Allen Lanier, a founding member of classic hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, died Wednesday from complications stemming from COPD, according to a statement released by the band. He was 67 years old.
Lanier played guitars and keyboards for the band, and occasionally sang, as well. He appeared on all fourteen Blue Öyster Cult studio recordings, and although he officially left the band in 2006, he reunited with them in 2012 for a special anniversary performance.
BOC lead singer Eric Bloom eulogized Lanier in a statement 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 said. “He was so talented as a musician and a thinker…All BOC fans and band members will mourn his death. Ultimately smoking finally got to him.” Bloom went on to say it was Lanier who first recommended to the band (then known as Soft White Underbelly) that they consider Bloom as the lead vocalist.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a lung disease marked by deterioration of lung tissue and shortness of breath, largely associated with extended tobacco use. Lanier had reportedly been hospitalized for COPD prior to his passing.
Using an abbreviation referencing one of their greatest hits, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” the statement from Blue Öyster Cult concludes with, “DFTR sweet man. We love you and miss you.”
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