'I Love Rock and Roll' writer Alan Merrill dies from coronavirus

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Alan Merrill has died from the coronavirus. Photo: Getty

Rockstar Alan Merrill – who co-wrote the song ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ – died aged 69 on Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus.

Laura Merrill shared the news on her Facebook account.

“I was given two minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out,” she said.

“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.”

Laura said her father was in good spirits recently. She went to a show of his about two weeks ago and had taken a photograph of him for his new album.

“He played down the ‘cold' he thought he had,” Laura said. “I’ve made a million jokes about the ‘Rona' and how it’ll “getcha”... boy do I feel stupid.”

Joan Jett scored a major hit with ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ in 1982. Alan Merrill wrote the song for his band The Arrows and recorded it in 1975.

On her Twitter account, Jett wrote: “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 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.”

Alan Merrill was born in New York and grew up in Switzerland, Los Angeles and Japan before starting his music career in New York.

Alan isn’t the first celebrity to succumb to the global pandemic.

Last week, actor Mark Blum died after contracting coronavirus and developing complications. He was also 69.

Mark, who appeared in such films as Crocodile Dundee and played Madonna's love interest in the iconic 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan tragically passed away.

Off-Broadway theatre Playwrights Horizons confirmed the news with a statement on Twitter which read: "With love and heavy hearts, Playwrights Horizons pays tribute to Mark Blum, a dear longtime friend and a consummate artist who passed this week. Thank you, Mark, for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you. (sic)"

And actress Rosanna Arquette - who starred alongside Mark as his onscreen wife in Susan - also confirmed the tragic news, after she was informed by author Sharon Waxman.

With additional reporting by AP.

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