Eric Bloom (born December 1, 1944) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist. He is best known as the main vocalist, cowbell player, and "stun guitar" for the long-running band Blue Öyster Cult, with work on over 20 albums, much of it relating to his life-long interest in science fiction.
Bloom attended JHS 216 (George J. Ryan Junior High School), and then moved on to Woodmere Academy and Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. It was there that he purchased his first guitar, a $52 Harmony full-bodied electric.
In college, he was involved with the casual forming of a couple short-term bands for playing at local venues. One of these was "Rick and the Ravons" (Eric Bloom was the "Rick"). Bloom also organized music for various fraternity parties. For one of them, he hired a band that later asked him to join. They renamed it as "Lost and Found", with whom he performed off and on for a few years. The band was comprised of George Faust on guitar, John Trivers on bass, Peter Haviland on lead guitar, Jeff Hayes as drummer, and Bloom singing.
In 1963, Bloom was also exposed to the music of Wilmer and the Dukes, who made a profound impression on him. He attended over 100 of their performances, and he and his band "Lost and Found" opened for them when they came to play at Hobart. Other major influences were James Brown, and Ronnie James Dio of "Ronnie Dio and the Prophets", a precursor to "Electric Elves" with keyboardist Doug Thaler (later a manager of Mötley Crüe) and "Elf", though Dio is probably now best known for his involvement with Richie Blackmore's "Rainbow," and "Black Sabbath," as well as the eponymous "Dio".
In Bloom's senior year, he was encouraged by his friends to join their Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He also found himself volunteering to do sound engineering at local college events (such as a performance by Iron Butterfly), simply because he couldn't stand how bad the sound was. It was through his efforts that the college finally updated to a better sound system, after he graduated in 1967 (receiving a BA in Modern Languages).
Though Bloom had applied and been accepted for graduate school at San Diego State University, he decided instead to spend the Summer of Love of 1967 as a drifter, pan-handling or selling sketches for $1 in Provincetown (P-town), Cape Cod, until he got a job washing dishes. On Labor Day, his college friend Trivers invited him to perform in Clayton, New York the next night. Despite the short notice, Bloom packed up and left Provincetown for good. The "Lost and Found" band re-formed and played through the rest of the season.
In 1976 their platinum album Agents of Fortune with its megahit "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" launched the band into international fame. Both Creem and The Rolling Stone voted "Don't Fear the Reaper" as a top single of the year.
Bloom has been one of the longtime members of the band throughout the decades, along with original member Buck Dharma (it is estimated that they have given over 4,000 live performances). He has co-written several of the band's more popular songs, with recent projects being "The Old Gods Return" and "Eye of the Hurricane", and often collaborates with writers both inside and outside the music industry.
Bloom is known for being an avid reader, especially science fiction and fantasy novels. He once sent a fan letter to English science-fiction author Michael Moorcock, and then collaborated with him on three songs. "Black Blade" was written from the point of view of Moorcock's Elric character, and the other two were "The Great Sun Jester" and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars," the latter of which was used in the original Heavy Metal movie. In 1987, Bloom and Moorcock performed the song live at the Dragon*Con convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bloom also collaborated with author Eric Van Lustbader on the song "Shadow Warrior", and in 1998 and 2001 with cyberpunk author John Shirley on the Heaven Forbid and Curse of the Hidden Mirror albums.
In 2006, Bloom began a partnership with artist Philippe Renaudin, to create and sell six elaborately painted custom-made guitars, each one of which interprets a different Blue Öyster Cult song, and each one of which will be played in new Blue Öyster Cult performances.