Allen Lanier, keyboardist and original founding member of Blue Öyster Cult, passed away yesterday due to complications of C.O.P.D.
Allen was born on June 25th, 1946. He attended the University of North Carolina for two years, concentrating on playing blues guitar during that time. He was a strong six-string player who often got roped into playing keyboards just because he could. If you ever saw him play as I have many times, you know that’s a shame because Allen could rock out on guitar with the best.
He led a full life — a stint in the Army, a romantic relationship with Patti Smith (who would later make into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), collaborations with The Clash and The Dictators, and playing with John Cale and Jim Carroll. Here’s what band mate Eric Bloom had to say about his friend on Facebook:
“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.”
Rest easy Allen.