Rocker Ricky Byrd on 36 Years of Recovery: ‘I Come Back Stronger’

September 25, 2023

In 1981, guitar ace Ricky Byrd cemented his place in rock history with the unforgettable opening riff on Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” but the maestro notched an even greater accomplishment a few years later. On Sept. 25, 1987, Byrd got sober from drugs and alcohol — and 36 years later, he’s still rocking it.

In his 36 years, the recovery troubadour and All Sober ambassador extraordinaire has become a certified recovery coach and counselor, and walked with countless people seeking sobriety, hosting recovery music groups at treatment centers. He’s also been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and released four solo albums, including two focused on recovery: “Clean Getaway” and “Sobering Times.” (Check out his tunes here.)

For National Recovery Month, Ricky shares this message and his song “I Come Back Stronger.” Happy soberversary, Ricky! We hope everyone will be inspired by Ricky’s life of fulfillment and his credo, “We can and do recover!”

More Inspiration

Depressed man sitting at wooden table

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 3: 'I'm a Loser (And I'm Not What I Appear To Be)'

Don Fertman reaches bottom as the jelly donut hits the wall. The latest installment of the longtime Subway exec's memoir.

Annie Zimmerman's soberversary cake

The Joy of Baking (Sober)

Two months sober, Annie Zimmerman decided to make cookies. Now, her hobby turned passion yields fulfillment, connection and delicious soberversary cakes. Read the interview!

Don Fertman

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 2: A Day in the Life

Don Fertman woke up one morning 40 years ago and poured himself a drink, as usual. But the future Subway exec didn't know this day would be far from ordinary.

Annie Zimmerman running a marathon

Running Toward Recovery

Seeking purpose in early recovery, Annie Zimmerman rekindled an old fire with distance running — and found it carried her through some of her toughest trials in sober life.

Ben Tuff

Closer to the Shore

On Ben Tuff's third day in inpatient treatment, he had a surprising encounter that would eventually lead him to attempt a grueling 24-mile swim across the Narragansett Bay.

Don Fertman

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 1: With a Little Help From My Friends

Don Fertman, longtime Subway exec, writes about a pivotal moment in his 40 years of sobriety: what happened after he went public about his recovery on "Undercover Boss."

Men hugging at a 12-step recovery meeting

Sober Holiday Tips: Meeting 'Share-a-Thons'

Need to get out of the house for a bit and see some friendly sober faces? Recovery support group meeting marathons run 24/7 from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.

Swim Tuff movie poster

'Swim Tuff: How I Swam My Way Out of the Bottle' | All Sober Movie Night

Coming out of severe alcohol addiction, Ben Tuff barely knew how to swim. Ten years later, he makes a bold attempt to traverse the Narragansett Bay, taking on 24 miles of ocean in one day.

New Report