Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

R.I.P. Bill Faust, Founder of Bay View's Faust Music

By Evan Rytlewski
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William "Bill Faust" Regalado, founder of Bay View's Faust Music, passed away peacefully earlier this month, according to an obituary notice published today. Faust, who ran the South Side drum center for more than 50 years, was 83.

Generations of Milwaukee musicians will remember him as one of the music scene's most colorful characters. To know a drummer who shopped at his store was most likely to know a drummer who had been kicked out of his store. Faust was notoriously protective of his stock, reluctant to open his store to strangers and weary of any customer who struck him as less than serious. As curt as he could be to newcomers, though, regulars knew him as a warm, gregarious man, eager to share stories and show off the many vintage kits he kept out of view from outsiders. Since so few customers were allowed to see his full stock, the store acquired something of a mythical reputation in drum circles, and became a favorite stop for many musicians touring through the city.

Former Violent Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo was among the regulars who became familiar with the man underneath the gruff exterior. "Bill was always there to help me with drum buys and his unique view of life," DeLorezno tweeted Friday. "Bill Faust had a store that was filled with hidden treasures from the Drum World and his 'larger than life' personality that rang old school."

A memorial service and visitation for Faust will be held Saturday morning, Oct. 26 at Heritage Funeral Homes, 3801 S. Howell Ave. in Bay View.
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