Singer-Songwriter Alan Merrill Dies Of COVID-19 Complications


Alan Merrill, who co-wrote the enduring anthem “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” – a signature hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – died Sunday morning in New York of complications from the coronavirus. He was 69.

Daughter Laura Merrill said in a Facebook post that the former Arrows singer “seemed peaceful” when she was given two minutes at the hospital “to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out."

She added: "You were more than a were one of my best friends ... For you to be taken so suddenly has my head spinning. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You had so many more years to thrive. So many more years to smile and crack jokes. Repeat your stories over and over."

Merrill and bandmate Jake Hooker (who died in 2014) wrote “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” which The Arrows recorded in 1975. A cover by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts went to No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982.

“I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me,” Jett recalled on social media. “My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole.

“With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”

Meat Loaf also paid tribute to Merrill. "Alan was a member of our band for 4 years. He was such a great human being and very talented one," the rocker wrote. "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."

Merrill was born Allan Preston Sachs in New York City and attended a British boarding school in Switzerland. He moved to Japan, where he had a successful music career both as frontman for The Lead and Vodka Collins and as a solo artist. He also acted on a popular Japanese TV drama and did modelling. 

Merill formed The Arrows in London in 1974 and quickly scored hits like “Touch Too Much” and “My Last Night With You.”

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