Former Aylesbury paperboy Rob Stringer becomes one of the most powerful people in the music industry

Rob Stringer and David Stopps at the unveiling of the Earthly Messenger statue
Rob Stringer and David Stopps at the unveiling of the Earthly Messenger statue

A former Bucks Advertiser paperboy who’s first job was at Aylesbury Friars has become one of the most powerful people in the music industry this week.

Rob Stringer, will head up Sony Music Group as well as Sony Music Entertainment as part of a restructure within the company.

During his career Rob has worked with hundreds of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Adele and Bob Dylan. He also worked with David Bowie on what would be his final album Blackstar, and enjoys a friendship and 10-year working relationship with fellow music guru Simon Cowell.

Rob supported the town’s David Bowie statue campaign and was on the podium as the monument was unveiled in 2018.

Speaking to The Bucks Herald Rob said: “My first Friars show was Eddie and the Hot Rods in 1976 when I was 14 years old.

“You were meant to be 16 to get in and I’d been turned down the week before so felt very lucky.

“I started working there in 1979 as junior security, that’s what all the boys from my school did, it was like a rite of passage.”

Rob grew up in Long Meadow, Bedgrove. And though he got into the grammar school, he admits that his first love of music always took precedence over lessons.

He said: “Robin and David were like Gods to us, David literally because he used to wear a white suit. Living in Aylesbury at that time was wonderful, it was like we had this amazing musical education at the end of the street.”

David Stopps paid tribute to his friend this week, in celebration of his promotion news.

He said: “I gave Rob his first job in the music industry paying him £5 per night as junior security at Friars Aylesbury in the late seventies. He always asked to do front stage security so he could get as close as possible to the bands. Bands like Tom Petty, The Clash and The Ramones.

“I remember when Adam and the Ants played in 1978 someone threw a punch over the stage barrier which connected with Rob quite heavily.

“There was blood everywhere. I went in, pulled him out and took him back stage and sat him down against the backstage wall. According to Rob I put my arm around him and said ‘Are you alright?’

“I’d forgotten it but when I saw Rob in New York a few years ago he reminded me about it and said ‘I’ll never forget that’.”