Allen Lanier, a founding member of the band Blue Oyster Cult, has died at the age of 67.
The keyboardist and guitarist passed away in the hospital after a long fight with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition associated with heavy cigarette smoking.
Blue Oyster Cult frontman Eric Bloom announced Lanier’s death on the band’s Facebook page on Wednesday. He wrote:
“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 (sic) 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 (punk writer) Jim Carroll right now.”
Lanier, a one-time partner of singer Patti Smith, was a member of the Blue Oyster Cult for nearly 20 years, between 1967 and 1985. He left, but returned two years later.
He ultimately retired from touring in 2006, but returned to the stage for what would be his final show with the Blue Oyster Cult at their 40th Anniversary show in New York last November.
He co-wrote many of the band’s signature songs, including “True Confessions,” “Tenderloin,” and “Lonely Teardrops.”
Allen Lanier is survived by his wife Dory, sister Mary Anne, and mother Martha.