Blue Öyster Cult (often abbreviated BÖC) is an American rock band from Long Island, New York, United States, best known for such hard rock and heavy metal songs as “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper“, “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You“. Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1972, the band has sold over 24 million albums worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone.
The band’s music videos, especially “Burnin’ for You”, received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band’s contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern pop culture. Today, BÖC’s music continues to be played on AOR-friendly radio stations as well as in movies, television shows, and commercials, and even during sporting events.
Blue Öyster Cult’s current lineup includes long-time members Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (lead guitar, vocals) and Eric Bloom (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard), as well as Jules Radino (drums, percussion), Richie Castellano (keyboard, guitar, vocals), and Kasim Sulton (bass guitar).
Allen Lanier (June 25, 1946 – August 14, 2013) was an original member of Blue Öyster Cult. Lanier played keyboards and rhythm guitar. He resided in Manhattan.
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 Oyster Cult, he also contributed to music by Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, The Dictators and The Clash, among others. He dated Patti Smith for several years during the 1970s.
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). He returned in 1987. He retired from performing with them after the autumn of 2006.
Without any official announcement from Blue Öyster Cult, the band’s line-up photograph was updated to remove Allen, 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!”, which 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 ever appearance with the band.
Allen’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:
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. (Source: Wikipedia)
||(Don’t Fear) The Reaper
||Burnin’ for You
||Dancin’ in the Ruins
||Take Me Away
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||Goin’ Through the Motions
||You’re Not the One (I Was Looking for)
||The Marshall Plan