I first heard Blue Öyster Cult on their release of Tyranny And Mutation, their second album. What led me to that 1973 album was an FM play of “Hot Rails To Hell”. Since then, I followed the band’s output through pretty much everything they did. My last purchase of a BÖC album was Fire Of Unknown Origin. But I was becoming stressed by Cultosaurus Erectus, and I purchased Fire Of Unknown Origin with caution, and largely on the strength of “Burnin’ For You”. My last absolute favorite was Spectres. Because it was a perfect album.
I bring all this up as a kind of remembrance because Allen Lanier has passed. Allen was an original member of the band, probably with the most Rock persona attitude of the band. At one time, he even dated Patti Smith. Dating Patti Smith during the period of her most famous years was, well…just cool.
But eventually he was unable to sustain a standing relationship with Blue Öyster Cult, because illness had begun to overtake him. He retired from the band but played for their 40th Anniversary.
On August 14, at the too young age of 67, Allen Lanier died of complications of COPD, a lung disease largely caused by smoking. The fame of Blue Öyster Cult is not in what they do now; their fame is in their past works. I still remember waiting for the release of Spectres. In fact, I still play it frequently. The jarring notice that Allen Lanier has passed has, once again, served me with shock and unease.
The Great Band has gained a new musician. But we are saddened by his departure. Write a new song, Allen.