Hockey, Hip, and….. No Beer?

Last night while Videri was spinning some techno on 900s (could you ask for a better soundtrack?!), I caught up with a very sober Ryan Shepherd.

Let the record state, his quest for sobriety is not getting any easier.

“The Hip concert is tomorrow,” he explains, “Then we’re all walking to Maple Leaf Square to watch the puck drop for the Leafs home opener against the Habs.  It’s the perfect mix- Hip, hockey and beer and I can’t complete the trifecta and it feels weird.”

Well, two out of three ain’t bad, according to this guy


But let’s be serious, for our bb Shep, it’s far from ideal.

First reactions from his friends and family were all over the map.

After posting the article and it being on his Facebook timeline the comments that ensued were as diverse as Toronto itself. He was offered some support from his aunt and a few others participating in Sober October, but most of his friends were skeptical. One guy even reminded Shep that it wasn’t April 1st- insisting that he thought he was joking about the whole ordeal. But his friends eventually bought into it and the soda waters started flowing.

But did the party boy stay in all weekend? Hell no. Like a trooper Shep had a typical weekend, minus the headache and stomach ache Saturday and Sunday morning. His wallet also took a little break. I was with him on Saturday night and it didn’t seem like not drinking bothered him that much. But that could be because she was playing.

hannah wants

It was obvious the bar enviornment was not the hardest for him to be in. There were enough blondes with tits and asses, being well, blondes with tits and asses, and enough bass to keep Shep happy. So when was being sober the hardest?

“Shoeless Joe’s in Georgetown was the hardest,” he explained, “My buddy Burns and I have been getting drinks there forever. It used to be after hockey when we were both at home and now it’s just whenever we’re both in town. We’ll sit catch up, have a few beers and watch football. So he got his beer and I was just downing soda water thinking how much it sucked. I almost had a beer but didn’t. Burns let me feel it too, and kept telling me how good each one tasted. I told him to fuck off.”

It’s obvious it’s not the going out and getting drunk that he misses. Ryan talked about missing just casually drinking and the social aspect of it. He kept saying how weird it was (he’s feeling weird all the time apparently) in almost every environment- even being home.

“My mom would have a  glass of wine and my dad would be making drinks for my friends but not for me. I didn’t have a beer while watching football or wine with dinner and that’s all I wanted. Just one to share with my parents,” he said as he described why his house wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Well, he is Italian so I’m assuming there wasn’t a lack of alcohol around.


I asked if his parents believed he could do it. I figured that if anyone knew Ryan well enough to know he would or wouldn’t last, it would be them.

“My mom didn’t believe me and both my parents said I was being weird (obviously). But they know that when I put my mind to something I’m going to do  it. They know how stubborn and determined I am.”

Well, he’s not, not stubborn.

Most surprisingly, Ryan said he didn’t feel that different. His stomach doesn’t hurt in the mornings because he’s not filling it with garbage the night before- street meat included. But it’s not a hundred percent healthy lifestyle. “I’m still staying up super late. I have all this energy so I just stay up and work on music or on chel,” he told me, “I’m also still playing the snooze game in the mornings t0o.”

Well, you can’t blame him for that.  Snooze game stays strong despite variables.

He did make it to the gym three times last week. Pretty sure that’s an increase from zero the week before. If anyone at the Liberty Villge Goodlife can confirm these trips to the gym that would be great. Thanks.

Ryan said that it feels like he has an, “angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.” The devil always whispering to go crack a brew. Right now, he seems to be muting the devil and paying close attention to the angel. But I’m still skeptical how long the devil will go unheard.


As the bass gets louder he mentions something about a hall pass on Thanksgiving and looks off to the distance, and then we go back to unsting to techno.

Sometimes music is the only drug you need.


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