Alan Merrill Flies Away

Mostly remembered by “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – a song he co-penned in 1975 while in THE ARROWS and taken to the top of the charts by Joan Jett in 1982 – Alan Merrill, who passed away on March 29th, aged 69, from coronavirus, always refused to be defined by this single piece. Of course, the veteran had to deliver it every time he hit the stage, but Alan used to find much more pride – even recently – in VODKA COLLINS, a glam-rock group formed in the early ’70s when the American artist, having passed an audition for THE LEFT BANKE and released a solo album, worked in Japan trying to shake off his teenage heartthrob image.

Still, Merrill had to use it after signing with Mickie Most’s RAK label stable in London and working alongside Suzi Quatro and SMOKIE, although the sonic edge he was after never really went away to come to the fore again once Alan joined forces with Rick Derringer in 1980 before going solo once more and having Lou Rawls record his “When The Night Comes” – the first song to be played in outer space. There would be more endeavors, including stint with Meat Loaf and VC’s resurrection, and the veteran carried on playing – Merrill played his last-ever concert only a couple of weeks ago – and laying down new tracks. There’s a fresh album waiting to be out; sadly, Alan – a sweet, sweet person – won’t be with us to enjoy it.

Sweet dreams, rock ‘n’ roller.

March 29, 2020

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