were gonna blow up." The band's "Treasure Hands" was an alt-rock radio hit. Their signing to Relativity/Sony was soon followed by big contracts for locals Rust (Atlantic) and Rocket From the Crypt (Interscope).

Santos, who turns 40 on Monday, writes songs and handles vocals as well as guitar duties for the Coolest Band in the World. (The band released its second CD, Air Conditioned, in May.)

Santos co-founded LFC in 1991 with guitarist Tony Sanfilippo (who now has a motorcycle-parts business); Santos left the band five years later.

"They wanted to go on tour to Arizona," says Santos. "But I didn't want to go. At the time, I had a job, a wife, and a baby."

Santos says, "Charlie was brilliant" and points out that STP vocalist Scott Weiland ripped off moves from Charlie Ware. Yet, toward the end, Santos and Ware grew apart.

"We had our Yoko...

Charlie's ex-wife wanted his full attention, so his focus changed. It was a campaign dealing with her day after day. When we first started, it was basically five guys in a van. Then we got a level of success that enabled us to tour in a step above poverty. Charlie embraced the luxury. She embedded herself into the touring unit. Basically, it parsed Charlie from the rest of the unit."

Ware now works as a San Diego lifeguard. Former bassist Rob Brown works for Napster. Santos oversees mergers and acquisitions for a local staffing company.

The Coolest Band in the World appears September 23 at the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas. The Loudspeaker concert will be held September 30 at Viejas Bayside.

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