Not to be confused with Howard Blum or Harold Bloom.

Howard Bloom (born June 25, 1943) is an American author. He was a publicist in the 1970s and 1980s for singers and bands such as Prince,[1]Billy Joel,[2] and Styx.[3][4] In 1988 he became disabled with chronic fatigue syndrome.[5] Since then, he has published three books on human evolution and group behavior, The Genius of the Beast, Global Brain, and The Lucifer Principle.

Early life

Bloom was born to a Jewish family in Buffalo, New York.[6] He began his interest in science as early as ten years old, becoming fascinated in cosmology and microbiology.[7] By sixteen, Bloom was working as an assistant researching the immune system at the Roswell Park Memorial Research Cancer Institute.[8] Bloom graduated from New York University and at the age of twenty-five, veered from his scientific studies to work as an editor for a rock magazine. Bloom would go on to found one of the largest public relations firms in the music industry.[8]


Public relations

In 1974 Bloom was made head of public relations of ABC Records.[9] He also was briefly head of Gulf+Western's music publicity department. In 1976, he founded The Howard Bloom Organization.[2] In 1980 Bloom suggested to Prince and his management that he "aggressively pursue the rock and new wave audience ... Consequently, Prince's management put together a series of performances designed with racially mixed audiences in mind".[1] He tutored the band Styx in how to appeal to "more staid magazines" such as the Wall Street Journal and People and so make them mainstream.[3] He was hired by Columbia Records to make Billy Joel "more media friendly".[2]

Bloom was also a publicist for Michael Jackson,[10][11]Cyndi Lauper,[11]Talking Heads,[11]Lionel Richie,[12][13]ZZ Top,[14]Bette Midler, AC/DC, Simon & Garfunkel,[5]John Mellencamp,[15][16]Earth, Wind & Fire,[17] and Kiss.[14] He handled Bob Marley during his Uprising Tour.[18][19]

Bloom has been described in a biography of Billy Joel as "the public relations spinmeister to have on your payroll in the seventies and eighties if you were a musician and your image needed to be authenticated to the masses". With his company he had successfully transformed and launched the careers of many rock stars including John Mellencamp, KISS, Hall and Oates, AC/DC, and Run DMC".[2] He has also been described as "one of the most successful publicists of his generation, a star maker whose client list was a Who's Who of rock and roll ... [whose] ... interest in rock and roll had more to do with the study of mass psychology in action than furthering the aggrandizement of spoiled rock stars. He approached PR as an applied science".[3]

In 1979, New York Magazine put him in the "Hot 100 plus" as one of its "Big Dealmakers" and observed, "His brain is a vinyl storage system: the most thorough and efficient".[20] According to Derek Sutton, manager of the Styx, he was "probably the greatest press agent that rock and roll has ever known."[3] In 1986, the Howard Bloom Organization was reported to be "one of the most successful independent public relations firms in the music business. [In 1985], his acts grossed $333 million."[21]


Bloom has written a number of books, including: The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates, The Genius of the Beast, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and The Lucifer Principle. His books generalize and extend his ideas about what makes rock and roll artists successful to human nature. According to him: "Everything from the wolf-pack behavior of music business executives to the lemming-like conduct of hypocritical journalist helped shape my insights" and that "[t]he real magic of rock happens at a concert, where if the performers are successful, individuals ... merge in a pulse of common emotion ... This consolidation mirrors the force that create much of both human good and evil".[22] He founded the International Paleopsychology Project, an Internet group "to study the development of the universe from its conception to the present". Individuals crediting him with inspiration include the scientist Peter Corning[23] and science fiction writer Greg Bear.[24]

His fourth book, The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates, was issued August 24, 2012.[25]


In 1986 together with Bob Guccione, Jr., Ted Nugent, John Waite and Sheena Easton, Bloom formed Music in Action to protest against the censorship against rock music being sought and advocated by religious fundamentalists such as Jimmy Swaggart.[26][27]

An article by Bloom published in Omni magazine, "The importance of hugging", suggested that "Islamic cultures treat their children harshly, they despise open displays of affection ... the result is violent adults", and as a consequence, "An entire people may have turned barbaric for the simple lack of a hug."[28] This claim led the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to organize a sit-in at Omni's New York head office.[29] His article has been described as "not unlike some forms of religious anti-Semitism",[30] and together with similar comments in his book, The Lucifer Principle, "an example of Orientalist (and racist) literature".[31] Bloom has written that "Arab pressure groups asked ever so politely ... that nothing that I write be published again. They offered to boycott my publisher's products — all of them — worldwide. And they backed their warning with a call for my punishment in seventeen Islamic countries."[32]

Personal life

Bloom developed chronic fatigue syndrome in 1988 which left him housebound. The 2007 book Chronic Fatigue Syndrome For Dummies includes him as one of the ten most famous people with CFS.[5] In 2001, the New York City Clerk's Office refused to issue him a marriage license in his home, though marriage licenses can be arranged for those unable to attend its office, for those confined to hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.[33] After publicity, a personal visit was made by the city clerk to his house to issue a marriage license, but The New York Times observed that city's regulations in regard to obtaining them at the city clerk's office were likely to be in breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.[34]

He considers himself a non-militant yet "stone-cold atheist"[6] and lives in Brooklyn, New York.[33]





  1. ^ a b Nilsen, Per (2003) Dance Music Sex Romance: Prince: The First Decade. SAF Publishing
  2. ^ a b c d Smith, Bill (2007). I Go To Extremes: The Billy Joel Story. Robson Books.
  3. ^ a b c d Whitaker, Serling. (2007) Styx: The Grand Delusion: The Unauthorized True Story of Styx. Booksurge
  4. ^ End of the World is Less than 2 Billion Years Away Predicts Howard Bloom December 18, 2012
  5. ^ a b c Susan R. Lisman, Karla Dougherty (2007) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies, Wiley
  6. ^ a b Psychology Today: "The God Problem: An Interview with Howard Bloom - How does the universe account for its own creation? August 28, 2012
  7. ^ Howard Bloom, Foreman, Richard (Mar 21, 2010). The Genius of the Beast (Interview) (SWF/FLV/Flash). New York, New York, United States: C-SPAN. Event occurs at 13:38. 292561-1. Retrieved August 28, 2011. SO I GOT INVOLVED IN COSMOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY AT THE AGE OF 10. 
  8. ^ a b "Biography of Howard Bloom". Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  9. ^ (August 24, 1974) "Major shuffle sees ABC consolidation". Billboard. p. 3
  10. ^ Aaron Hicklin (February 18, 2001). "Starbucking the trend;manhattan transfer". The Sunday Herald.
  11. ^ a b c Anna Sommerville (January 17, 2000). "The truth is out there and it is much stranger than fiction" The Scotsman.
  12. ^ Green, Paul (February 22, 1986). "Cutbacks at Kragen & Co. Billboard", 98 [8] pp. 1, 77
  13. ^ (February 24, 1986) "Richie gets new manager; Ends Gragen association". Jet.
  14. ^ a b Aaron Hicklin (February 4, 2001). "Wise guy;manhattan transfer" The Sunday Herald.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Danny (2009). Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business. Penguin Books
  16. ^ Jim Pettigrew (1989). The Billboard Guide To Music Publicity. Billboard Books.
  17. ^ Snider, Eric (January 13, 1988). "Concert rehearsal is slow business: It's hurry up and wait on the Earth, Wind Fire set". St. Petersburg Times.
  18. ^ White Timothy (2000) Catch a fire: The life of Bob Marley. Omnibus Press
  19. ^ Kozak Roman, (December 12, 1980) Bob Marley keeps on promoting Jamaican reggae around the globe. Billboard
  20. ^ "Hot 100 Plus" New York Magazine vol 12 issue 13. March 26, 1979.
  21. ^ Personal Computing. Vol 10. (1986). p. 58
  22. ^ Adcroft, Patrice (February 1995) Giving Beelzebub equal time: Howard Bloom's journey to the heart of darkness in the Lucifer Principle. Spin vol 10 (11) p. 86.
  23. ^ Corning, P. A. (2006) Holistic Darwinism: synergy, cybernetics, and the bioeconomics of evolution. University of Chicago Press
  24. ^ Bear, G. (2004) Darwin's Children. Del Rey Books.
  25. ^ Bloom, Howard K. (2012). The God problem: how a godless cosmos creates. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781616145514. OCLC 764387290. 
  26. ^ (August 28, 1986) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  27. ^ Duncan, Amy. (January 10, 1989) "Can music corrupt?" Christian Science Monitor p. 10
  28. ^ Bloom Howard (February 1989). "The importance of hugging". Omni, 11, 2, pp 30-31
  29. ^ Willford, Catherine M. (April 1989). "Focus on Arabs and Islam". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. p. 25a.
  30. ^ McCarus, Ernest Nasseph (1994). The Development of Arab-American Identity. University of Michigan Press. p. 128
  31. ^ Louise Cainkar (2009). Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11. Russell Sage Foundation.
  32. ^ Bloom, Howard. "Islamic Censorship — How Allah Has Nipped Your Right to Know" (Web article originated April 2003 edition of Abuse Your Illusions). The Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  33. ^ a b Montero, Douglas (June 4, 2001). "Red tape gums up trip down aisle". New York Post.
  34. ^ Purnick, Joyce (June 11, 2001). "To Say 'I Do' In New York, Be Healthy". The New York Times.