Alan Merrill

Alan Merrill was an American vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and model who got popularity all over the world with his bands, “The Lead and Vodka Collins”. Merrill was popularly known to be the first Westerner musician to achieve pop star status in Japan. He was best recognized for his song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, which he wrote and originally performed. On March 29, 2020, Merridd died at the age of 69 due to the complication of the ongoing global pandemic of COVID 19.

What is Alan Merriss Cause of Death?

Alan Merrill passed away at the age of 69 on Sunday morning, March 29, 2020, from complications due to the ongoing global pandemic of (COVID-19). His daughter, Laura Merrill confirmed his death in a Facebook post claiming that it’s not safe for anyone. She also shared her experience as she was given only 2 minutes to say goodbye to his dad, hoping he would be back from the disease but as soon as she reached her home, she got the news that he was gone.

What was Alan Merrill Famous for?

  • Famous as the first Westerner musician to achieve pop star status in Japan.


Where was Alan Merrill Born?

Alan Merrill was born on February 19, 1951, in The Bronx, New York, United States. His birth name was Alan Merrill. His nationality was American. Merrill belonged to White ethnicity while Pisces was his zodiac sign.

Merrill was born in a well-to-do family to two jazz musicians. He was the son of Aaron Sachs(father) and Helen Merrill(mother). His father was a saxophone/clarinet player while his mother was a jazz vocalist.

He attended Arizona College in Switzerland when he was 9 until 13. After then he returned to the US and attended various schools in New York and Los Angeles. He later joined Sophia University in Japan.

Merrill had an interest in music since his childhood as he began his semi-pro career when he was 14. He even played in Greenwich Village’s “Cafe Wha?” with the bands The Kaleidoscope, The Rayne, and Watertower West. He was with the group from 1966-68. After then he auditioned for the New York City band, the “Left Banke” and subsequently he decided to reside in Japan.

Alan Merrill’s Career Highlights

  • Alan Merrill began his professional career with a foreign Tokyo-based band “The Lead”, on RCA Victor Records.
  • In 1969, Merrill signed a solo management deal with Watanabe Productions, who later contracted him to Atlantic Records. He recorded one album, “Alone in Tokyo” with Atlantic Records, which had a hit single, “Namida” thus he turned out to be the first foreign domestic market pop star in the Japanese Group Sounds.
  • Merrill acted on the popular TV soap opera, “Jikan Desu Yo” and as a regular on the TBS’s show, “Young 720”.
  • In 1971, he released an LP of his own compositions titled “Merrill 1” in Japan for Denon/Columbia record label.
  • He then formed the band “Vodka Collins”, which became Japan’s top glam rock act in 1971. The band included Japanese superstars Hiroshi “Monsieur” Kamayatsu and Hiroshi Oguchi.
  • The band is best known for recording and releasing the first popular glam rock songs in Japanese in 1972 including “Sands Of Time” and “Automatic Pilot”.
  • In 1974, Merrill moved to London and formed the band “Arrows” as a lead singer and bass guitarist with Paul Varley and Jake Hooker.
  • In March 1974, the Arrows were in the top 10 in the UK charts with the song “Touch Too Much”. Remaining with the Arrows, Merrill sang three chart hit records,  “Touch Too Much”(8 UK charts), “Toughen Up”(51 UK charts) and “My Last Night With You”(25 UK charts).
  • In 1975, they released rock song written by Merrill, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” which turned out to be the hit and most praised album of all time.
  • The Arrows band, got their own weekly TV series, “Arrows” in 1976. Later, they signed with MAM Management.
  • In 1977, he formed a new group, the album-oriented rock act “Runner” which charted in the Billboard top 100 in the United States.
  • In 1980, Merrill joined forces with Rick Derringer as a guitarist in New York City with whom he released three albums, “Good Dirty Fun”, “Live at The Ritz” and “Rick Derringer and Friends”.
  • In 1983, Merrill recorded a solo album for Polydor Records, simply titled “Alan Merrill”.
  • In 1986, Merrill joined the Meat Loaf band for the promotional tour of his Blind Before I Stop album.
  • Merrill released his solo albums: Never Pet A Burning Dog (1998), Cupid Deranged (2002), A Merrilly Christmas (2001), Double Shot Rocks (2003).
  • In June 2016, he released a duet with fellow 1970s UK rock star Bob Bradbury of the band Hello titled “Brothers in Rock”.
  • On November 28, 2017, he released a 15-song solo album, “On A Blue Avenue”.
  • He hosted the television series, “Across the Pond”, for the MyJam Music Network.
  • In February 2019, Merrill released a Valentine’s Day single of a song he wrote titled “Your Love Song”.

Who was Alan Merrill Married to?

Alan Merrill was married twice. Merrill was first married to Cathee Dahmen. Dahmen was an international supermodel with whom he got married in 1977 and had two children together: Laura Merrill and Allan Jr. Merrill. However, his first wife, Cathee died soon of emphysema.

Later, he got married to his second wife with whom he had a son.

Previously, Alan Merrill was in relationships with Mackenzie Phillips(1976), Yoshiko Mandai(1971 – 1975), Diana Hodges(1970), Michi Nakao(1968) and Joanna Lis.

What was the Net Worth of Alan Merrill?

The 69 years old Alan Merrill had quite a great earning through his professional career as a multi-talented personality. Being in this industry for more than 4 decades, he had managed to amass a fortune worth million dollars from his several songs and films. His estimated net worth isn’t disclosed yet.

How Tall was Alan Merrill?

Alan Merrill was a White man in his late 60s at the time of his death. Merrill had an average body physique. He had a fair complexion with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He had a height of 5ft. 9inch.(1.75 m).

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