Alan Merrill, Rock Musician Who Co-Wrote ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Dies at 69 of Coronavirus

Merrill was the first to record the rock classic in 1975 with his band the Arrows

Last Updated: March 30, 2020 @ 6:24 AM

American rock musician Alan Merrill, best known for co-writing and recording the original version of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” died Sunday of complications from the coronavirus. He was 69.

“The Coronavirus took my father this morning,” his daughter Laura Merrill said in a statement on Facebook. “I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out.”

Merrill is best known for “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which he recorded in 1975 with his band The Arrows along with guitarist Jake Hooker and drummer Paul Varley. The band’s other singles included “Touch Too Much” and “My Last Night With You.” After The Arrows broke up in 1977, Merrill went on to a solo career and continued performing until a few weeks ago.

Joan Jett paid tribute to Merrill on Sunday, recalling the first time she heard the song before she scored her biggest hit with a 1982 cover that spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. charts.

“I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me,” she wrote. “With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”

Meat Loaf, in whose band Merrill played for four years, also paid tribute. “He was such a great human being and very talented one,” he wrote on Facebook.

Alan MerrillI am very very sad right now as I start to write this. Alan was a member of our band for 4 years. He was…

Posted by Meat Loaf on Sunday, March 29, 2020