“I Love Rock And Roll” writer dies from coronavirus

Alan Merrill who wrote the iconic song “I Love Rock And Roll” has died from the coronavirus.

Merrill, aged 69, died in New York after suffering complications.

The musician was a founder member of the British-American punk band The Arrows.

The group originally released “I Love Rock And Roll” in 1975 as a B-side.

But it was quickly flipped.

Merrill said he wrote the song as a “kneejerk” reaction to the Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”.

It was Joan Jett & Blackhearts’ 1982 version that made Merrill’s song an international hit – topping the Billboard chart for seven weeks.

Joan had seen The Arrows perform the song on an ITV show – she said later she’d been “blown away”.

Laura Merrill confirmed her father’s death on her Facebook.

She wrote: ‘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 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.”

Joan Jett wrote on Twitter:

“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.

“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.”




About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

Back to Top ↑