Via excellent WFMU and others: Faust was one of the definitive Krautrock bands (up with Kraftwerk/Can/Neu/Harmonia) even though they started a little late (early '70s instead of late '60s like much of this stuff) and if you haven't heard their actual songs at the smarter bars you frequent, then you've heard their weird after-effects. I always thought Pixies should have covered “Sad Skinhead” (from Faust IV), and if you have space between Velvet Underground and Eno to push in a few more records, Faust would fit in well.
Anyway, they'd signed to Richard Branson's Virgin but there was a disconnect between what Richard Branson expected from a band and what Faust wanted to do as a band so eventually… the expensive studio sessions collapse and Faust decides to save their tapes, but a car chase and a little jail time later, they're out and down in southern Germany eating dog food and drinking schnapps, per this. Further quotes from member Jean-Herve Peron from WFMU:
Who is to pay this huge bill? Panic. Faxes to Virgin — because we were, in a way, still under contract. They should be pleased that we offer them a master tape of our genial music. But no, Richard didn't even want to listen to our genial music. More panic. Kurt had already discretely left. So, let's rescue the equipment and the tapes at least. We sneaked the equipment and tapes out into the BRS and Ruud and Günther hopped in and… go… run for freedom… speeding gangster-wise through the Arabella grounds, knocking down the closing gates of the parking lot and — yes, hurrah, they were through!
Like captains in a sinking ship, Joachim, Rudolf and I (where the hell is Zappi?) stayed back to do battle. We were arrested, humiliated (how could anyone not realize the importance of these recordings? Pah!) and no, we none of us had one single pfennig, neither in our pockets nor in the bank, so hang us, torture us, sell our bones to our fans, do what you want with us, but — please, we're hungry and can't we just talk about this over a nice bottle?
The non-funny, non-heroic end of this story was that Joachim's and Rudolf's mamas bailed us our and paid the bills to save their cherished progeniture. Thank you Mrs. Irmler, thank you Mrs. Sosna.
So thanks to understanding German moms and to the Internet hive mind too: now the tapes have resurfaced — sourced from a promotional cassette Virgin sent out before relations deteriorated. It's the Faust album no one but the band and a few sympathetic media people ever heard. Read more and scout MP3s at WFMU here.