Fans of classic rock and early heavy metal were saddened to hear of the passing of Blue Oyster Cult’s Allen Lanier yesterday from heart disease at the age of 67. Lanier was a founding member of the group, playing keyboards and guitar on their seminal records of the 1970s and early ‘80s which blended atypical proto-metal riffing with art rock flourishes and cryptic lyrics inspired by science-fiction and fantasy novels. The group were a major concert attraction throughout the 1970s and have been cited as an influence by a diverse array of bands including first generation Australian punk rockers Radio Birdman, indie rock legends the Minutemen, metal titans Metallica, the jam band moe. and modern horror rockers Ghost B.C. Besides his work with B.O.C., Allen Lanier was an esteemed sideman and session musician, most notably contributing to albums by former-girlfriend Patti Smith and poet-turned rock singer Jim Carroll.
Allen Lanier left Blue Oyster Cult in 1985 only to re-join three years later in 1987. He ultimately retired from touring in 2006 though appeared at the band’s 40th Anniversary show in New York City in November of 2012. B.O.C. guitarist and singer Buck Dharma recently appeared on That Metal Show to talk about the show, the band’s early days and their lasting influence.