Songwriter Alan Merrill died March 29 in New York City at the age of 69 as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus.

Daughter Laura relayed that she was allowed to spent only two minutes with her father before he died. She noted that her father thought he had a cold and was just playing it down.

Wife Joanna recounted that even though her husband was getting sicker, he was not allowed to be admitted to the hospital. It wasn’t until he was having a great deal of difficulty breathing that he was admitted to the hospital where he died 14 hours later.

A prolific songwriter, Merrill is best known for the signature hit song by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll”. Merrill wrote the song in 1975 and was recorded by his band The Arrows.

Merrill last performed two weeks ago.

Merrill formed The Arrows in 1974 in London with Merrill on vocals. His other bands include Runner and Vodka Collins.

His music has been recorded by Lou Rawls,Rick Derringer, Chuck Jackson, Britney Spears, Runner, Freddie Scott, Felix Cavaliere, Queen Of Japan, Vodka Collins, Joan Jett, Five, Dan Penn, Mickey Curtis, The Arrows, Spooner Oldham, Reverend Run, Tensaw, George Collis Band, Monsieur Kamayatsu, Ramon Bugatti, Phoenix, Dragon Ash, Catherine Howe, Miley Cyrus, Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Mari Kaneko, The Grand, Forever Young, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Shinohara Nobuhiko, Tiny Tim, Taylor-Neely Band, LA Guns, The Toys, Superfly, Christina Aguilera, Rolly and Troy Turner.

Merrill’s compositions appeared in dozens of film and television productions including variety and concert shows, “Flashdance”, “Where the Boys Are”, “Miles from Home”, “Wayne’s World 2”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “The King of Queens”, “Smallville”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “ER”, “Casal Rock”, “Vegas”, and “The Simpsons”.

Allan Preston Sachs was born February 19, 1951 in the Bronx, New York to a Ashkenazi Jewishwoodwind player father and a Croatian singer mother. During the course of his life he lived in Switzerland, Japan, London, Los Angeles, and New York City.

While living in Japan, Merrill appeared in a number of television commercials including Nissan, Jun clothing, and GT jeans.

He also worked as an actor in a few productions including the television series “Iltatahti”, “Encyclopedia Brown”, “ReAgitator: Revenge of the Parody”, and “The Life and Time of Gloria Swizzle”. “Shakespear’s Sh*tstorm” is in post production and “Spirit Riser” was being filmed at the time of his death.

Predeceased by his first wife, Merrill’s survivors include wife Joanna and daughter Laura.


feature photo credit: By Vanwalker – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,