Allen Lanier, a founding member of Blue Öyster Cult, has died after complications from lung disease. The keyboardist and guitarist was 67.
“We have extremely sad news to report,” the statement reads. “We’ve lost our friend and bandmate Allen Lanier. Allen succumbed to complications from C.O.P.D.” The band later says, “DFTR sweet man. We love you and miss you,” with “DFTR” referring to their hit “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”
Lanier co-founded the group with guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, original singer Les Braunstein, bassist Andrew Winters and drummer Albert Bouchard in the late ‘60s, and appeared on all fourteen of BӦC’s studio albums. Lanier retired from touring in 2006, but he reunited with the band on-stage for a 40th anniversary show in New York last November.
Eric Bloom, who replaced Les Braunstein as BӦC’s lead singer in 1969, paid tribute to his friend on his Facebook page:
My great friend Allen Lanier has passed. I’ll miss the guy even though we hadn’t spoken in awhile. 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 is survived by his wife Dory, sister Mary Anne and mother Martha.