Lucy’s Fur Coat formed in 1991, with rhythm guitarist and chief songwriter Mike Santos on lead vocals. Deciding they needed a more prominent front man, they added lead vocalist Charlie Ware. Other original band members included Tony Sanfilippo, guitar; Rob Brown, bass; and Scott “Scoots” Bauer, drums.
With a powerful rock sound and Ware’s spastic dancing, the band became a huge local draw. They signed to Relativity Records and released Jaundice in 1994. The band toured extensively throughout the United States in support of the record. The song “Treasure Hands” received extensive airplay, especially in Southern California.
Internal struggles within the band led to drummer Bauer leaving, replaced by Scott Clark. But the band members felt their record company never fully supported them, and friction between the band and its management with Relativity led to the band being dropped from the label. The group broke up briefly. In 1998, the band reunited and recorded a new CD, How to Survive an Air Crash on SBH Records. Although Santos wrote the bulk of the material and played on two tracks, he had left the band. Lucy’s Fur Coat continued as a four-piece and soldiered on, mostly playing at local clubs. However, the band failed to generate major label interest and again the group broke up.
Santos, Ware, and Sanfilippo formed the band Pumphouse with Petey X of Rocket from the Crypt. Santos and Brown formed the country band the Scramblers with former members of Malachi Crunch and Deadbolt. In 2004, Santos formed the group the Coolest Band in America, which released the CDs Air Conditioned and Memo.
Lucy’s Fur Coat has reunited several times over the years for one-off shows, including a 2008 set and a pair of September 2015 performances. The latter performances were actually rescheduled from July, due to a heart attack suffered by guitarist Tony Sanfilippo, 46. “My family has a history of arterial sclerosis,” Sanfilippo told the Reader. “It’s basically plaque building up at an abnormal rate.”