Alan Merrill – who wrote the song â€œI Love Rock and Roll” that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett – died Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69.
Laura Merrill said on her Facebook account that he died in the morning.
â€œI 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 wouldnâ€™t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen,” she wrote. â€œI 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.”
Merrill said her father was in good spirits recently. She went to a show of his about two weeks ago and had taken a photograph of him for his new album, Merrill said.
â€œHe played down the â€˜cold’ he thought he had,” she said. â€œIâ€™ve made a million jokes about the â€˜Rona’ and how itâ€™ll â€œgetchaâ€… boy do I feel stupid.”
Jett scored a major hit with â€œI Love Rock and Roll” in 1982. Alan Merrill wrote the song for his band The Arrows and recorded it in 1975.
On her Twitter account, Jett wrote: â€œIâ€™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.â€
Merrill was born in New York and grew up in Switzerland, Los Angeles and Japan before starting his music career in New York.