NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Allen Lanier, a founding member, and longtime keyboardist/rhythm guitarist for the iconic heavy metal band Blue Öyster Cult has died after being hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was 66 at the time of his passing.
Lanier first performed with what would become BOC when they were known as Soft White Underbelly in 1967 and performing with the group until departing for a brief hiatus in 1985. He rejoined the group in 1987 and continued to tour and perform until his retirement in 2006.
During his tenure, he also wrote songs that appeared on several of the group's albums, including "True Confessions", "Tenderloin", "Searchin' for Celine", "In Thee" and "Lonely Teardrops" as well as contributing to music for Patti Smith, whom he dated for several years; as well as to to Jim Carroll, The Clash and New York-based punk rock group The Dictators.
In November 2012, Lanier joined BOC at the Best Buy Theate in New York to commmemorate the release of a retrospective boxed set that spanned the group's long career.
In a post on the band's Facebook page, BOC frontman Eric Bloom wrote: “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.” – Staff Writers