Brown Eyed Handsome Man: The Life and Hard Times of Chuck Berry draws on dozens of interviews done by the author himself and voluminous public records to paint a complete picture of this complicated figure. Berry's own autobiography published in 1986 covers up as much as it reveals; and Berry himself has rarely been forthcoming in either documentary or print interviews. This biography uncovers the real Berry and provides us with a stirring, unvarnished portrait of both the man and the artist. Berry has long been one of pop music's most enigmatic personalities. Growing up in a middle-class, black neighborhood in St. Louis, his first major hit song, Maybellene, was an adaptation of a white country song, wedded to a black-influenced beat. Thereafter came a string of brilliant songs celebrating teenage life in the 1950s, including School Day, Johnny B. Goode, and Sweet Little Sixteen.