- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Corn Flakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life Paperback – 12 Oct 2010
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
ROBERT HILBURN, the longtime pop music critic and editor of the Los Angeles Times, is one of the most widely read and respected pop writers of the rock and roll era. He lives in Los Angeles.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My concerns were gone about three pages in! Hilburn did stumble into his life kind of accidentally (music reporter for the LA Times), but he was there. He lived the life he talks about. It doesn't come off as name-dropping, at all. He was welcomed into these musicians' worlds. His stories are human and believable. Name just about any Hal of Fame musician from the 60s to the present, and he has a story.
I'd recommend this book to anybody!
I loved Hilburn and wanted to emulate him, and he further found a way into my heart when he personally answered my letter asking how to become a rock critic. He took me seriously. He didn't really say anything that others hadn't told me: Work hard and write a lot. But I couldn't get over how he had taken the time to write back. I've written other reviewers, and I'm still waiting to hear from them.
Years later, I discovered another reason he was so good at what he did when I got my wish and reviewed a dozen or so concerts for two newspapers and found out the downside of the job: You had to sit through excruciatingly bad sets, too.
This book answered some of the questions I had about Hilburn: where he came from, what brought him to rock music, what formed his tastes. But--and here's the funny part--it displays both too much of the man and too little.
I loved Hilburn's criticism, in large part because the man can write. And his memoir is no exception. It's a quick and good read. But then Hilburn revealed several things about himself that I can't get past. One is how snobbish he was about what he did. When John Lennon died, Hilburn writes about how he bristled over fans' displays of grief. He says that he kept thinking they had no right to be sad. He felt he was a friend of Lennon's and they weren't. I'm glad I never got that sense of snobbishness when I read Hilburn's columns, and it's shocking to read it here. As one of those fans, I felt as though I was punched in the gut by my hero.
I also couldn't believe how fluid Hilburn let the lines get between himself and those he wrote about. The book's title teases this connection, but as a former reporter who had very strict ethics about keeping working relationships professional, I felt a good measure of disgust that Hilburn blended those lines.
When I was in journalism, I always ran up against real life. I was sooooo tired when the news desk woke me up at 5 to cover a fire. I hated not being able to enjoy Friday nights because I drew the Saturday morning duty. My body couldn't keep up with covering a city council meeting until 1 and then pounding out two stories for the next day's paper. I didn't mind covering a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, but I did mind missing my own family's celebration. How, I always wondered, did the successful journalists do it? Well, it turns out, Hilburn didn't. When there was a conflict between family and a big music event, he chose the event--even when he didn't have to. He didn't want to be at home. So there was no conflict. I read these accounts fascinated but disenchanted. I also got mad when Hilburn relates how he tried to talk Bono out of getting "sidetracked" by activism. How is that Hilburn's business? I wondered.
Finally, I was let down by the memoir because Hilburn draws the curtain just when I want him to get more personal. He writes that his decision to choose music over family led to his divorce, but his writing gets sketchy here. I'd like to know what those discussions were like. How was his wife handling it? I wondered. I don't know. Hilburn doesn't say. I'd like to know if professional journalists give up family because of the passion for music or the excitement of hanging out with celebrities--or whether they merely want an excuse to be away from home. Hilburn never quite says.
It's funny. I've written so little about the music, and of course, the music is the reason to read this book. He has ongoing conversations with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Bono. What a trifecta. Hilburn is truly great talking about what it is about the music and the artists that gives birth to melodies and words that become the soundtrack of our lives. As someone who struggled to do that a number of times, I can tell you that it's not as easy as Hilburn made it look. And it's magic when it happens. Enjoy this book.
Look for similar items by category