031: Tim Leighton-Boyce/Read And Destroy

Tim at work, 1979

“For me skateboarding was always  antiestablishment. It was an underground thing. Something you did because you weren’t into competitive sports”.

Photographer, editor, publisher, visionary – my guest for episode 031 of the Looking Sideways podcast is truly one of the unsung heroes of the UK action sports community: Tim Leighton-Boyce.

Tim’s classic sequence of Simon Evans for his 1992 interview.

Tim was the main driving force behind the legendary R.A.D magazine, the much-loved UK skateboarding institution that did so much to support UK skateboarding and skate culture during a critical time in the scene’s development on these shores.

Steve Cabballero, Southsea, 1988

You can get an understanding of its importance from the popularity of the @readanddestroy Instagram account, currently being run by R.A.D. alumnus Dan Adams, who is doing a brilliant job of shining a light on this specific period in UK skateboarding history.

“The first time I saw him I knew he was special” Tom Penny, 1991.

When I started the podcast, ‘TLB’ was one of the first name on the list so I was stoked to head up to London to interview him about these years, and pay homage to a man and a scene that had such an influence on myself and countless others.

Half cabs, tiny wheels, big pants – an iconic Manzoori handrail at the height of a notorious era.

Listen out for:

  • Tim on how R.A.D. came about.
  • The forthcoming Read and Destroy book.
  • The importance of street skating in reigniting the scene
  • Tim on the first time he saw Tom Penny skate.

I recorded this chat with Tim and Dan Adams at Dan’s studio in East London in November 2017. Hope you enjoyed this one as much as an old geek like me did!
All images courtesy of The Read and Destroy Archive © Tim Leighton-Boyce

If you only have five minutes…

Listen to this section - Tim on Phat Magazine, R.A.D.'s ill-fated successor

Connect with Read and Destroy

Show Notes

  • The Read and Destroy Instagram.
  • Filing photos the old fashioned way.
  • The first skate boom – and the start of the first Dark Ages
  • How Tim got into skateboarding – and photography.
  • The UK skate industry at the end of the 1970s.
  • The first scene Tim was involved with.
  • How his photography developed in tandem.
  • First involvement with skate media.
  • Early advice and mentoring.
  • How the nascent skate industry evolved to survive…
  • …and how Tim’s career also evolved with it.
  • The first stirrings of RAD.
  • Nick Phillips gets involved.
  • RAD proper – 1987.
  • How skateboarding recovered.
  • The Wind and Surf Show.
  • Warrington scene.
  • How the scene developed.
  • The importance and inclusiveness of street skating.
  • Representing the local scenes.
  • St George’s Estate scene shoot.
  • The growth of the London street skating scene.
  • How RAD was produced.
  • The rollercoaster years.
  • Tim’s proudest moments during the RAD years.
  • The Simon Evans interview edition.
  • The early 90s era.
  • The emergence of Geoff Rowley, Tom Penny and Alex Moul.
  • First time Tim saw Tom Penny skate.
  • The end of RAD.
  • The Phat Magazine experiment.
  • The notorious Phat Magazine gun spread that led to the magazine being canned.
  • What Tim did next.
  • The legacy of RAD.
  • The forthcoming Read and Destroy book.
  • Tim’s views on skating’s profile and scale today.
  • What Tim is proudest of today.

People Mentioned

Companies/Brands/Films/Shows Mentioned