#87: I’m An Adult Now by Pursuit of Happiness

City: Hamilton, ON
Radio Station: CKOC
Peak Month: March-April 1987
Peak Position in Hamilton ~ #14
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Alternative Airplay chart ~ #6
YouTube: “I’m An Adult Now
Lyrics: “I’m An Adult Now

Murray Kevin “Moe” Berg was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1959. He learned to play guitar and was also a singer. Berg was a lead singer and guitarist in the Edmonton bands Troc ’59, The News, Modern Minds and Facecrime. Then he formed Pursuit of Happiness in 1985 after he met drummer Dave Gilby. They soon met bassist Johnny Sinclair and formed the band, adding sisters Tamara and Natasha Amabile as backing vocalists.

The band released a single titled “I’m An Adult Now” in 1986.

I'm An Adult Now by Pursuit of Happiness
“I’m An Adult Now” was written by Moe Berg. In the music video, a young man looks out to a park where children are squealing with glee. He drinks something from a bottle as he looks from his apartment out the window. He contrasts life as an adolescent with his adult ascent. As a teen, he hated his parents and got drunk to spite them. He could look at young girls, cause he was still a minor. Before becoming an adult, he could take illicit drugs, given his parents would be responsible for his delinquent behaviour.

But now he’s an adult: he has problems that he has to carry on his shoulders. He has his own reasons to drink. He has to take on the world. He can also sleep in until noon (sometimes). He can’t look at girls anymore, cause “people will think I’m some kind of pervert.” Instead of writing songs about boys and girls falling in love, or out of love, he has to write songs about men trying to find out what went wrong (with an adult relationship with an adult female).

He notices, “Sometimes my head hurts and sometimes my stomach hurts.” So, he anticipates a shrinking horizon:
And I guess that it won’t be long
before I’m sitting in a room with a bunch
of people whose necks and backs are aching
whose sight and hearing’s failing
who just can’t seem to get it up.
Speaking of hearing, I can’t take too much loud music,
I mean I like to play it, but I sure don’t like the racket….

“I’m An Adult Now” peaked at #14 in Hamilton, and the Top 40 in Providence (RI). On the Alternative music charts, the single topped the record survey in Calgary on CJSW, #7 in San Francisco, and #10 in Edmonton. It reached #6 on the American Billboard Alternative Airplay chart in 1990, and cracked the Top 40 in Australia.

The Amabile sisters left to concentrate on their own band, and were replaced by Kris Abbott (guitar and backing vocals) and Leslie Stanwyck (backing vocals) in early 1988.

In 1988 The Pursuit of Happiness released “Killed By Love”. But the single was a commercial flop. That year the band released their debut studio album Love Junk. In 1989 “She’s So Young” climbed to #19 in Hamilton, and made the Top 30 in Vancouver. Subsequently, “Beautiful White” made the Top 40 in Vancouver later that year.

In 1990 Brad Barker joined the band on bass guitar and backing vocals, after Stanwyck and Sinclair left. While Susan Murumets was added on backing vocals.

In the spring The Pursuit of Happiness released the studio album One Sided Story. The debut single from the album was “Two Girls In One”.

In 1993 The Pursuit of Happiness released their third studio album, The Downward Road. Two singles from the album, “Cigarette Dangles” and “I’m Ashamed of Myself”, were minor hits in a few Canadian record markets. In 1995, Where’s the Bone featured the minor single release “Young and In Love”. In 1996 Renee Suchy joined the band on backing vocals and percussion. A final and fifth studio album, The Wonderful World of the Pursuit of Happiness,  was released in late 1996.

In 2000, Moe Berg published a short story called The Green Room. Berg has worked as a part-time as a professor teaching music production for the Music Industry Arts Program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

In 2005 TPOH released a compilation album, When We Ruled: The Best of The Pursuit of Happiness, which included a cover of the Prince hit single “When Doves Cry”. In 2006 TPOH was inducted into the Canadian Indies Hall of Fame.

In 2017, Berg  toured across Canada as part of The Trans-Canada Highwaymen. Other bandmates were Chris Murphy from Sloan, Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies, and Craig Northey of The Odds.

The Pursuit of Happiness has remained active as a band since 1985. The current lineup, persisting despite pandemic restrictions, consists of Moe Berg, Dave Gilby, Brad Barker, Kris Abbott and Renee Suchy. They have performed only sporadically over the past two decades.

According to Setlist.fm, Pursuit of Happiness have performed at least 126 times in Canada. There most recent concert in Hamilton (ON) was on June 30, 2019, at Gage Park.

May 3, 2024
Ray McGinnis

The Pursuit of Happiness – Bio,” toph.net.
Gregory Adams, “Chris Murphy Introduces His New Supergroup the Trans-Canada Highwaymen,” Exclaim!, July 21, 2016.
30 years Later, the Pursuit of Happiness is Back on its Feet,” Globe & Mail, Toronto, January 4, 2019.
Dave Wild, “TPOH Declares Its Independence,” Rolling Stone, February 23, 1989.

I'm An Adult Now by Pursuit of Happiness

CKOC 1150-AM Hamilton (ON) Top 15 | April 1, 1987

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