Allen Lanier, founding member and keyboardist/guitarist of Blue Oyster Cult, died Wednesday of chronic lung disease, a complication from years of smoking. He was 67.
"We have extremely sad news to report. We've lost our friend and bandmate Allen Lanier. Allen succumbed to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," the band said in a statement on its website Wednesday
. "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 BOC at the 40th Anniversary show in New York this past November. 'Don't fear the reaper' sweet man. We love you and miss you."
Lanier was an original member of the hard rock and heavy metal band, which got together in 1967. He played with Blue Oyster Cult for nearly 20 years before leaving briefly in the mid-1980s, only to return in 1987.
Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now
"My great friend Allen Lanier has passed," BOC front man Eric Bloom wrote on the band's Facebook page Wednesday. "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."
Indeed, Blue Oyster Cult fans took to Twitter to remember the man who contributed to hits like "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," "Godzilla," and "Burnin' for You."
Urgent: Should Obamacare be Repealed? Vote Here Now
Legendary Blues Singer Bobby 'Blue' Bland Dies at 83
'Ten Years' British Blues Band Guitarist Alvin Lee Dies at 68
Cold War Pianist Van Cliburn, 78, Dies of Cancer
© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.