Allen Glover Lanier, the founding member of Blue Oyster Cult, passed away Wednesday night according to the band’s Facebook page. He was 67.
In the message to their fans, the group included a note to Lanier - “DFTR sweet man. We love you and miss you.” DFTR stands for “Don’t Fear The Reaper” which was one of the band’s biggest songs in 1976 and is still incredibly well known today.
Lanier suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD. According to the National Institutes of Health, COPD makes breathing extremely difficult; the disease is primarily caused by cigarette smoking and is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The keyboardist and guitarist was born June 25, 1946 in Long Island, New York.
When the band formed in the ‘60s, they originally called themselves Soft White Underbelly. A turning point in the band’s career came when they were asked to play at a swinger’s party and met a man by the name of David Lucas. Lucas offered the band to use his studio where they produced two demos. The first one failed but the other got them through the door to Columbia and an audition with Columbia president, Clive Davis. In a small conference room at the CBS building in New York, the band was awarded a contract. At that time, Sandy Pearlman, a band member, then named the group to Blue Oyster Cult. Their first album as Blue Oyster Cult debuted in 1972.
Lanier wrote several songs for the band’s albums such as "True Confessions", "Tenderloin", "Searchin' for Celine", "In Thee" and "Lonely Teardrops."
According to the band’s statement, “Although he retired from touring in 2006, Allen returned to the stage for what turned out to be his final appearance, reuniting with BOC at the 40th Anniversary show in New York this past November.”
Lanier is survived by his wife Dory, his sister Mary Anne and his mother Martha.
Photo Courtesy of Blue Oyster Cult's Facebook Page.