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Blue Öyster Cult Founding Member Allen Lanier Dies at 67

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.”

(Photo: Otama/Flickr/Wikimedia)

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About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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