Alan Merrill, 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' Songwriter, Dies at 69 From Coronavirus Complications
By Jennifer Drysdale
Neil H Kitson/Redferns
Rest in peace, Alan Merrill.
The guitarist, vocalist and songwriter -- best known for writing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" -- died on Sunday from complications due to coronavirus. He was 69.
Merrill's daughter, Laura, mourned her father's death on Facebook on Sunday. "The Coronavirus took my father this morning," she wrote. "I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen. I walked 50 blocks home still with hope in my heart. The city that I knew was empty. I felt I was the only person here and perhaps in many ways I was. By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone."
Merrill originally wrote and recorded "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" while he was a member of the band the Arrows, who released the track in 1975. It would later become an iconic song -- and a huge hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, when they topped the charts with it in 1982.
Jett honored Merrill on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
"I've just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole," she said. "I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me. With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side."
Merrill is the latest celebrity to have died of complications from coronavirus. Earlier on Sunday, country legend Joe Diffie's family announced he had died, following the deaths of Top Chef Masters star Floyd Cardoz and playwright Terrence McNally.