Allen Lanier

Allen Glover Lanier (/ləˈnɪər/; June 25, 1946 – August 14, 2013)[1] was an American musician who played keyboards and rhythm guitar. He was an original member of Blue Öyster Cult.

Allen Lanier
Lanier performing in 2006
Lanier performing in 2006
Background information
Birth nameAllen Glover Lanier
BornJune 25, 1946
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
DiedAugust 14, 2013(2013-08-14) (aged 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Keyboards
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active1961–2007, 2012

Lanier wrote several songs for Blue Öyster Cult albums, including "True Confessions", "Tenderloin", "Searchin' for Celine", "In Thee", and "Lonely Teardrops". In addition to his work with Blue Öyster Cult, he also contributed to music by Patti Smith, John Cale, Jim Carroll, The Dictators and The Clash, among others. He lived with Patti Smith in Manhattan for several years during the 1970s.[2][3]

Lanier first performed with the band (then known as Soft White Underbelly) in 1967. He left the group in 1985, and was replaced by Tommy Zvoncheck (of Clarence Clemons and Public Image Ltd fame).[4] Lanier returned to the band in 1987, touring constantly until the fall of 2006.

Without any official announcement from Blue Öyster Cult, the band's line-up photograph was updated to remove Lanier, and a brief mention on the page for Richie Castellano has the following to say: "Since the retirement of Allen Lanier, Richie has switched over to the guitars/keyboards position, both of which he's quite the master!".[5] That would seem to indicate that Allen Lanier retired from both Blue Öyster Cult and music in 2007, having played his last concert with them in late 2006. He would rejoin them for their 40th anniversary concert in New York in November 2012, which proved to be his last appearance with the band.

Lanier's death was announced by Blue Öyster Cult on August 14, 2013. According to their official Facebook page, "Allen succumbed to complications from C.O.P.D." Lead singer Eric Bloom posted the following:[6]

"My great friend Allen Lanier has passed. I'll miss the guy even though we hadn't spoken in a while. 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, more than 40 years' worth. Maybe he's playing a tune with Jim Carroll right now."


Blue Öyster CultEdit

Studio albums


  1. ^ Allen Lanier: Founder-member of Blue Öyster Cult
  2. ^ Almanac of Famous People: Biographies - Jennifer Mossman - Google Books. 2001. ISBN 9780787647933. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "patti smith: _acid_rock_ 11/77". Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "Tommy Zvoncheck". Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  5. ^ "Blue Oyster Cult Official Site - Richie Castellano". Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
  6. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved September 3, 2013.

External linksEdit