Michael J. Hoover was a catlike man; sinewy, graceful in movement, and perhaps there’s something to Chinese astrology after all because he was born in 1951, the year of the cat…But what kind of a cat was he?
When he passed away in 2013 I was asked if I wanted his notebooks, which span three decades and contain journal entries, lyrics, poems, sketches, and the odd I Ching reading. Of course, I said yes, and soon after my suspicions were very much confirmed…The Hoov, the man with the monster groove, never spent a minute of his adult life living as a surfeited house cat. He was a rangy alley cat through and through: a survivor, surviving the challenges of a life lived in “delicious poverty” as he called it. A life lived at street level, where the now largely forgotten spirit of rock and roll still stands with one foot in the gutter and the other in the grave.
I thought it would be apropos to read a short poem of his dated Christmas 1990, considering it was right around the time he came to the Limestone city, having decamped from a dire situation in his hometown of Toronto, with the help of some solid friends, and so, on behalf of The Hoov it behooves me to dedicate the following to everyone who called him a friend, and to everyone who is planning on attending the Hoover Jam V in support of a great cause:
Experiencing Technical Difficulties
Approaching The Station
The Scariest Thing About Life Is Death
But That’s Normal I Guess
I’m Only Frozen To My Elbows
Spirit Is In My Heart, Now
Where It Belongs
—Michael J. Hoover
Thank you, and may the alleys always have their cats.