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I was immediately drawn to this book based on its title, but wary of its content for fear it would be a shallow treatment of musical history. How wrong I was! As Bono's intro suggests, Hilburn uses an economy of words to tell a wonderful behind-the-scenes story of rock 'n' roll. The stories reflect on the influence and longevity of some of rock music's greatest, most influential, and foundational characters. What is most intriguing is Hilburn's ability to draw musicians like Dylan, Lennon, Michael Jackson, and U2 as real people, giving them due credit and fair critique. The book is not one man's lovefest and unabashed stargazing, but heartfelt renderings of rock music's most iconic figures. His son narrates it and does an ok job. Certainly he is not a professional book reader, but his voice quality and inflection are well produced. I don't normally write reviews, but this book was so intriguing, I couldn't resist. It is an accessible, concise, and responsible chronology of music. It is a must-read for any fan of music as it touches on why people and band have achieved the level of success they have. I highly recommend this book! I listen to dozens of audiobooks and this one by far one of the most engaging and accessible books I have listened to in a very long time!!! Enjoy!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Cornflakes with John Lennon again? Why?
I wasn't sure what to expect from this title. WOW. I was blown away. Robert Hilburn is a fascinating character in the world of music. What a life.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Robert Hilburn is a legend of his own. The access he had to musicians from Johnny Cash to Kurt Cobain is unprecidented. The tales are incredible. He had a conversation with Yoko Ono right after John Lennon's assasination and spoke with Courtney Love the day she was looking for a missing Kurt Cobain. (he was found dead shortly after their interview) He had intimate relationships with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Johnny Cash....the list of hall of famers goes on and on and on. He describes conversations with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder and contemporaries such as Jack White and U2. Another thing I found fascinating was his description of (and advocacy for) the budding rap industry and genre. This book comes close to sharing what it might have been like to walk a mile in his bad ass shoes.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
The only negative thing about this audiobook I can muster up is the narrator (who happens to be the author's son) acts out some of the dialogue with painfully poor English and Irish accents. It detracts from the content. It pains me to listen to a John Lennon quote while Mr. Hillburn choked his way through a Liverpudlian accent. But don't let that dissuade you from picking up this glorious audiobook.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful