Howard Bloom is an American author and former music publicist for singers and bands such as Prince, Billy Joel and Styx.
At the end of part 1 of my interview with the iconic Howard Bloom, he’d just told us about getting the flu, but instead of getting better in a few days, he got much sicker.  Nobody who gets the flu thinks that they will not recover -- we all assume we’ll feel crappy for a few days and then get back to work -- just like how we initially thought survivors of the COVID virus would get back to their pre-COVID health, but now we’re hearing reports of ongoing fatigue and neurological symptoms in a significant number of people who have had COVID. Research of the SARS pandemic and other viral infections, tells us that not everyone will recover -- some people will develop myalgic encephalomyelitis (aks chronic fatigue syndrome), or ME/cfs, like Howard did. As the COVID pandemic settles into our nations and neighbourhoods and we wait for treatments or a vaccine, we have to wonder how many people with COVID will remain very sick and disabled by ME/cfs? And will you be one of them? Now here’s part 2 of my interview with Howard Bloom, the author of the newly released ‘Einstein, Michael Jackson and me’, as Howard shares how he coped with being mostly bed bound for 15 years, and what protocol he uses to keep himself pursuing truth in science. SHOW NOTES:   0:05:00 Howard can't even remember being at work on Monday - about noon on Tuesday he told his colleagues they had to get him out of the office immediately because soon he'd be too weak to walk upstairs - his staff literally dragged him to the car to take him home - he doesn't know how he made it upstairs to his 4th floor apartment because he was so weak - Howard was too sick to leave his bedroom for 3 months - often too weak to think and too weak to speak 0:06:00 And the Howard got better, he thought it must have been a really bad flu - Howard did not see a doctor during this time, he was too weak, and doctors stopped making house calls - when Howard got better he went to see a fancy doctor who gave him a fancy diagnosis of Duchenne Syndrome (muscular dystrophy), but he was wrong - Howard got back to walking every day 0:07:00 One day Howard had John Mellencamp playing at Madison Square Gardens, The Scorpions playing at The Meadowlands and opening for Metallica, and Cyndi Lauper was graduating from high school, she had dropped out, but she was getting an Honorary Diploma - so Howard had a very busy day 0:08:00 "That day broke me" - he had strange, unbelievable symptoms - if it was 90 degrees out, he'd be freezing, shivering, teeth chattering - a breeze from an open window would hit Howard hard, so he had to forbid people from opening windows, even on 90 degree days - on 40 degree days, he'd be overheating and sweating - his thermoregulatory system was broken - he had no idea what the fuck was happening to him 0:09:00 At some point Howard went to his family doctor, who could not diagnose him - Howard told his staff he didn't know what was wrong with him, he could be dying, but he couldn't work any more and gave them the business - the next day he was offered $350,000 for the business, but he declined 0:10:00 Howard finished 2 weeks of work, went to his bedroom and didn't come out for 15 years for all intents and purposes - Howard did some research and told his doctor he thought he had chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - the doctor said there is no such thing as CFS - but 3 years later to doctor thanked Howard for educating him on CFS, because he'd been seeing it in a lot of his patients 0:11:00 Howard says that when you have an illness with no name, you are not on the map of humanity - so it is scary to have CFS and because it is scary to others, they don't even acknowledge it - if you lose the ability to walk, Howard lost the ability to speak for 5 years, not a single syllable - he also couldn't have another person in the room with him - when things like that happen, you lose connection to humanity 0:12:00 You are stripped of a sense of being human, and before that you were not even aware of that sense, but you know it when its gone - Howard said it is more unsettling than he can describe - it took Howard 3 years to re-build an identity, in the only place he could 'walk' around: cyber space 0:13:00 The 1st 3 years of being sick and bed bound, Howard tried to work at home but kept relapsing and having to start at zero again and try to build up his ability - but he was getting worse, and his 'recovery' less so each time - then he realized he was spending a lot of energy sitting up 0:14:00 By saving energy by not sitting up, Howard eventually got his voice back - Howard had his assistant set up 2 computers by his bed and jerry-rigged some foam to support the keyboard so Howard could see and use it as he lay horizontal 0:15:00 This allowed Howard to connect with the outside world - this was 1991, so no world wide web, no search engines, no Amazon 0:16:00 Through a friend, Howard took a non-paying job with Art College in Pasadena and they had created a virtual world that Howard could get into and 'walk around' using his cursor and mouse pad - he also discovered online romance - most days he could type, but not always could he lift his fingers 0:17:00 Howard became a Lothario online - he realized we get bodies we did not choose - but online we are untethered from our bodies, Howard thought that was astonishing - during those 15 years he founded 2 international science groups and wrote 3 books - but he was in solitary confinement and that produces pain of a kind no one else has experienced 0:18:00 They are a nightmare, torture, hideous because we are built for social contact 0:19:00 Howard's life was built on books, his obligation to society was books - 'books were me' - so Howard only had 2 things: his books and his marriage - then in 1994 his wife decided to divorce him - she had been leaving town to look after her mother with Alzheimer's, but leaving Howard alone for up to 3 days - it was more horrible than Howard can convey in words 0:20:00 Howard begged her not leave him alone for long periods, but she started leaving him alone longer - soon she left Howard and he found 2 people who would live in his former step daughter's bedroom and they would feed and cloth him 0:21:00 One day his wife, Linda, came to visit him, unannounced - Linda brought a lawyer with her who served Howard with divorce papers - stressful situations drove Howard's body into relapse - but Howard read the papers anyway 0:22:00 It said if you don't answer in 20 days you lose everything including the bedsheets you're lying on - his wife had brought him a Teddy bear and said she wanted to be friends - he's never spoken to her since, that was their Pearl Harbor - Howard managed to find a lawyer even though he could barely talk 0:23:00 Howard's lawyer asked for a disability exemption to attend court, but it was denied - he was too sick to travel many hours to the court from New York city to northern New York state and it would take him 3 months to recover - the judge didn't give a shit - because CFS didn't exist, it meant Howard wasn't ill 0:24:00 This caused Howard immense emotional pain, he wanted to disappear - so one night he took 120 valiums and 15 thorazine and lidocaine 0:25:00 Howard injected all 5g of the lidocaine - but he only did intramuscular and not intravenous - for 3 days he laid in bed like a corpse 0:26:00 The only muscle that moved for 3 days was his diaphragm - if blood stops circulating you're in trouble - Howard woke up 3 days later 0:27:00 He found blood had come out his chest and neck - if he wasn't a Jewish Atheist, he could've applied for Sainthood in the Catholic church - and he's lost the use of 3 limbs because of ischemia, lack of circulation - he could only use his right hand - his doctor made a house call - he said he wanted to send Howard for 7 tests - Howard said 'fuck that, I can't even get up and down my stairs' 0:28:00 He told the doctor to give him 4 days to get the use of his limbs back - Howard learned how to stand and balance - by jerking his hips forward he could do a semblance of walking - he started by walking to his living room and back, and increased the frequency by 1 each day until he got to 9 miles on the pedometer 0:29:00 His theory was that if he worked his legs everyday to overcome the eschemia, he'd get the blood flow back to his limbs, and he did get their use back - Howard was put in touch with a journalist who had been raised by evangelical parents who were trying to put rock n roll out of business 0:30:00 Howard said he could be interviewed on Christmas day, because Howard would feel especially lonely on that day - he was working for Disinformation.com, and it was headed by Richard Metzger - Howard looked him up and saw he interviewed extreme people 0:31:00 Howard called him up and said 'do you want to walk with a walking corpse? - Come to my apartment at 1pm tonight' - Richard came and talked and took notes until 6am and wrote "I have met God, Bloom is the Einstein, Newton and Darwin of the 21st century' 0:32:00 When Howard got sick, there was no info about CFS - there was an article by Hillary Johnson that had appeared in Rolling Stone about Epstein Barr virus - he thought it sounded horrible, but that he wouldn't get it....but he got it. 0:33:00 Then they found it wasn't causing CFS - Howard says that to the best of his knowledge, they still don't know what causes CFS - for Howard, any stressors would cause a relapse, so he avoided stress as much as possible - of course the divorce was a major stressor 0:34:00 So he would watch Golden Girls and read humour books - but sometimes the 'crisis' in the Golden Girls would set off Howard's stress response and it would take him 3 months to recover from an episode of Golden Girls - he tried to read the blandest writing, like James Thurber 0:35:00 Howard loves Thurber's books - one was about dogs, he loved it...until he got to page 98 when he described a dog fight, and that flattened Howard for 4 months - its hard for people who've never had the experience to conceptualize how conflict on a tv show can cause months of physical disability - but Howard has a theory based on what drugs helped him 0:36:00 We have a stress handling system and like many things in the body it works on a Cheritonian System, a balance between and excitor and an inhibitor 0:37:00 Next time a loud noise happens, check your cognitive system: it is alarmed trying to figure out what it is - our bodies have glutamate, a chemical stimulant - we also have an inhibitor called gaba - Howard started taking valium 0:38:00 He says you have a 20 minute window after a stress response to do something about it or you are fucked - but if you take valium you can avoid a relapse - but if you miss that 20 minute window, you'll be sick for months, too weak to do anything - eventually he convinced his doctor to give him oxytocin, which helped 0:39:00 Then Howard started on gabapentin - valium, oxytocin and gabapentin all feed into the gaba system, the inhibitor - so Howard's system was in hyperdrive all the time, there was no inhibitor - sometimes Howard had to take 27 valium at a time 0:40:00 At that same time the Journal of American Medical Association came out with a cover story saying sometimes an overdose of a drug could be what they need to come back to normal - Howard now takes 30 different drugs and supplements twice a day, it takes about 30 minutes - some he injects intramuscularly, like magnesium, 1 cc of oxytocin, and 2 cc of B12 methylcobalamin - has been on the regime since about 1998 0:41:00 And slowly, slowly, slowly these drugs helped him recover from CFS - by 2003 he was able to get out of the house - during the previous 15 years he had repeatedly worked his way up, adding one step at a time, until he could climb the 4 stories in his house, and then he started adding 20 feet at time on his sidewalk, but then he's have a relapse - that happened maybe 3 times during those 15 years 0:42:00 But once he got the drugs he was able to work up to 6 miles a day - Howard doesn't know of anyone else taking his regime - one day when Howard was at his 'CFS' doctor, the doctor showed him off to other patients as an example of what the doctor could do - but he was misleading them, because what he suggested was not what Howard takes - in fact, Howard found the things the doctor used to be useless 0:43:00 Howard took a very scientific approach to finding what worked - monitoring what worked, what didn't - one day a good friend contacted Howard and said the Duchess of Kent has what you have, can you write her a letter about how to cope with it - so Howard wrote a pamphlet, 16 pages - and had it updated in 2003 - realizing with CFS you have a very limited amount of energy and if you exceed it you're in big trouble 0:44:00 Howard's wife convinced Dr Derek Enlander to come see Howard - there was Dr Susan Levine too, but she required CFS patients to come into her office - 'fuck that, does she not know anything about CFS patients' 0:45:00 The most important thing Dr Enlander did was hand Howard a piece of paper with an email address of a patient in Texas - Howard contacted her and they searched online for treatment modalities 0:46:00 She would track down the doctor using the protocol and get that info back to his doctor - the doctor would sit on it for 6 months, then burp it back up as his own idea and then prescribe it 0:47:00 By experimenting, eventually Howard figured out what worked and that's why he was able to get out of bed in 2003 and resume a normal life - each day he does 1220 pseudo push ups each day, they are closer to planking 0:48:00 Howard also walks 5 miles a day, that is huge for 76 years old - and he's stronger in many ways than when he was 19 - he feels stronger and better then ever in his life, and is free of the clinical depression 0:49:00 Howard thinks it may be the gabapentin as it has shown antidepressant qualities - with CFS you have to be aware of your energy boundaries and do not cross them or you are fucked 0:50:00 Howard took a chance and was the key note speaker at a conference - Howard has a theoretical physics colleague in Moscow, and the 2 of them had been invited to address an audience of quantum phsycicists in Moscow - quantum physics is Howard, it would be like a home coming, there was no way he was going to miss it 0:51:00 Howard flew to Germany to catch another plane to Moscow - half way through the flight he started to experience CFS symptoms, by the time the plane landed, he was in bad shape - he could only lie down in the infirmary if he gave up his passport, very scary 0:52:00 Howard was so sick and desperate, he gave them his passport - then Howard realized he forgot to take his afternoon medicines - to took his gabapentin and 15 minutes later all his symptoms disappeared 0:53:00 That was in 2005 and the last time Howard had a relapse, he learned his lesson - he carries gabapentin with always - Howard says it is possible to overcome CFS, he started taking them in 1998, and it took 5 years for the drugs to accumulatively work 0:54:00 Howard tried to tell the medical establishment about his recovery and regime - but Howard says the last thing in the world he wants to write about is CFS, he's out of those woods, out of that nightmare, he doesn't want to go back 0:55:00 Although Howard been published in 12 different fields, he has no desire to research CFS - his goal is to cover many disciplines and to see the big picture, that's his task in life, that's his job 0:56:00 Howard says Dr Enlander was one of the doctors who popularized the term myaglic encephalomyelitis (ME) - Scott says his energy is flagging due to ME and explains how there is no equivalency between ME and HIV (if you get HIV meds) 0:57:00 JB (he connected Howard and Scott) wanted to know about your sleep regime - Howard says sleep was very important, one of the things that got him healthy - he had insomnia since he was 13 years old, but it got worse with the CFS - then he did a perceptual flip: instead of trying to make his body his sleep for 8 hours according to societal construct - Howard decided to 'listen to my fucking body' - he now sleeps in 2 four hour sleeps 0:58:00 He sleeps as soon as his head hits the pillow, so it turns out listening to his body is good - and if it wants 2 doses of 4 hours, so be it, and fuck the norm - he sets an alarm to wake him up 0:59:00 Howard has also adjusted his sleep pattern to communicate easier with his girlfriend in South Africa - Howard is 75 years old but he is not old, 'fuck that' 1:00:00 Founder of The Cars rock band, Ric Ocasek died about 6 months ago at the age of 75 - Howard realized that if he had of died at 75 he's never known the amazing, astonishing, ecstasy that he experiences with his girlfriend, the first time in his life - this experience is the closest to the divine he's ever experienced in his life 1:01:00 She's 50 years old, but Howard's previous girlfriend was 21 when they got together - so his current girlfriend is more age appropriate - Howard says, but never let age get you 1:02:00 Howard's new book: "Einstein, Michael Jackson and me" - its about a spiritual journey and is funny and filled with adventures and his spiritual journey in the rock and roll industry Be a podcast patron Support Medical Error Interviews on Patreon by becoming a Patron for $2 / month for audio versions.  Premium Patrons get access to video versions of podcasts for $5 / month. Be my Guest I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer. If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description:  RemediesPodcast@gmail.com    Need a Counsellor? Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error. If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments. **For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.**  Email me to learn more or book an appointment:  RemediesOnlineCounseling@gmail.com Scott Simpson:  Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard. I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships. Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life. I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life. Counseling / Research I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.  Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions. Patient Advocacy I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network. I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system. My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.
Who is Howard Bloom? And what does he have to do with the COVID pandemic? It’s hard to know where to start -- Howard is a world renowned scientist, a highly regarded intellectual, an author and lecturer on wide ranging subject matter, a frank philosopher….and swears like a broken down truck driver.  Howard’s #1 principle of science - and seemingly his life - is “the truth at any price including the price of your life”.  Howard has written or lectured on quantum physics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, economics, and aerospace among other scientific disciplines.  Howard has been described as "next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein”.   Yet science-minded Howard made a huge cultural impact managing public relations for some of the world’s biggest rock stars like Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, and on and on the list goes. Howard’s success was unparalleled and his future was wide open to possibilities….until his body failed his mind. Like mortals, Howard got sick with the flu, but instead of getting better in a few days, and unlike most others, he got worse. Much worse. Howard would spend the next 15 years practically bed bound, and 5 of those years he was so weak he couldn’t speak, and so sick he couldn’t have people in the same room. Howard would eventually figure out he had ME/cfs, known scientifically as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME -- and informally known as ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’, or CFS.  ME/cfs is a complex disease that causes chronic immune and neurological dysfunction. Like millions of other people who never recovered from the flu or a viral or bacterial infection, and developed ME/cfs, Howard’s life - and his hope and dreams - would never be the same. It is well known in the medical community that some people never recover from viral infections. Many of the 2003 SARS pandemic victims did not fully recover because they developed ME/cfs, and it is beginning to appear that many of the COVID pandemic victims will also develop chronic immune and neurological problems like ME/cfs patients. The world may be facing millions more people who never recover from COVID and develop ME/cfs like Howard. In this interview, Howard shares his remarkable life, with all its highest of highs, and lowest of lows -- and tales of some of the famous people who intersected his journey through the world of rock and roll, and notable thinkers also immersed in the messy business of scientific discovery.  Perhaps as unusual as his life, Howard has made a very rare and full recovery from ME/cfs by maintaining a regimen of drugs to keep his body and mind working hard -- and to find the truth at any cost. Here is part 1 of my interview with the engrossing and sublime scientist Howard Bloom, author of the newly released book “Einstein, Michael Jackson and me”.... SHOW NOTES 0:07:00 Howard Bloom says childhood was a nightmare - he grew up in Buffalo, New York, and that's a nightmare - a very pretty city, wonderful Victorian architecture with big and front lawns - but his family didn't get to that status until he was 9 years old - Howard says that for someone born with a disability of being intellectual and probably bring on the autism spectrum 0:08:00 a term that didn't exist in those days, it was a very lonely place - Howard was born in 1943, the year of the Holocaust - his father has started a small liquor store in an attempt to make a living, he was 33 years old and was drafted and sent to California - so Howard grew up without a father - his mother had to immediately take over the liquor store and abandon her maternal role 0:09:00 Howard felt like he grew up without a mother as well - his mother was incredible competent, but not good at intimate relationships - so she hired a cleaning woman, not a baby sitter - to keep him out of the way, the cleaning women would lock him in a small corridor 0:10:00 That was how Howard spent the first 3 years of his life - once his Dad came back, Howard was ecstatic, for the first time in his life he's have a family - his parents then told him that he would be having a baby brother 0:11:00 Although Howard's brother was 2nd born, he was treated as the 1st child - so they parented his brother, but Howard was left in the cold - his mother was afraid of polio so she rarely let Howard out to play with other kids, but when she did, the other kids loathed Howard - when there was somebody to beat up, or chase, or humiliate, Howard was the kid 0:12:00 The neighbourhood kids excluded and marginalized Howard - but growing up isolated for the 1st ten years turned out to be a blessing for his future 0:13:00 Howard remebers in 1st grade that the 1st kid done their work would get a gold star - Howard was always last - his teacher called Howard's mother in and said 'I think your son is mentally retarded' and should be taken for psychological testing, and his mother did that but never told him the test results - one day Howard came in 2nd last, not last, and his teacher was so pleased, she gave him a gold star - so Howard was late to learn how to read and write 0:14:00 The house Howard was born in was very small, but his father did well from the liquor store they bought a new house, next door to a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house, with a huge backyard 0:15:00 It was an isolated neighbourhood, so Howard felt just as isolated as before - but their neighbour were a man and woman who were radiologists with advanced degrees - one day the woman said, 'my kids are away at summer camp, come to my reading room and see my books' - she had all 38 Oz books, and Howard read them all that summer - this was his introduction to a virtual world of reading 0:16:00 By 4th grade Howard was reading 2 books a day, one under his desk, so he was not paying attention to the teacher at all 0:17:00 Howard's father worked long hours, while his mother worked at becoming influential in Jewish society and education so she would hang out with college educated people, who she resented because she didn't get to go to college, so there was no time for Howard - whereas his parents dotted, hovered and did all the things you'd expect a parent to do 0:18:00 When Howard was in the Boy Scouts he tried very hard to win medals by completing tasks and then getting a parent to sign a piece of paper, but Howard could not get his parents to sign - when Howard's brother started Boy Scout's their mother became a Den Mother 0:19:00 This has worked to Howard's advantage - Howard can not look at things in the normal way, and he doesn't want to - when he was about 10 years old he found another book 0:20:00 He'd never seen it before, and would never see it again - the first 2 things it said were: the truth at any price, including the price of your life - and look at things as if you've never seen them before - to prove point #1, it told the story of Gallileo, but they told it all wrong - it said Gallileo would stick to his truth even if burnt at the stake - Howard says that is wrong - Gallileo told the Pope he'd retract everything he'd ever written 0:21:00 In exchange for house arrest - but the book did not tell it that way, but Howard needed a hero at that point -- the 2nd point was about Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 1 of the 2 men who invented the microscope - it described Leeuwenhoek looking at swamp water and seeing 'animalcules' and writing to the Royal Society 0:22:00 Look for things that are invisible to you and all those around you and bring them into the light -- those 2 rules grabbed Howard, it was his religion, and he's dedicated his life to it - but not conventional science - he's a professional outsider, to see things others don't, to ask questions that would not occur to others - that's his fucking job 0:23:00 Howard read Jack Kerouac's On The Road, and reading about the Beatniks in Time Magazine - Howard and his best friend would Time cover to cover and they tied in the magazines current events competition every year 0:24:00 Every issue there was a story obout the Beatniks - Howard thought that if he could get close to the Beatniks, he would be accepted - the his father made a hideous mistake: for summer vacation he took them on a road trip to Cape Cod and Provincetown - Howard walked into the gallery in P-town and there were a bunch of Beatniks from the West Village (New York) 0:25:00 They grabbed onto Howard and treated him like another adult - so he spent the week with them and bought a pair sandals - when he got back to Buffalo, his French teacher was so scared of him and his sandals, she put him in a walk in closet - Howard started reading about Zen and wanted to drop out of high school, getting a motorcycle and go to California - but his parents threatened to send him to lumberjack camp 0:26:00 The last thing Howard wanted was to be around a bunch of macho men - Howard got in to Reed College, same as Steve Jobs, but Howard dropped out 6 weeks before the end of the year - as he was hitchhiking and riding the rails, a group of people gathered around Howard - Time and other magazines gave that movement a name, the Hippie Movement, so Howard, with others, accidentally started the Hippie Movement 0:27:00 Howard went to Israel for a year to live on a Kibbutz - his father thought it would make a man out of him - Howard went back to NY University - but when Howard was 10 years old, his mother took him to meet the head of Buffalo University graduate physics department and were in his office for an hour - as they were leaving, the proffessor put his hand on Howard's shoulder and told his mother that she didn't have to save to pay for college, Howard would get a scholarship to any college he wanted in theoretical physics 0:28:00 They had been interpreting the effect of the doppler shift and its implactions for Big Bang, the hot topic in physics at the time - indeed, Howard had 4 fellowships when he finished NYU, but in a field that had not been named yet, neuroscience - he got Columbia U to allow him to take any medical courses he wanted so he could piece together his own education program - but at 12 years old Howard realized what fascinated him was mass human passion, he called it 'the gods inside of us' 0:29:00 Howard realized that if he went to Grad school, it would be Aushwitz for the mind - so he dropped out, and went into something he knew little about: popular culture -- Howard pivoted because the Poet in Residence told Howard... 0:30:00 ...last year I asked you to be on the editorial board of the school literary magazine and you didn't even show up, this year I'm telling you that you are the Editor - Howard was distressed, he hated literary magazines, the typeface was terrible, colors awful - you could stop an orgy by throwong a literary magazine in it 0:31:00 A friend asked him: if you could do anything with this magazine, what would it be? Howard said it would be a picture book - so he gathered a team of visual artists and poets to create an issue Washington Square Review in a 12 x 12 inch format with full color printing 0:32:00 Howard was called into a meeting about the cost of the magazine and they said we're doubling your budget for the next issue - the 2nd issue was the Sex and Death issue, but half the staff quit - when it was published, Howard got calls from Look Magazine and others including Boy's LIfe... 0:33:00 ...the Boy Scout magazine - Howard had been kicked out of the Boy Scout's for incompetence in Morse Code when he was 11 -- Howard spent 2 weeks in a mental institution because the day after he attended his only rock and roll concert, he had tried to kill himself 0:34:00 For 4 years, school had given Howard structure and purpose - his 1st semester he got 4 As and 1 B, and he was humiliated to get a B -- in his 2nd semester he also got 4 As and 1 B 0:35:00 Howard created learning techniques, and he got straight As every semester after that - but when he school ended he had no purpose, no goal - Howard thinks he was depressed since he was 5 years old - every second of every day was a living hell, a torture and work was his escape - he learned to be a workaholic when he was 14 years old - when school ended, he fell into his deep depression 0:36:00 He knew what he'd be doing in September, but had no structure for the summer - he sat staring at a big bottle of valium and that was as far as he got in his suicide attempt 0:37:00 Howard's wife called Howard's uncle, a doctor, and they had Howard committed to a mental institution - when he got out, he went to visit one of his artists, but found him, his wife and their son in an empty apartment, crying - they were broke and about to be evicted 0:38:00 Howard told him he was a great artist and that if Howard showed his artwork they could both make money - after 2 weeks of trying to see art, he'd accomplished nothing 0:39:00 Howards' wife's 1st husband was a student too - she let Howard know she was sick and tired of students as husbands and Howard would lose her if he continued 0:40:00 Howard did not want to lose his wife - remember, Howard started out at 10 interested in astrophysics and microbiology - at 12 he built his first Boolean Algebra machine - at 16 he worked at the world's largest cancer research facility 0:41:00 Howard developed a theory about the beginning and end of the universe that he later discarded, but it did predict something that came true 38 years later: dark energy - but at 12-13 years old Howard discovered one of his real passions was for 'the gods inside us' - to find the ecstactic experience and how it relates to history 0:42:00 Howard felt like psychologist William James's 1902 book, The Varities of Religious Experience', was written for him - a calling to continue James's work 0:43:00 Howard was in pursuit of the ecstatic experience - that was never going to happen at Grad School 0:44:00 So in September, instead of returning to school, he immersed himself in something he knew nothing about: popular culture - it was an opportunity to go 'into the field' and it was an obligation of Howard's as a science person 0:45:00 Science is dedicating yourself to exploring - particpant/observor science, like Margaret Meade immersing herself in another culture 0:46:00 Fast forward in Howard's life, and he starts a PR (Public Relations) firm for rock and roll and popular music - he built into the largest PR firm approaching it from a science stance he learned growing up - Howard reinvented music PR 0:47:00 Howard took a 'truth drives out lies' approach to PR, in align with science seeking truth - Howard worked with a lot of talent and turned them into superstars 0:48:00 Howard says that if you find someone who can have a positive influence on humanity, you must dedicate yourself to that - when Howard was 14 yrs old, he promised his parents he would work hard if he could go to a private school - that's where he learned to work 7 days a week 0:49:00 Constant work was the salvation for his clinical depression - it did not cure, but buffered the pain a little bit - Howard says thanks to CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) he no longer has depression 0:50:00 Howard had heard that fighter pilots are sent into battle for 2 weeks, then get 6 weeks of rest and relaxation because their 'alarm system' is on super high when they are fighting, and if you leave the alarm system on too long, they will burnout - Howard alarm system had been on 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year - he does not like rest or relaxation, it is depressing - Howard worked for 8 years without a vacation, but arranged a 2 week vacation in Los Angeles 0:51:00 In his 30s, Howard knew his body would refuse to work unrelentlessly hard - he didn't know what form that would take, but knew it would prevent him from working so prepared to live with that - Howard and his wife lived like church mice, but took all their money and invested it in real estate 0:52:00 So the property would earn a living if Howard was too weak to work - but on March 10, 1988, Howard flew to a meeting with new clients, to meet them in their own environment 0:53:00 In spite of anticipating his body was going to break down, Howard did not let up on his workaholic ways - his 1st prinicple is the truth at any price, including the price of your life - so Howard flew to this meeting and was met at the airport and taken to Linda and Cecil's home 0:54:00 Their home was new, built like an aircraft carrier, it was unfinished, on top of a hill, surrounded by sheep - because it was March 10th, it was cold and there was no heating or furniture, so they sat on the floor for the next 5-6 hours - then got back into the jeep and 5 hours drive back to the airport - something uncharacteristic happend when he left the plane: he forgot his laptop - the next day it was obvious he was coming down a cold, so he did what he always did: work hard, walk 2.5 miles, carry on -- he was a bit sicker the next day (Sunday), but did his 2.5 miles walk 0:55:00 Howard can't even remember being at work on Monday - about noon on Tuesday he told his colleagues they had to get him out of the office immediately because soon he'd be too weak to walk upstairs - his staff literally dragged him to the car to take him home - he doesn't know how he made it upstairs to his 4th floor apartment because he was so weak - Howard was too sick to leave his bedroom for 3 months 0:56:00 Howard felt like his circuit boards had been pulled out - until all he could was stare at the ceiling - but he was blissfully content because he didn't have the energy to be depressed, or the energy to be unfulfilled or driven - Howard's wife got their daughter's friend to care give and Howard spent 3 months watching movies - often too weak to think and too weak to speak ---- PART 2 COMING NEXT WEEK ------ Connect with Howard Bloom: howardbloom.net Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/howard.bloom    Be a podcast patron Support Medical Error Interviews on Patreon by becoming a Patron for $2 / month for audio versions.  Premium Patrons get access to video versions of podcasts for $5 / month. Be my Guest I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer. If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description:  RemediesPodcast@gmail.com    Need a Counsellor? Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error. If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments. **For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.**  Email me to learn more or book an appointment:  RemediesOnlineCounseling@gmail.com Scott Simpson:  Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard. I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships. Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life. I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life. Counseling / Research I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.  Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions. Patient Advocacy I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network. I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system. My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.
Howard Bloom is a bestselling polymath, author, ex-music publicist for Styx, Prince and Billy Joel and the Founder of the Space Development Steering Committee, a group focused on space new deal of colonizing the Moon and space-based solar power, among many other things. [spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=20993752" width="100%" height="80px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" autoplay="false" live-autoplay="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="true" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true"]
Howard Bloom is an author and he was also a publicist in the 1970s and 1980s for singers and bands such as Prince, Billy Joel, and Styx. His latest book "How I Accidentally Started The Sixties" is available now on Amazon -- https://www.amazon.com/How-I-Accidentally-Started-Sixties/dp/1945572914/ref=la_B001KIRZ9U_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526939581&sr=1-6
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Creator Details

Birthdate
Jun 25th, 1943
Location
NYC, NY, USA
Episode Count
6
Podcast Count
5
Total Airtime
7 hours, 50 minutes