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233: Dan Adams, Paul Sunman, Wig Worland/Read and Destroy

Regular listeners will know that British skateboarding institution Read and Destroy occupies an important place in the Looking Sideways firmament, both for me personally and for British sideways culture in general.

I’ve talked about it at length over the years, but Read and Destroy was hugely important to me when I was growing up. Not just because it was the main UK skate mag at the time. Looking back, I realise that it’s what RaD represented that was really important – that you could make something like that about the things you loved. That you could blatantly make it up as you went along. And you didn’t need permission!

These were important, revelatory lessons for me at the time, that continue to influence the work that I do to this day.

Gonz by Paul. Kennington 1987

This is why, in the early years of Looking Sideways, it was so important for me to speak to Tim Leighton-Boyce. Sure, I wanted to hear his story. But I also wanted to pay homage to what he’d created.

In the intervening years, it’s become clear I’m not the only one who was influenced by the work of Tim and peers like Paul Sunman. Among the wider skateboarding and creative community, there is huge affection not only for Read and Destroy, but for the creative uniqueness of the British scene generally. You can see it in the works of somebody like Neil Macdonald, who I’ve also had on the show, and the huge popularity of the Read and Destroy Instagram account run by Dan Adams.

You can also see it in the response to last year’s London Calling event, and the outpouring of love and excitement with which the release of new Read and Destroy book has been greeted.

Femi Bukanola back in 89, as shot by TLB

Which is why, on the eve of the release of this new history of Read and Destroy (and this year’s London Calling event), I decided to sit down with Dan, Paul and Wig Worland for the conversation you’re about to listen to. Wig is another old friend, but I’d never met Paul, even if we both knew of each other and have plenty of mutual friends.

Curtis by TLB

As ever, I didn’t really have an agenda. I just wanted to let the virtual tape roll and let these three oldest of friends, all so influential when it comes to UK skate culture, take the conversation where they wanted. As you’ll hear, that’s exactly what happened. It’s a good one, this. Even Wig enjoyed it, which really is the highest of praise. I hope you do too, and as ever I’d love to know what you think of this one.

Listen below: