NEW YORK — Alan Merrill, best known for writing the hit song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” died Sunday morning after experiencing coronavirus complications. He was 69.
“I was given two minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out,” she wrote of Merrill, who also was a guitarist and vocalist. “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.”
She said she walked home and received the news of his death by the time she reached her apartment.
“I’ve made a million jokes about the ‘Rona’ and how it’ll ‘getcha’ … boy, do I feel stupid,” she continued. “If anything can come of this, I beg of you to take this seriously. Money doesn’t matter. People are dying. You don’t think it’ll happen to you or your strong family. It has.”
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was originally released by the Arrows, a band Merrill was part of, in 1975, according to “Entertainment Tonight.” Seven years later, rocker Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released a version of the song, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the outlet reported.
Jett took to Twitter to pay tribute to Merrill on Sunday, sending “thoughts and love” to his loved ones and the 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,” Jett wrote. “With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) March 29, 2020
News of Merrill’s death came the same day that country music star Joe Diffie died from the virus, “ET” reported.