Alan Merrill, who co-wrote the 1982 hit “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” has passed away due to complications from the coronavirus.
“I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out,” his daughter, Laura, said on Facebook as she announced his death Sunday morning. “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 home in my heart,” Laura continued. “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 co-wrote the hit song with Jake Hooker and recorded it with his band, The Arrows, in 1975. But, it wasn’t until Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ release of the cover version in 1982 that the song went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the No. 3 song of ’82. Jett’s version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016.
In the wake of Merrill’s passing, Jett took to Twitter to mourn his death.
“I’ve just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed,” Jett wrote. “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 otherside.”
On Monday Morning, Laura shared photos of her father, and reflected on their past two weeks together.
“As thick as thieves daddy. You were more than a father…you were one of my best friends. We spoke EVERYDAY. We’ve been through what feels like war together. For you to be taken so suddenly has my head spinning,” Laura wrote. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You had so many more years to thrive. So many more years to smile and crack jokes. Repeat your stories over and over. The last 24 hours have been a daze.”
“It hasn’t seeped in. Even at 42, I was always Daddys little girl. Everything I did was to make you proud. I look at some of these pictures, and they were just taken weeks ago,” she continued. “How? Why? You were my protector and my hero. When I say the world is dimmer with out you here, I really mean it. You were one in a million. The MOST poetic and beautiful songwriter of a generation but more so the most selfless and loving soul to walk this earth. You were always there. What am I going to do without you? I’m lost. Daddy, I love you so much this pain is unbearable. I don’t fear death because I know you’ll be there in the other side. I love you forever. Alan Merrill Rest easy.”
Merrill was 69.