I’m often drawn to books that chronicle the lives and times of musicians. Specifically, I’ve read a lot of books that track the histories of bands. I figured I’d get something like that in this Chuck Berry autobiography. And I did. Sort of.
Chuck Berry wrote this book in the late 1980’s, when he was in his early sixties. The book begins with Berry tracing his ancestry back to the pre-Cival War era, bringing it forward to his parents and his birth. He then recounts his younger days, his high school years and how he eventually learned to play guitar. This part of the book was kinda slow at times.
From there, he moves into his late teens and early twenties where he runs down the first of three stints he had in prison. (In this case, he was busted for committing a series of robberies with friends while they were away from home.) After regaining his freedom, Berry went home to live with his family in St. Louis. He began working with his father, doing various kinds of handyman and maintenance work for property managers around the city. He also met his wife during this time and he began playing music more seriously, taking it to the point where his income from being a musician was starting to eclipse the other work he was doing.
One weekend in the late...Read More