Posted by Dana Category: LATEST NEWS

blueoystercultoriginal Allen Lanier, a founding member of Blue Oyster Cult, has died at 67 after being hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the band’s Facebook page.

“DFTR sweet man,” reads the post — an obvious reference to the band’s biggest hit, Don’t Fear the Reaper. “We love you and miss you.”

Lanier, who was best known as a keyboardist with the band, also was an accomplished guitar player.

Except for a two-year absence in the 1980s, Lanier was a member of Blue Oyster Cult beginning with their inception in 1967 until his retirement in 2006. He co-wrote several BOC songs, including Tenderloin, True Confessions and Lonely Teardrops. Lanier also contributed to music by Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, the Dictators and the Clash, among others. He dated Smith for several years during the ’70s.

Lanier joined his former bandmates in New York late last year (November 2012) during a concert commemorating the release of a career-spanning box set by Blue Oyster Cult.

BOC singer Eric Bloom paid tribute to Lanier on his personal Facebook page posting:

“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, who was born June 25, 1946, lived in New York City.

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  1. Great band! I got to see them a couple times, maybe a few years after their peak, but still with the original line-up and still putting out some good stuff. I’d put some of their riffs/songs up against anyone’s. “Cities On Flame” rules!

    If I remember right, I believe Al always seemed to have a cig going; I’m sure smoking had a large part to do with his passing.

    1. Bob, I agree; that was a great tour for both bands.

      I was disappointed that Dio was gone from Rainbow, but the band played a good set of material and played great–and for a little longer than the normal opening act as I recall. It was first time I had ever seen Roger Glover perform live with Ritchie Blackmore, though not the last thankfully.

      It was also the first time I saw BOC, and they were superb as the headline act. Mirrors was an album with great songs and a few stinkers, not many average tunes, but I recall them playing most or all of the excellent tunes, at least for the show that I saw.

      1. I remember that tour. Didn’t go but should have. I agree with Mirrors. Got a bad rap from the hard core fans, but it was basically a good rekkid.

        If you guys haven’t already, check out the UK Hotrails Blue Oyster Cult website. Incredible road stories and they have virtually every date BOC ever played listed on there with anecdotes from roadies and fans. Great read for any 1970s/80s rock and roll fan. Tons of behind the scenes info too. BOC roadies used to refer to Foghat as “Hogfat.” No love there between road crews.

        1. John G.–I assume that the problems between the road crews resulted from events on BOC’s 1981 Fire of Unknown Origins tour, with Foghat as the opening act. The September ’81 show in Pittsburgh was great for both acts.

          Thanks for the info about the Web site. I’ll check it out!

          1. I’ve now been to almost 50 BOC shows and bar none, the Rainbow opening for BOC at The Memorial Auditorium at Buffalo, NY was the greatest of them all. Rainbow had the only drum solo that didn’t bore the crap out of me, and I am a huge fan of Albert on a professional and personal basis, one of my favorite human beings in fact. But, holy balls, that was great. I got to see the tour twice that year, my brother worked at a fire supply store, CO2 was a major need for the 20 foot Godzilla. So, back stage it was for the Buffalo show.

            On another note, during that BOC/Rainbow show, I’d been wearing jean shorts and a concert tee. Crazily, I’d bought my first QP of Mexican ever that night, arranged the day before. Man, I was not prepared for that deal. Money was so small, a QP of weed was so BIG! And I didn’t even have a jacket to hide it in! I walked out that night with a “groin” the size of a loaf of bread.

  2. RIP Allen – a terrific musician and very under-rated keyboard player. Listen to his keyboard solos on Buck’s Boogie, Flaming Telepaths, and beginning of Joan Crawford. Awesome fill work as well with such songs as Career of Evil, Take Me Away, Veterans of Psychic War, Astronomy, etc….

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