Very sad news from yesterday, Allen Lanier, the founding keyboardist and guitarist of Blue Oyster Cult, died from complications due to C.O.P.D. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). He was 66.

A post on the band's website says, "He is survived by his wife Dory, sister Mary Anne and mother Martha. Although he retired from touring in 2006, Allen returned to the stage for what turned out to be his final appearance, reuniting with BӦC at the 40th Anniversary show in New York this past November. Don't fear the reaper sweet man. We love you and miss you."

B.O.C. singer/guitarist Eric Bloom said in a statement, "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 B.O.C. 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 [with his friend, poet/rocker] Jim Carroll right now."

B.O.C. played in France Tuesday night and their next show is in Boston on Saturday.