The Tragic Detail About Blue Öyster Cult Founder Allen Lanier
Due to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Blue Öyster Cult co-founder Allen Lanier passed away on August 14, 2013. He was an original member, songwriter, keyboardist, and the band’s rhythm guitarist. He put his signature to some of the band’s well-known songs like ‘Lonely Teardrops,’ ‘Searchin’ for Celine,’ and ‘True Confessions.’ Lanier contributed to the thirteen Blue Öyster Cult studio albums and helped the band establish their reputation as one of the most prominent rock acts of the 1970s.
Lanier remained a member of Blue Öyster Cult, beginning with the band’s formation in 1967 until his retirement in 2007. He was just absent for two years between 1985 and 1987. He played his last concert with the band in late 2006, and his last appearance before his death, on the other hand, was in 2012 for the band’s 40th-anniversary concert.
In addition to his long-term tenure in Blue Öyster Cult, Allen Lanier also worked with many notable names such as Patti Smith, The Clash, The Dictators, John Cale of the Velvet Underground, and many others. Another famous name Allen worked with was Jim Carroll, with whom he co-wrote several songs. Lanier was undoubtedly a great support to Carroll from the beginning of his music career and now let’s take a closer look at the relationship between the two musicians.
How Did Allen Lanier And Jim Carroll Come Together?
We need to look at Jim Carroll’s music career to uncover the association between him and Allen Lanier, but he was mostly known for his literary life. Carroll’s most famous work was his autobiographical book, ‘The Basketball Diaries,‘ which later turned into a movie of the same title featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll. He was also an established poet who released several poetry books.
When Jim Carroll moved to California to overcome his heroin addiction, he shared the same circuit with many celebrated musicians like Patti Smith and Lou Reed, which paved the way for his entry into the music scene. Encouraged by Patti Smith, Carroll formed a new wave/punk rock band and signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The band released their debut album, ‘Catholic Boy,‘ in 1980.
Allen Lanier and Jim Carroll were both good friends, and they also had a creative musical partnership. Lanier co-wrote the song, ‘Day and Night,’ with Carroll in his debut album, and he also contributed to some keyboard and guitar parts. Later on, they also co-wrote the song, ‘Dance The Night Away,’ from Carroll’s third album. Lanier was always one of the people who stood by Carroll and supported his music career.
After Lanier died in 2013, his former bandmate Eric Bloom posted a touching statement on the band’s Facebook page. Bloom praised both his musicianship and also intellectual side. He revealed that it was Lanier who encouraged him to be a singer, and they shared great memories over the years. The interesting point in Bloom’s message was his reference to the relationship between Allen and Jim Carroll. Bloom wrote that maybe the two were together playing a tune over there.
Here is what Eric Bloom wrote after Allen Lanier’s passing:
“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 Blue Öyster Cult fans and band members will mourn his death. Ultimately smoking finally got to him. He had been hospitalized with chronic inflammatory lung disease. 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.”
Jim Carroll died on September 11, 2009, before Allen Lanier. It was an essential detail that Eric Bloom recalled Lanier’s close connection with Jim Carroll in his post. Carroll also worked with other Blue Öyster Cult members in the later years, so he probably knew all of them. Bloom must have witnessed the intimate bond between the two, especially on the musical level, that he imagined the two playing together again.