Featuring Eric Bloom ’66 and his band Blue Öyster Cult, J.K. Rowling’s latest book, “Career of Evil,” trades Muggles and magic for music and mystery. Best known as the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has made Bloom and his legendary rock band pivotal in understanding the intentions of the novel’s characters.
Rowling’s third novel written under the pen-name Robert Galbraith, “Career of Evil” features a plot, as WBUR reports, that centers on “a crusty, one-legged private investigator in London named Cormoran Strike…[and an] unnamed (until the end) killer, who might just be Blue Öyster Cult’s biggest fan. Their lyrics are in his head as he contemplates doing his dirty deeds. One of the chapters about his perversions is headlined ‘Subhuman,’ after a Blue Öyster Cult song. He’s playing their music constantly on his iPod.”
Bloom himself is referenced in a flashback, as Strike recalls his mother’s tattoo-ed rendering of her favorite song, “Mistress of the Salmon Salt.”
“Blue Öyster Cult were her favorite band,” Rowling writes from Strike’s point-of-view. “Well ‘favorite’ is an understatement. Obsession, really. … She wanted Eric Bloom, lead singer of Blue Öyster Cult, but never got him. One of the very few who got away. … I was nearly christened Eric Bloom Strike.”
As Bloom told WBUR, “I don’t know the thoughts in Ms. Rowling’s head about why she picked me. If I ever meet her, I will ask. I don’t know if she’s even a Blue Öyster Cult fan, but obviously there must be something that she’s referencing.”
Until then, he says, the band feels “fortunate that Ms. Rowling was inspired by our music. To be mentioned in a book that’s on the New York Times bestseller list, it can’t do anything but help us.”
As a student at HWS, Bloom majored in modern languages and participated in the men’s billiard guild, the Colleges’ radio station WEOS, marching band and Tau Kappa Epsilon.