Robert Langley or ‘Mr. Toad’ passed away c. early January, 2018.
The bootleg world has always been made up of budding entrepreneurs of all sorts – not many were as bold or as brassy as Robert Langley or ‘Mr. Toad’ as he was pronounced but being noted as the UK’s biggest bootlegger at the event of the CD bootleg was a badge of honour to wear.
Behind a stack of labels in the late ‘80’s and the 90’s such as Silver Rarities and Wanted Man to name a few, his was one of the biggest voices in Clinton Heylin’s book, ‘Bootleg’, his simple terminology about how he dealt his business in the halcyon days of the trade in silver disks was an enthralling read and threw entertaining light on some of the mundanity of his ‘hobby’ but also highlighted the risks that our underground chums faced while getting their product out there.
The fortunate few of you might have met this happy character while out collecting as he no doubt had a tale to spin out of his skippy adventures. Apparently he felt in to the trade by accident through a completely different business and another tale was that he spent most of his advances on one of the biggest and best rigs knows this side of a space station or Who concert. His collection of music overshadowing that of some of the more humble collectors. He was a music fan as much as a business man, out for the thrill of new tapes as opposed to new money.
One of the true heroes of the trade, Bob, though he was quieter in the last few years, is to be thanked for building your collection in ways that some labels will only aspire to. No doubt you’ll still own some of his original CDs too as they were far too good to be upgraded for the next.
Robert, thank you and fare thee well.