“The Coronavirus took my father this morning,” said Laura Merrill in her Facebook post. “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.”
Born in the Bronx in New York City, Merrill was a member of the band The Arrows along with drummer Paul Varley and guitarist Jake Hooker. While in the band, he wrote the song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” which the band released in 1975. The song would later become a chart topper for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts in 1982.
Musician Joan Jett also took to social media to express her condolences. “I’ve just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed,” Jett wrote on Twitter. “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.”
In addition, Merrill teamed with musician Grammy Award-winning producer Rick Derringer for three albums and in 1983, recorded a self-titled solo album.
He teamed with Meat Loaf on many projects and was offered a role on the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown as Casey Sparkz in 1989. He continued to release albums in the late ‘90s and through the ‘00s and hosted the television series, Across the Pond for the MyJam Music Network.