Alan Merrill, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" Songwriter, Dies From Coronavirus

Alan Merrill

Alan Merrill, co-writer and singer of the original version of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" died at the age of 69 on Sunday (Feb. 29) from coronavirus complications, according to his daughter who shared the news on social media.

"The Coronavirus took my father this morning," Laura Merrill posted on her Facebook. "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."

Stressing the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, she continued, "How could this be? ... He played down the “cold” he thought he had. If anything can come of this I beg of you to take this seriously. Money doesn’t matter.  
People are dying."

"You don’t think It’ll happen to you or your strong family. It has. Stay home if not for you...for others. For my dad. This thing is real," urged Merrill's daughter.

Merrill, born Allan Preston Sachs in New York, formed the band the Arrows with drummer Paul Varley and guitarist Jake Hooker in 1974. The band released singles including a UK Top 10 hit "Touch Too Much."  A year later, Merrill and Hooker wrote "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," the classic tune that would eventually be recorded and released by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Their version went on to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1982. 

READ MORE: March 1982: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Hit No. 1 with "I Love Rock 'N' Roll"

As the news of Merrill's passing broke, Joan Jett paid her respects to him on Instagram, writing, "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. 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."

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