Rock’n’roll may have some seeming motifs, but it’s actually something much more.
The details of its nature eliminate anything that is not true and does not fit into it.
This is due to something invisible (although accepted by almost all its followers), and difficult to explain.
And that’s where a researcher or even a simple fan begins to wonder …
Does each song have its own entity, a soul, which in turn is a part of a global Rock soul?
A soul that transcends individuals and bands and businesses that benefit from this music.
Arrows was a comet band, with only one album, 1976‘s “First Hit“, a TV show and very few hits.
Their contribution to rock’n’roll is a composition by Alan Merrill, bassist and singer, and guitarist Jake Hooker.
The now well-known “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll“.
A song that would later conquer the whole world, but with a different voice.
The epitome of Rock female vocals! Joan Jett!
Before that, however, it triggered a series of events until the song found the voice that suited best.
In the beginning …
The events began sometime in the distant 1975 when Alan Merrill was watching the famous show “Top of the Pops” with the Rolling Stones.
In an interview, Merrill confessed that the song was written in response to Stones‘ “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll“.
Having socialized with Mick Jagger at some of the grand parties of the time, he saw him surrounded by a crowd of jet-set people, as well as “traditional” aristocrats.
Recalling their song “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll“, Merrill felt that Jagger simply wanted to “apologize” for usurping the glamor that Rock music had already created.
So, in just a few seconds, Merrill scribbled the first verses of his next creation.
“I almost felt like’ was an apology to those jet-set princes and princesses that he was hanging around with – the aristocracy, you know. That was my interpretation as a young man: Okay, I love rock and roll. And then, where do you go with that?“, Merill said…
It was released as a B-side in the single “Broken Down Heart” and that by force, because at that time fashion imposed ballads.
Obstacles continue …
Obstacles for the song did not stop there, as its production was miserable and had to be re-released as A ‘side.
Only Christina Hayes, the singer’s wife, and co-creator believed in it.
Alan Merrill said in an interview that he had the refrain ready and wanted it to be special, with no special lyrical part.
The lyrics referred to a man who wanted to take a girl home, which was a common occurrence in the world of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
This was the image he formed for the song, composing it and investing in the absolute success of the song.
His fantasy and/or prophecy came true through the lips of a petite and always annoyingly singer.
But the story or spirit of rock’n’roll had decided it wasn’t time yet.
The differences between the band and the record label prevented any development and promotion.
A major strike in the press, at the time of the song’s release, left little room for further promotion.
Nevertheless, the song had a strange, almost magical dynamic.
Its first public appearance was on the UK TV channel’s “Pop 45” show, which impressed producer Muriel Young.
His enthusiasm was such that they took an entire show of their own, called “The Arrows Show“.
And … Joan Jet appeared
Joan Jett saw that show in 1976 while on tour in London with The Runaways.
She managed to get the single and asked her band to cover it.
The teenagers at the time, “Runaways“, permanently pissed (with everything), and with an “ego” beyond the limits of the solar system, did not accept the proposal of their guitarist.
Rock N Roll’s ubiquitous spirit did not allow Jett to forget the song.
So later, in 1979, she recorded “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the legendary “Sex Pistols” and released as a B-side of “You Don’t Own Me“.
Speaking to Uncut in August 2010, Jett said:
“I did a very early version with them, it was great working with them, and no, there was no sense of trepidation on my part, despite the fact that everyone was telling me they were the most notorious band on the planet.”
The establishment of Jett…
In Jett’s “hands”, the song was about a girl who sees a man next to a jukebox and takes him home for sex.
For many, the song performed by Jett was a female anthem of power!
At the same time, she helped shape her image as a tough, confident rock star and was an inspiration to many women musicians.
“I quickly realized, this song is gonna follow you, so you’re either gonna let it bother you, or you gotta make peace with it, and feel blessed that you were involved with something that touched so many people.”
Alan Merrill passed away on March 29, 2020, and Joan Jett wrote on Twitter:
“I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me.”
The rest are simple numbers that don’t really matter…