The man behind Joan Jett & the Blackhearts‘ #1 hit “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” died from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Alan Merrill, a veteran singer/guitarist who co-wrote the song in 1975 for his band The Arrows, was 69.
Merrill’s passing daughter Laura confirmed his passing on Facebook on Sunday, “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.”
She went on to reveal that, shortly after her visit, he passed. “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,” she grieved. “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.”
Jett also paid tribute on Sunday, “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.”
Added the singer, ” 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.”
“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” became a global success after Jett and her band covered it in 1982.
Besides pursuing a solo career, Merrill also played with Rick Derringer and Meat Loaf.
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