Allen Lanier, who co-founded iconic 1970s rock band Blue Oyster Cult and went on to collaborate with (and romance) Patti Smith, died Wednesday at age 67. Lanier, a longtime smoker, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Rolling Stone reports. "It wasn't a big surprise," says bandmate Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser. "But it feels like the circle is broken." Lanier, Roeser, Albert Bouchard, and Andrew Winters started playing together in the '60s; BOC singer Eric Bloom joined them later, at Lanier's suggestion.
The guitarist and keyboardist wrote two of the tracks on Agents of Fortune, the band's biggest album, but for the most part he laid low, Roeser recalls. "Sometimes his songs and lyrics were under-represented in the band, but he always had notebooks filled with stuff. I'd say, 'Allen, we have to record some of this.' I've never been to his apartment, put it that way." Lanier went on to work with Smith and others; he gave Smith the horse pin she wears on her jacket on the cover of Horses. He left and re-joined BOC in the 1980s, and remained with the band until retiring in 2006. He appeared at a reunion show last November. (Read more Blue ?yster Cult stories.)