Singer, electric guitar player and bassist Alan Merrill, who was best known for the co-writing of the song “I Love Rock ‘N Roll,” as well as the frontman of the rockers Arrows, died from complications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in New York City, USA on March 29, 2020. He was 69 years old.
Merrill’s death was confirmed via a Facebook post by his daughter, Laura. She wrote:
“I’ve been trying to sleep but I can’t. I woke up normally yesterday with the world at my feet and now today I lay here empty. I’ve always been very open here on social media because I believe sharing your experiences both good and bad can be healing, not just to myself but others.”
“The Coronavirus took my father this morning. 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 block 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. 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,” she wrote.
“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. We probably won’t be able to mourn him properly with a funeral. I just lost the greatest love of my life and won’t be able to hug anyone because I’ve been exposed and need to self-quarantine for two weeks….alone.I don’t know how to process this. I’ll need all of you to help me with that. Please stay safe. No one is immune to this and it is very real!” she finished.
Alan Merrill was best known as the vocalist and a bass guitarist of the British rock band Arrows. The song “I Love Rock N’ Roll” was recorded in 1975, and was written by Merrill and the guitarist Jake Hooker.
Later, the song was covered by several well-known performers. The most famous cover version of the song was recorded in 1982 by the American singer Joan Jett, after which the song became a worldwide hit. Her version was a viral hit and number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks.
Following his passing, Joan Jett paid tribute to Merrill in a tweet, writing:
“I just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends, and the 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 said.”
Rest in Peace,