Allen Lanier, former guitarist and keyboardist of Blue Öyster Cult, has passed away due to complications from C.O.P.D. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Lanier, who was one of the founding members of Blue Oyster Cult, was 66 years old.
“My great friend Allen Lanier has passed. I’ll miss the guy even though we hadn’t spoken in a while. He was so talented as a musician and a thinker. He read voraciously, all kinds of things, especially comparative religion. We drove for years together, shared rooms in the early days. We partied, laughed, played. All BOC fans and band members will mourn his death. Ultimately smoking finally got to him. He had been hospitalized with C.O.P.D. It was Allen who heard some old college band tapes of mine and suggested I get a shot as the singer in 1968. A lot of great memories, over 40 years worth. Maybe he’s playing a tune with Jim Carroll right now”
Lanier helped form Blue Öyster Cult in 1967 (under the name Soft White Underbelly before renaming in 1971). While he briefly left the group between 1985 to 1987, Lanier played in the band until retiring in 2006. He did, however, join Blue Öyster Cult onstage for their 40th anniversary concert in NYC back in November. Footage from the show, which would end up being Lanier’s last, can be seen below.
[footage by way of Ultimate Classic Rock]