'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' writer Alan Merrill dies from coronavirus

News 31/03/2020

Alan Merrill, the writer of the iconic song, 'I Love Rock'  N' Roll' has died from contracting coronavirus.

Confirmed by his daughter, Laura, the 69-year-old was a victim of the global pandemic. "The coronavirus took my father this morning. I was given two 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," she wrote.

"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."

The Arrows

The NY-born Merrill formed The Arrows with drummer Paul Varley and guitarist Jake Hooker in 1974 in London. Signed to RAK Records, the band released two singles. He went on to compose 'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' a year later but failed to hit the charts. However, in 1982, Joan Jett made it a huge hit that was the third-best selling single of the year.

"I've just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed," Jett expressed. "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."

In a 2009 interview, Merrill described the song as a "knee-jerk response" to the 1974 Stones song, 'It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It) as well as to frontman Mick Jagger's elite social circle whom he referred as "jet-set princes and princesses".

That was my interpretation as a young man: OK, I love rock ’n’ roll.

American singer/actor Meat Loaf wrote, "I am very very sad right now as I start to write this. Alan was a member of our band for four years. He was such a great human being and very talented one. He passed away yesterday from the coronavirus. I am really sad. I have not kept in touch with Alan and that makes me feel even worse. Let this be a lesson to all of us, try to stay in touch with the people you really love and care about. Life is very short. Alan I am sorry that I didn't reach out to you years ago. I love you very much."