Founding Blue Oyster Cult keyboardist and guitarist Allen Lanier has died at the age of 66 after being hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, according to the band's official Facebook page. Allen is the first person in the picture -- Ironic that he's holding a cigarette.

Founding Blue Oyster Cult multi-instrumentalist Allen Lanier died after being hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, according to the band’s Facebook page. He was 66. Lanier was with BOC from 1967 to 1985, returned two years later and officially retired in 2006. He had a hand in writing a number of the group’s songs, including “True Confessions,” “Tenderloin,” “Searchin’ for Celine” and “Lonely Teardrops.” BOC singer Eric Bloom posted on Facebook: “All BOC fans and band members will mourn his death. Ultimately smoking finally got to him. A lot of great memories, over 40 years’ worth.”

B.O.C. singer Eric Bloom paid tribute to his friend on his own Facebook page. Here is that statement in full:

"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 BOC 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 Jim Carroll right now."