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October 2 from University of Texas Press. More details soon.


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Tom Smucker has been writing about pop music and politics since Woodstock. He worked for 30 years as a telephone central office tech and is a proud member of CWA Local 1101 Retired Members Council in NYC.

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"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. Due out in October.



"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, Guitars, Vocals, Ceramic Dog (toured, recorded with Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Laurie Anderson, McCoy Tyner, Norah Jones, John Zorn, T Bone Burnett . . .) 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


"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