Updates: May - November 2003

November 28, 2003 - Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. Moe had had his way with "The Silver Cup" arranging it within an inch of its life, and the Pursuits went to TSN midday and had by all accounts a great time doing the little minute-long song, for which they were awarded very impressive NHL on TSN "Hockey Lives Here" jackets and hoodies. Then it was off for a second and a half of sound check at the Kool Haus, a briefMoe accepts the guitar for the 2003 CASBY Lifetime Achievement Award.  (l.-r.): Moe, Brad, Dave, Kris, Renee. chat with MuchMoreMusic, and soon after Moe had a thing or two to say on 102.1 The Edge. Later, about halfway through the big CASBY show (watched by 2,500 contest winners packed like sardines and not budging for anything, not even our damn cameras!), Moe, Kris, Brad, Dave and Renée struck out onstage and rifled through "Hard to Laugh" and "I'm An Adult Now," pretty much with the same energy they did for the other reunion shows (note to Andy Lee of ChartAttack: "a certain wild child from Napanee" does not often wear dress shirts with ties like Moe did). Then the legendary Dave Bookman presented them a big red and yellowish guitar signifying the CASBY Lifetime Achievement Award (previous honourees: Rheostatics and Lowest of the Low! How much cooler can that be?), which Moe brandished while thanking everyone's significant others and such along with "everybody who's ever been in the band". Of course, all our congratulations, thanks again to Gilby for use of the camera and thanks to Brad and Caroline for the photos we liked better. [December 14: The other photos that were here have been moved, where they join other great pics that now take up a new Reunion Gallery CASBY page!] For more reports on the CASBYs that don't mention any of that stuff you just read, see here, here, here and here. And by the way, the other four winners for the night (there were five awards, you see, so there was plenty of time for the rock) were Three Days Grace, The Salads, Sam Roberts and the band named after the guitarist for Hard Core Logo (originators of "Edmonton Block Heater"): Billy Talent.

November 23, 2003 - This Wednesday will be a busy day all the way 'round for our heroes. Before they take off to pick up the Lifetime Achievement Award (and play two songs) at the CASBYs (showtime at Kool Haus: 7:30pm), they'll be hooking up with TSN again to record the theme song for The NHL On TSN. We think the song will be "The Silver Cup," and not the new song Bryan Adams came up with. A bunch of fine Canadian bands have played it to kick off the proceedings (including Universal Honey, Teenage Head, Danko Jones and Honeymoon Suite), and they rotate the performances every week. No one knows when the Pursuits' version will be on, so just keep an eye out.

- To be honest, none of us know yet if the CASBYs will be broadcast live on The Edge. Keep checking in leading up to Wednesday night to see if we find out. (Nov. 25: Nope, looks like they won't broadcast it live, but may have interviews throughout the night. Might be worth listening here.) Regardless, we will try to have photos from the proceedings asap.

November 14, 2003 - After a couple years, Moe is returning as a guest on "Off the Record". Watch him talk sports with Michael Landsberg and other luminaries on TSN (and remember, the "T" stands for "The") this Monday at 6pm eastern with a repeat the next day at noon.

November 13, 2003 - People have been hounding us lately, asking "When the hell is Monteforte playing again?! It's been forever! When are they playing again? WHEN?!?" And finally we can tell you. It's a huge, fabulous, glittery, tune-filled holiday special at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern December 12. Bing Crosby's dead, so this is as good as it's gonna get.

page from 1987 CASBY programme, taken from www.spititofradio.ca.  Photos (clockwise from upper left): Liba, Images In Vogue, Carole Pope, Billy Newton-Davis (from Cleveland!), The Pursuit of Happiness.October 26, 2003 - Just a little update that TPOH will in fact be among the performers at the upcoming CASBYs, though no one knows how much they will perform, and it still looks like there's no other way to be there besides winning tickets from the station now known as Edge 102. You'll notice over there is a page from the program from the 1987 edition of the CASBYs. (And look! There's Images In Vogue! And Pursuit Pal Carole Pope with a wicked perm!) We recklessly stole this page from a remarkable site paying tribute to CFNY back when it was "The Spirit of Radio," which is where everyone first heard "I'm An Adult Now" in 1986. If you had a chance to listen to this Toronto station (actually, Brampton for a while), you'll remember how special it was - a "commercial" radio station playing music that no one else played (except KROQ in L.A., but Canadian artists weren't a priority) until years later when the format called "alternative" was established. If you'd like to learn more about this rarified time, or you lived through it and want to revisit it, by all means head over to spiritofradio.ca. You can even find out about a reunion of old staff and fans coming up next month!

October 7, 2003 - It looks like the Pursuits will soon be crossing over into that point-of-no-return called "The Lifetime Achievement Award"! The CASBY Awards (Canadian Artists Selected By You), which in its heyday liked TPOH mighty fine (these were the days Paul Shaffer and Carole Pope would host the show), is giving them that beeeg award in their 2003 edition, slated for Kool Haus in Toronto November 26th. (You may recall The Rheostatics won last year, so this is pretty damn good.) Word is they may perform as well, on a bill that includes whippersnappers like Pilate, Gob and Sum 41 (ooo, will Paris Hilton be there?). This event is the baby of The Radio Station Previously Known As CFNY, and so far tix can only be had by winning them through giveaways on-air or online (the latter through signing up with their club and voting for the other awards - hence the "selected by you" part). More updates on all the big doings as we get them. (Thanks to Karen and Andrew for their help on this story.)

September 29, 2003 - Well, any of you boys who thought you had a shot with Renée, raise a glass and turn your gaze elsewhere. We're thrilled to announce this past weekend the fabulous Miss Suchy and her long-time boyfriend Pat got married! Site visitors may recall Pat being a great help to us recording the "power trio" and first reunion MP3 of the Week series. Moe was at the Edmonton nuptuals, and reports they "went fabulously, both bride and groom looking radiant and Renée's sisters singing like angels." All our best to the happy couple.

- In more literary matters, Moe's participated in a discussion/review (or as they call it, "reverse omnibus review") of God Save My Queen, Daniel Nester's new book of prose poems for and about the songs of Queen's first albums. Joining George Murray and Peter Darbyshire in the discussion, Moe brings the point of view of a fan of early Queen: "they were the first band I really liked that I was able to watch degenerate." Check it out at Bookninja here.

August 16, 2003 - All is right with the world yet again. No, we're not talking about the whole power outage thing (go Parma!). Moe Berg and his lovely wife Laura (Happy 2nd Anniversary!) have returned from their almost-two-month road trip of the east and south of the U.S. (New Orleans twice!), and Moe is back on the wheels of steel every damn Saturday night for Guilty Pleasures at the Tap, Bloor and Howland in beautiful Toronto. Go ask him for the dumbest, most obscure song you can think of and be regaled with tales of cheap motels and huge portions - if you're nice and buy lots of drinks.

June 29, 2003 - So over there on the right is your first indication of what was afoot for the latest reunion shows last night and today. The cutoff scribblings were the setlist for the Horseshoe show. You'll notice a few changes from the previous show in February. This is partially because everyone in the band was asked to put in requests of their own. Perhaps one of the highlights was Dave's pick, "Glamorous Death," even featuring a remarkable trumpet solo by the great lady who did it on Where's the Bone, Sarah McElcheran. To explain the tiny scribblings in the corner: that was the encore arsenal; which were Save the Whales, Nobody But Me, Down On Him, Young and In Love (did that get played? Don't think so.), Looking for Girls and Walking In the Woods (no, not played). Today at the Pride Day show, the setlist was cut down by about half, in part because of the limited time and in part because time was further limited by a rather apocalyptic rainstorm which paused just long enough to get a great short set in but didn't look like it would pause long enough to get the whole slated set in. Still, everyone including the band came away damp, windblown and happy. You'll soon find out more for yourself, as pictures from both shows are on the way in the next week or two, and a recording of the Horseshoe show (thanks to the Rude Mechanicals, who with Galore made plenty of new fans that night) is coming soon!

June 22, 2003 - So let's get everything together and tell you all we know for the Pursuit reunion weekend. June 28, The Pursuit of Happiness plays the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West, at Spadina Ave., Toronto). Opening bands are Galore at 10pm and the Rude Mechanicals at 11. TPOH is slated to play starting at 12:15am. Advance tickets are $10 Cdn. and are available at the 'shoe front bar, Rotate This, Soundscapes and online at MapleMusic. At the door, the tickets will be $12. The next day, TPOH will be playing a short set (somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes) as part of Pride Day in Toronto. The set is slated for 6:45pm at Pride Stage South, out on Church Street at Carlton. Admission is free, but because the show is not long after the huge Pride Day Parade mainly a block away on Yonge Street, you are encouraged to leave your car at home or park it well away and take the TTC (actually, you're always encouraged to do that). We'd love to hear and see any photos, videos or audio you happen to record over the two shows, and maybe pass them on to everyone else later.

- By the way, for those of you who'll be in town a night early, we recommend you stop by the Horseshoe Friday for the phenomenon that is White Cowbell Oklahoma, a fave of Moe and many a Pursuit Pal. It's a combo of about a dozen people (depending on the night) who are all about Southern Rawk, double-neck gee-tars, fire-eating, dancing girls and pro wrestling that may or may not involve Kentucky Fried Chicken cole slaw. And, yes, there is a white cowbell. To learn more, check their way-better-site-than-ours here.

June 17, 2003 - Hold it! Just when we gave up on the MapleMusic ticket sales, Moe has let us know that as of today, the ticket sales are now on. To order yours and find out anything else you need to know, go directly here.

June 15, 2003 - The opening bands have been picked for the TPOH show June 28th. You'll recall last year's openers were Pursuit Pals Talladega and National Anthem. Two more Pursuit Pals get their night in the sun this time: the glammy Galore at 10pm and our newest Pursuit Pals The Rude Mechanicals (still having their third album feverishly produced by Moe) taking the stage at 11. The Pursuits themselves have a projected set time of 12:15. It looks as if MapleMusic will not be employed this time around, so your outlets are the front bar of the 'shoe (370 Queen Street West, concert hotline 416-598-4753), Rotate This (620 Queen Street West, check for ticket availability here; they say "Anyone phoning and asking a question that's answered on the ticket info page will be hunted down and killed.") and Soundscapes (572 College Street, phone 416-537-1620). It is unlikely the show will sell out before the night in question, but you may want to call these places (Rotate This at your own risk) to get an idea how many tickets they have left just to ease your mind.

- By the way, if anyone is a little skittish about visiting Toronto lately, we turn your attention to this missive on the simple but excellent Rotate This website in reference to bands who've cancelled recent Toronto dates. Let 'er rip, boys...

The amount of hysteria in the Yanqui media over this mythological SARS epidemic boggles the mind. Now I'm hearing that big club owners in the U.S. are threatening touring bands with cancelling their shows at their clubs if they play any Toronto area shows. I've also heard that some American cities are hushing up media coverage of SARS in their towns because they don't want the same idiotic hysteria to occur.

So come, enjoy and spend as much money as humanly possible for all the fabulous people in the hotel and hospitality industry in the fine city of Toronto. We're all perfectly healthy - well, at least as healthy as we were before all this crap started.

Jeff Rogers and his creation (squint real hard - can ya see Moe on screen back there?), Moe Berg: Song and Dance Man, at NXNE.  Photo by Cam Carpenter.June 8, 2003 - Last night's world premiere of Jeff Rogers' film Moe Berg: Song and Dance Man charmed the jaded audience at the NXNE Film Festival closing party, who gave the over-one-hour show loud and warm applause at the end. The solo concert documented wasn't the first Toronto gig as earlier guessed, though no one's entirely sure which show it was (hints: Moe wears his "Murray" shirt, talks about getting back from the west coast on the solo tour, mentions being in the process of writing stories for The Green Room and says something about hockey season just starting - 1998 is still likely). Even the director himself wasn't sure, because most of the work on the film had been finished at least a couple years ago, when other things put it on the back burner. It was only recently that Jeff was searching the Black Walk libraries for something else, ran across the film, took a look at it and decided it was pretty darn good. A few fixes to the sound, and before anyone knows it (or has the chance to coordinate promo for it), it's good to go for NXNE. While other screenings are possible, the greater likelihood is for the movie to be released on DVD - including, Jeff hopes, a collection of TPOH videos. The idea of filming the upcoming 6/28 reunion show is also being bandied about. We'll keep you updated...

- Moe himself was indeed at that party, but ducked out to get to his appointed Saturday night rounds at The Tap. If you still haven't dropped in on his Guilty Pleasures DJ gig, don't wait much longer. He and his lovely wife Laura are going on an epic two-month road trip of North America soon after the reunion shows, so there'll be no DJ (or other) gigs until at least the fall. So head on over to Bloor West and Howland in beautiful and perfectly-safe Toronto the next two Saturday nights, order a couple beers and pay your respects.

June 5, 2003 - Long ago in 1998, even before this site existed (gasp!), Moe made his Toronto debut as a solo artist at the Rivoli, a few shows into his tour for Summer's Over - just a man, his guitar and a lame-ass drum machine. That night, former TPOH manager Jeff Rogers was filming the whole thing, and not even Moe knew what he was going to do with it. Turns out he made it into a concert film, Moe Berg: Song and Dance Man, and it'll be world-premiered as part of the closing party for the NXNE Film Festival. The party starts at 7pm (show scheduled for 9) Saturday night at the Black Walk Soundstage, 99 Sudbury Street (around Queen West and Dovercourt). It is open to the public (though space is limited and a line is possible) with an admission of 5 dollars or free with a NXNE wristband or delegate badge. We'll let you know about any other screenings to come.

May 25, 2003 - We have a time now for the Pursuit set on the last day of the Pride Toronto festival. They'll hit the Main Stage Sunday June 29 at "6:45 to 7:30." And of course, it's free free free.

May 18, 2003 - If any Canadians missed Brad Barker in his other rock'n'roll gig backing up Melanie Doane on the Genies TV telecast (uh, that'd be about everybody), they'll be back at it on "Open Mike With Mike Bullard" this Wednesday night (May 25: whoops, we meant this Wednesday) on the Comedy Network and CTV. As a public service, we'll remind you the music segment is near the end of the hour.

- And what about Moe Berg's other rock'n'roll gigs? Well, he's just finished helping out the girl touted to be the next Avril Lavigne (or Mandy Moore...we're not sure yet), Skye Sweetnam, working on the live arrangments and picking the backing band for her upcoming assault on the world. Robin Black likes her, so that's good enough for us. Now, Moe's gone back to helping out P.E.I.'s own Rude Mechanicals (thank you, boys, for the link on your site), who are finally set to do their third - and of course best - album.

May 5, 2003 - Ring up your travel agents again, gang. The Pursuits are back on the boards. An announcement from Moe Berg today said, "The flogging of the dead horse continues. June 28th at the Horseshoe Tavern and June 29th at the Gay Pride stage. The 'Shoe show will be $10 and the Pride show is free if you can make your way through the crowds. No time for the Pride show yet but it will be early evening I believe." For the uninitiated, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern is on Queen West at Spadina, and Toronto's Pride festivities take place in the Church and Wellesley area. So far, the new and much improved 'shoe website lists the tickets as available at the front bar, at Rotate This and Soundscapes (May 11: RT says they have the tickets, so the other places probably do too), but Maplemusic is again being considered as the online ticketseller. We'll have the details when they come in.

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Updates: 12/03-8/04 / 9/02-4/03 / 6-8/02 / 2-5/02
9/01-1/02 / 4-8/01
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