Blue Öyster Cult founding member Allen Lanier has died aged 67.
The band confirmed the news via their official website and revealed that the multi-instrumentalist had passed away following a lengthy battle with lung cancer and had “succumbed to complications from COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease]”. “We’ve lost our friend and bandmate,” they said, referencing their single “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by adding: “DFTR sweet man. We love and miss you.”
Meanwhile, Blue Öyster Cult frontman Eric Bloom paid tribute to Lanier with a post on the group’s Facebook account. “I’ll miss the guy even though we hadn’t spoken in a while,” he said. “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.”
He went on to add: “Ultimately smoking finally got to him. He had been hospitalised with COPD. 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 [late poet and musician] Jim Carroll right now.”
Lanier began performing with Blue Öyster Cult in 1967 and contributed to all 14 of the band’s studio albums. He made his last appearance with the band in 2012 when he joined them in New York for a 40th anniversary concert and, over the course of his career, also contributed to music by the likes of The Clash and his former girlfriend Patti Smith.