Pompano Beach Sober Rock City
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It's a story as old as the hot guitar lick itself: Rock 'n' roller gets famous, gets messed up on drugs and booze, and gets sober—but after that, you never seem to hear much from him or her. Not so for several members of some of the biggest rock acts of the 1970s and 1980s, who are currently bringing the noise under the band name "Rockers in Recovery." Hailing from the Sunshine State rock mecca of Pompano Beach, the group includes guitarist Ricky Byrd, who played with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; former Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto; ex-Aerosmith guitarist and songwriter Richie Supa; and Todd Rundgren collaborator Kasim Sulton. The group, whose mission is to foster a sense of community among sober music-lovers, performs benefit concerts across South Florida. Last year, Rockers in Recovery put on three shows for more than 10,000 fans, including a set at the 12-Step Music Fest on Sugarloaf Key in November. This coming Memorial Day, the group will be performing at a picnic at Pompano Beach's own 1st Step Sober House. As Byrd sees it, the reason he's in the band "is to show people you can be sober and still have fun." Supa, sober since 1988, adds, "The whole lie about being a rock star and having to do drugs, we're dispelling some of the myths. I tell kids now, 'I used to be part of the problem, now I'm part of the solution.'"