book signing


Oct. 3 book launch at Mary O's, East Village, NYC

middle church

Middle Collegiate Church, East Village: November 18, My spiritual journey with the Beach Boys; Donna Gaines: My spiritual journey with the Ramones.

Astoria books

Astoria Bookshop, Queens, NY: November 16 Why The Beach Boys and Ramones Matter with Donna Gaines


Smucker, Wilson, Morgan, St. George Theater, Staten Island December 7


this big


Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine, Rockville Centre, Long Island, Dec.14

beach boys fan club

Fullfilling my 45 year dream - bottom right under New Books - Why The Beach Boys Matter gets a shout out in the newsletter of the Beach Boys Fan Club, founded in 1973 and still in the groove. Thank you Alice!



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Rough Draft Bar & Books, Kingston, NY, March 31 with Donna Gaines. Good times in the Catskills.


How To Dress Like A Beach Boy Webpage


Why The Beach Boys Matter Facebook Page


pop music link


siley smile link


Tom Smucker has been writing about pop music and politics since Woodstock. He worked for 30 years as a telephone central office tech, is a proud member of CWA Local 1101 Retired Members Council, and served on the Board of Deacons and Elders at Middle Collegiate Church, in New York City, his home for the last 50 years.


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Surf's Up Podcast: Smucker, Miglioratti, and Dillon talk about Why The Beach Boys Matter, Part One, and Part Two





PopCon at MoPOP, Seattle, April, 2019.

Music Matters Panel with Donna Gaines, Ramones; Karen Tongson, Karen Carpenter; Tom Smucker, Beach Boys (Dying and Not Dying in the Biographies of the Beach Boys, posted with the illustrations); Fred Goodman, Lhasa; Evelyn McDonnell, Series Editor. Photo: Curt Weiss


Presentation at church, November, 2018: My Spiritual Journey with the Music of the Beach Boys at Middle Church


Pray For Surf, Phil Miglioratti Interview


Beach Boys Obscurities Blog and Spotify Playlist


Aretha Franklin, the Beach Boys and the Lord's Prayer


Michael Shelley, WFMU Interview: (Interview at 31 minutes)




"Smucker’s endearing little book (comfortably shorter and more accessible than most comprehensive surveys) make an important contribution to understanding the how and why of this West Coast pop band."

Click Here for the complete review from Donald Brackett, Critics At Large


"For survivors of The Sixties and for members of other generations who look back at the era either with nostalgia and regret or with fear and loathing, the real value of this book might well be its reflections on the era of Vietnam, civil rights, the counterculture, the mindlessness of suburbia and a nation in which, from the White House to the house next door, “no one’s in charge, and everyone can do their own thing” which allows for both “positive” and “negative” space." Jonah Raskin, NY Journal of Books


"Having spent a lifetime digging into everything the Beach Boys have recorded, Tom Smucker knows it to be fun fun fun, great art, and a barometer of our class, race, and gender politics since World War II." — Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock Critics, Author of Is It Still Good to Ya?: Essays on Music 1967-2017.



"Smucker's mix of unabashed fanboy enthusiasm with razor sharp analysis makes him the perfect teller of this story, which is not only the story of the Boys, but also of the great dry beach of American suburbia on which their popularity surfed. Smucker’s telling intertwines (his own) personal narrative with that of the music/ musicians; and traces their mutual trajectory through our collective political/cultural body. 

In doing so, Smucker pulls off something which is rarer than one might imagine, even in the supposedly enlightened precincts of NYC rock crit: the sympathetic telling of a white story— stripped of the myths of supremacy."

Marc Ribot, musician, Songs of Resistance 1942-2018, Ceramic Dog. For Marc's Complete Review Click Here



“Back in the early 1970s, Tom Smucker was one of a handful of music journalists who was ‘ahead of the curve,’ and he pointed me in the right direction for what became my life’s journey.” —David Leaf, writer, director, and producer of Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of “Smile”


“From its lovely and arresting first paragraphs through cars and guitars, stages and studios, shrinks and gurus, and a postwar endless summer with plenty of shady places, Tom Smucker’s Why the Beach Boys Matter perfectly captures the world the Beach Boys made.  This is the band in full career ricochet summing up and summoning a whole way of life.  Smucker’s encyclopedic detail is cast in his characteristically wry, open-hearted voice.  Full of stunning insights into love and mercy, it’s as good a book on music, and a lot of other things too, as any I know.” — Eric Lott, City University of New York Graduate Center/author of Black Mirror: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism


"Tom Smucker has given us something crucial; this is fresh perspective, from what may very well be the last voice we’ll hear on The Beach Boys that had also been published during their original era of creativity.  This was a time when Rhythm & Blues was still the most dominant aspect of Rock ’n’ Roll, and the inherent social change coming with that had a sense of mission, revelry and humor, a whole package often swept under the rug by the complacent."   - Domenic Priore, author of Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood (2015 Jawbone Press, London). For Domenic's complete review click here.


"Music Matters series takes on Beach Boys and The Ramones – And This Is An EXCELLENT Place To Start If You’re New To The Bands" Eric Alter


"Release date, Oct. 2, and breathlessly awaited by some (i.e., me). . . Smucker has  already written about the Beach Boys better than anyone" Rock Critics.Com


Rock and Roll Book Club: Music Matters series takes on Beach Boys, Ramones

Jay Gabler, The Current, Minnesota


David Chiu in Brooklyn Based


"It’s a pretty tall order to tell the Beach Boys’ oft-confusing, decades-long history in a 176-page, 5 x 7″book, but Tom Smucker does an admirable job." K.C. Carlson, Comics Worth Reading


Available at IndieBound or UTPress or Powell's or Google or Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books A Million or Target or Kobo or Blackwells or Dymocks or


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