Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cornflakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life” as Want to Read:
Cornflakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cornflakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  319 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Robert Hilburn’s storied career as a rock critic has allowed him a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of some of the most iconic figures of our time. He was the only music critic to visit Folsom Prison with Johnny Cash. He met John Lennon during his lost weekend period in Los Angeles and they became friends. Bob Dylan granted him his only interviews during his "born-again ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published October 13th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cornflakes with John Lennon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cornflakes with John Lennon

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 593)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This will be a hard book to be non-biased about. I first started reading Hilburn's columns in the Los Angeles Times in 1968 when I started going to college, coincidentally the very same university that Hilburn went to himself. It was the LA Times trinity of columnists; Hilburn, Jazz critic Leonard Feather, and classical music critic Martin Bernheimer, that taught me there was even a thing called music criticism. Hilburn continued writing during the golden age of rock music criticism and beyond u ...more
Robert Hilburn ha tenido un papel privilegiado y maldito dentro de la industria musical, tuvo el disparo divino y la suerte de estar ahí en algunos de los momentos más sensibles y humanos de muchas de las "estrellas del rock" para mostrarlos en sus notas como lo que siempre han sido: gente rota, extraviada, sensible, con una urgencia más complicada que la de sus propios seguidores. Corn Flakes with John Lennon es una crónica de la leyenda masiva del rock, así como del ascenso y caída penosa de l ...more
I came to read this book after reading Hilburn's incredible biography of Johnny Cash. Robert Hilburn's memoir of his years as a music writer for The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone opens an intimate window into the lives and artistry of some of the 20th century's greatest musicians. Filled with up-close revelation upon revelation, Hilburn shares conversations and backstage interactions he had with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, Johnny Cash, Chuck D, Ice ...more
Blog on Books
What a surprise. As many suspected, but couldn’t exactly put their finger on, Robert Hilburn was keeping a secret. A three decade secret. The secret, finally revealed in this ‘memoir’ of sorts, is that while we all thought he was the pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn was quietly on another mission. The search for the replacement Elvis.

As the pop (or more aptly, rock) music critic of one of the nation’s largest daily broadsheets, Hilburn was charged with bringing the world of ro
Desiree Koh
When I was a teenager in the 1990s, I didn't wear flannel shirts. I showered. I didn't cut myself. That's because I was a happy adolescent, and part of the reason why was because I hated grunge music.

Grunge didn't speak to me. It growled, snarled, and grated my nerves. Instead of chasing Cobain, reveling in Reznor and channeling Corgan, I studied the rock & roll canon. I'd always preferred the melodious genius of Sun, Motown, Atlantic, Stax and Casablanca, and thought swiveling hips and pun
Okay, so actually, if I could get fussy, I would give this book 3 and a half stars. Overall, a very good little adventure through mainstream rock of the 70's/80's by Robert Hilburn, the rock critic for the Los Angeles Times. The book is solidly if not sparklingly Lester Bangs-ian bursts of prosaic epiphanies here, but a lot of good rock journalism.

Despite my dislike for the title of this book (BARF!), I especially enjoyed reading about Hilburn's warm relationships with John Lennon
Bruce Springsteen
“You write about what you know. You may not have the same expectations. You're not as open to options. You may have a wife and a kid and a job. It's all you can do to keep those things straight. You let the possibilities go. What happens to most people is when their first dreams get killed off, nothing ever takes their place. The important thing is to keep holding out for possibilities, even if no one ever makes it. There was a Norman Mailer article that said the one freedo
This is a pretty remarkable collection of essays and stories from a music critic who has befriended Dylan, Cash, Springsteen, and U2 over the years. He's interviewed Janis, Elvis, Cobain, and Jack White. He enjoyed lunch with Stevie Wonder and shared Cornflakes and Hershey Bars with John Lennon. He takes us through his career by presenting the landmarks that interviews, encounters, and friendships with the royalty of rock allowed him.

We learn how he earned the trust of guarded artists like Dyla
One of the better rock memoirs I have read. Hilburn, the former rock critic from the LA Times, has a very readable style and obviously was a great interviewer. All of the stories of the various artists in this book were very interesting and I hope that someday he does a follow-up since I am sure he has many other rock tales to tell.
I really liked it- lots of stories about John Lennon, Springsteen, Dylan, U2 a d others that I hadn't heard before. I feel like Hilburn could have made this book a lot longer and I still would have devoured it.
AuthorsOnTheWeb Internet Marketing/Publicity campaign for author Robert Hilburn.
Darcia Helle
This is a fascinating look at the evolution - and some might say subsequent devolution - of rock music. We begin with early Johnny Cash and John Lennon, and progress to the modern sound of Jack White. Hilburn shares stories of the personal time he spent with many of the artists he followed and interviewed. I found these pieces to be both compelling and entertaining.

My one complaint is that Hilburn dedicates a lot of space throughout the book to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. While there is no
El autor fue el responsable de la sección del Espectáculos, en especial de música popular, en Los Angeles Times, y narra muchas de sus vivencias con leyendas del Rock, desde Elvis Presley, Los Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springteen, hasta U2, Ice Cube y otras estrellas de rap.

Es obvio que habla de sus preferidos y como en gustos de música se tiende a ser subjetivo, el enfoque del libro es hacia sus héroes del rock y que por su posición de corresponsal y el alcance de su sección en el periódico, ti
An intimate and revealing memoir-style series of vignettes about Robert Hilburn's interactions with the great rock-n-roll artists of the last 50 years--Cash, Presley, Dylan, Lennon, Elton John, Springsteen, U2, Nirvana and White. With rock artists under increasing pressure from digital downloads and TV-borne pop singers like American Idols and Disney teens, Hilburn's book undoubtedly defines an era of music the likes of which may never be seen again.

Hilburn's writing style is straightforward and
Lynne Perednia
Back in the dawn of time, Modern Era, popular music wasn't even as interesting as it is now in this synthesized, American Idol age. Then along came musicians who knew rhythm and blues, who knew how important it was to be young, who knew there is nothing like a backbeat to get people to listen. Robert Hilburn was there when things really began to take off -- getting rebuffed by Colonel Parker in his attempts to meet Elvis, following Bob Dylan through his ups and downs over the decades, talking hi ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erika by: Nenamonstruo
Shelves: on-2013
Aun a pesar de lo mucho que disfruto y me gusta la música, yo no me considero melomana en lo absoluto.
Y sin embargo, lo maravilloso de este libro es que no tienes que ser uno para disfrutarlo y para sentir esa fascinacion que el autor siente por la música, y tratar de imaginar lo que ha sido el rock and roll para la gente que estuvo ahi cuando nacio.

Siempre me han encantado las canciones que tienen la hermosa cualidad de transportarte a otra época y este libro es igual. Es innegable que el auto
Good intro to Hilburns writing. I picked it up as I am planning on reading his Cash biography and thought this would be a warm up. The Cash book was recommended to me by a number if folks and for a variety of reasons, I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations so thought this would help.

Anyway. Provides a good number of insights to some of the more enigmatic artists of early r/r and shows his musical interests through more contemporary artists as well. A series of anecdotes more than anything?
I loved this book, since I grew up reading HIlburn's column. Sometimes I agreed, and sometimes I didn't, but I thought he tried to be fair and access the talent and the effort. I did wish there were more women, rather than throwing a bone to Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin. I know he was a big fan of X too, but there was only the slightest reference.
Dale Stonehouse
For the first 200-plus pages I was rating this 5 stars for the fascinating interviews and conversations Hilburn had with stars like Lennon, Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Bono, Cobain, etc. When it became largely rumination on the historical and future cultural legacy of rock music, it was more an intellectual instead of experiential exercise.
Long time music writes for the LA times collection of stories. It was like a rock and roll history lesson, with lots of personal information. Many interesting stories. I really enjoyed this book. The writer who met and befriended Elvis, Janis Joplin, John Lennon and Bono didn't come across as a pompous" look who I met" He's just a music fan like me.
Hilburn spent decades reviewing pop, rock, and country artists for the LA Times, so a collection of his memories seems appropriate. There were sections of this book that were quite fascinating, primarily providing some behind-the-scenes anecdotes of superstars in the music biz. However, it seemed to constantly come back to a mere handful of artists time and again: Dylan (ugh, enough), Bono, Johnny Cash, and Springsteen were everywhere. I personally would have loved less of them and more of the o ...more
Liked this book for all the anecdotes - Hilburn really got to know the greats of rock 'n' roll, from Elvis and Johnny Cash all the way to Jack White. And I liked what he had to say about the communal experience of music and passion and inspiring hope and the importance of hearing music live. But I don't really think it had a clear theme - it was a collection of stories about different artists he met as he was writing his column. There wasn't a lot of analysis beyond what the individual artists c ...more
Matt Comito
Not a speed-fueled scatter-gun poet like Bangs, not a synthesizing visionary like Marcus but an enthusiast; relatively clear eyed if (only) occasionally sycophantic Hilburn speaks to the fan in all of us because he plainly is one himself. The book claims to be a memoir; is there such a thing as a vicarious memoir? Hilburn seems to live through the highs and lows of those he covers. Is this true? I suspect not, or at least not to the degree this implies. I suspect he's witholding, focusing on wha ...more
Robert Hilburn writes about his life as a rock and roll writer and the stars he wrote about and in some instances became friends with. Lennon is a touchstone here, as are a couple of others who are sort of woven throughout, their spirits hanging over even pieces about Kurt Cobain for example, which is what makes this book special, the way he weaves them all together. My favorite story is one about Lennon, the one with JL hiding not drugs but chocolate from Yoko, since she wouldn't let him eat it ...more
Long time music critic reflects on his life in the business. Tells favorite stories about many artists ranging from his idol Elvis to modern day rockers like Jack White along with notables like Dylan, Springsteen and even some rappers. Some good stories, fans of the artists or the author may already know many of things he discusses but I hadn't heard a lot of it. He pretty much keeps his ego in check but there are moments where it's obvious he thinks he's a bit more important than the musician. ...more
Excellent behind the scenes look at some of the biggest musicians ever. He could have gone into a bit more detail, but I love behind the scenes.
An entertaining, if sometimes self-congratulatory, collection of the author's experiences as a music critic for the Los Angeles Times. I was surprised to read of his efforts as an early champion of John Prine, a favorite singer/songwriter of mine. Perhaps he would have devoted more space to this story, had he influenced Prine's career to the extent he believed he had an effect on U2, et al. That said, I think his take on Michael Jackson was spot-on.
This is an interesting look at the private and professional lives of some of the biggest names in rock & roll. Hillburn has a very conversational writing style, which allows the reader to feel like they are sitting in on his interviews. I particularly enjoyed the brief interludes between several of the chapters, in which Hillburn discussed some of his favorite things (i.e. best quotes, best tours, most desired dinner guests, etc.).
Hilburn is able to see past the excesses of the rock band touring life, writing insightfully about it . Extraordinarily, he stayed on good terms with most of the performers he'd panned because his pans were not personal attacks. Integrity and insight stood him on solid ground with his subjects as well as with his readers. This is a collection of interesting stories, well told. Worth rereading.
I really loved the John Lennon, Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin tales.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam
  • The Army of the Republic: A Novel
  • The Rolling Stone Interviews
  • Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music
  • A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks
  • Then Came the Evening
  • Very Hard Choices (Russell Walker/Zandor Zudenigo/Nika Mandiç Mysteries, #2)
  • Beware of the Dog: Rugby's Hard Man Reveals All
  • When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
  • The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music
  • Conversations with Tom Petty
  • The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records
  • Walking a Literary Labryinth
  • After the Dance: My Life With Marvin Gaye
  • Garcia: An American Life
  • Written in the Ashes
  • Children of Dust: A Memoir of Pakistan
Johnny Cash: The Life The Prada Plan 2: Leah's Story Springsteen The Rolling Stone Interviews Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters

Share This Book