Alan Merrill, ‘I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’ songwriter, dies of coronavirus complications

He was the frontman of The Arrows

Alan Merrill, The Arrows frontman and one of the songwriters of ‘I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’, has died from complications caused by the coronavirus. He was 69 years old.

His daughter Laura Merrill announced her father’s passing in a Facebook post, saying she was notified of his death once she returned home after visiting him at the hospital.

“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,” Laura said on Facebook.

“By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone. How could this be? I was just at his show a couple of weeks ago. I had just photographed his portrait for his new album. Texted with him earlier. He played down the ‘cold’ he thought he had.”

The Arrows recorded one album, 1976’s ‘First Hit’. The London-based band were known for their ’70s song ‘I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’, which Merrill co-wrote with bandmate and guitarist Jake Hooker. Though the track was first recorded by The Arrows, it’s best known for Joan Jett and The Blackhearts’ ’80s rendition.

Merrill and his current group, the Alan Merrill Extravaganza, performed on stages up until very recently. He released his last solo album, ‘Radio Zero’, in 2019.

Upon learning of his passing, Jett posted a tribute to Merrill on Facebook.

“I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me,” Jett said. “With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”

I've just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and…

Posted by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Sunday, March 29, 2020

A number of musicians have died from COVID-19, including country songwriter Joe Diffie, Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango and New Orleans DJ Black N Mild.

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