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'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' Songwriter Alan Merrill Dead at 69 of COVID-19

'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' Songwriter Alan Merrill Dead at 69 of COVID-19
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Alan Merrill, who co-wrote the classic tune "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," died Sunday at 69 due to complications of COVID-19.

Billboard reports that Merrill's daughter, Laura Merrill, reported her dad's death on Facebook.

She wrote, "I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left 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. By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone."

"How could this be?" she went on. "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. 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."


Merrill was born February 19, 1951, in the Bronx to jazz musician Aaron Sachs, who died in 2014, and singer Helen Merrill. By 1971, he was a pop star in Japan. He was a founding member of the band Arrows with Paul Varley and Jake Hooker. The band was a sensation, and had their own TV show in the UK called "Arrows" (1976-1977). With Hooker, he wrote the band's single "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" in 1975, a tune covered in 1982 by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who took it to #1.

Jett memorialized Merrill 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 🖤."

Merrill, who also modeled, went on to co-found the rock act Runner and to perform with Rick Derringer and with Vodka Collins, as well as to release solo work.

At the time of his death, Merrill was gearing up for the April release of a solo album entitled "It's Always Rock N Roll."

Merrill is survived by his daughter and his mother.

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