After all these years, is it harder for music to fascinate you?
Yeah, it is. I think it’s very difficult for a person starting out. Think of all the stuff that’s been written. Look at the ‘60s when the Beatles and the Who and the Stones started off, they almost had virgin territory; they could do anything. As each group comes along, that’s been done before. So you have to take a variation of it; you have to find a new way of saying things. But the biggest thing for me as a critic was—when I first started reviewing—if I’d go into a club and I heard one good song from an artist or a band, I would think, Well that’s interesting, and write about that. As time went on, I realized that there [were] lots of people who have one good song. So it would take more from a band to get me interested than just the one or two good songs. I had to have five or six or an album or a sense that they were going somewhere. The number of times a year I was excited about something was fewer, but when those things came along and measured up to that level, I’d get just as excited as I was before.
Cornflakes With John Lennon: And Other Tales From A Rock ‘N’ Roll Life, published by Rodale Books, is currently available at booksellers retail and online. Visit Robert Hilburn's official website for more information.