Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Ricky Byrd on Clean and Sober Radio: ‘Recovery Out Loud’

The "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" guitarist and recovery advocate joined All Sober's Maeve O'Neill on the podcast to talk about escaping the "dark hallway," playing with Paul McCartney, and his unusual triggers

August 19, 2022
Guitarist Ricky Byrd

“Have recovery, will travel.” That’s what hard rock guitar ace Ricky Byrd says these days as he nears 35 years of sobriety. In the past decade-plus, the former Joan Jett & the Blackhearts guitarist has dedicated himself to recovery support work, leading recovery music groups at treatment centers around the country, earning addiction counseling and coaching credentials, and partnering with All Sober, all while continuing to record new music and tour.

Byrd recently appeared on the Clean and Sober Radio podcast, hosted by Gary Hendler and Mark Sigmund, with All Sober EVP of Addiction and Recovery Maeve O’Neill. Byrd described “that dark hallway between addiction and recovery where you’re confused, you don’t think you can stop, all hell is breaking loose. And it’s kind of confusing out there. I think that’s one of the big problems we have that All Sober will solve, which is, where do I go, who do I call, what do I do next?”

In 1987, Byrd “got to the point where I ran out of dance tickets,” and a sober friend from his using days helped nudge him toward recovery; now he’s an ambassador for the online platform and app, which provides everything for treatment, recovery and a sober life, all in one place. “There’s enough stigma and shame out there,” said O’Neill. “We want to be a positive place where people want to come and share and ask for help and get some good guidance.”

In the hour-long conversation, Byrd talked about playing with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Smokey Robinson; the loneliness of rock-star addiction versus the community of rocking in recovery; and what he’s learned as an addiction counselor (and cat guy). Plus, along with O’Neill, he teased a few exciting upcoming features of All Sober. Listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts, and check out Byrd’s photos and music from a lifetime of rock ‘n’ roll.

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