Songwriter Eddie Schwartz played guitar for Charity Brown's backing band in the mid-'70s and signed with Infinity Records for a solo contract in 1979. Though his solo albums of the early '80s (including Schwartz, No Refuge and Public Life) weren't successful, he achieved second-hand fame when Pat Benatar recorded his song "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" in 1980. Over 100 other artists have recorded his songs.
Following the death of his father, suburbanite Obie runs away from home and winds up on Chicago's South Side. After being mugged, he befriends con artist Scam. The two then embark on a Down South adventure involving gangsters, the police, and a search for Scam's father.