Iron Maiden Being Sued over Writing Credits for Their First Two Albums

  • Axl Rosenberg

When Iron Maiden settled a lawsuit over credit for the lyrics to “Hallowed Be Thy Name” earlier this year, the dude who led the charge against them, Barry McKay — who manages members of the band Beckett — released a statement which amounted to “We’ll meet again, Iron Maiden!”:

“I am now also representing three other songwriters who also allege that Steve Harris and Dave Murray have profiteered from lyrics that they wrote. If that makes me a ‘serial litigant’ so be it.”

So, surprise surprise, McKay has now made good on his word, and filed another lawsuit against Maiden members Steve Harris and Dave Murray, as well as Imagem London Limited, the band’s publishing company. McKay is acting on the behalf of Dennis Wilcock, who sang for Maiden in 1976 and 1977, before anyone knew who the fuck they were, and Beckett’s Terry Wilson-Slesser. The suit alleges that…

  • Wilcock has never been properly credited for his contributions to the lyrics of four songs from Iron Maiden’s eponymous 1980 debut: “Prowler,” “Charlotte the Harlot,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and the title track.
  • Wilson-Slesser has never been properly credited for his contributions to the lyrics of “Prodigal Son,” from 1981’s Killers.

The PRP reports that the plaintiffs “estimate that the share of the publishing income/royalties from those tracks are in excess of £2,000,000 [roughly $2.6 million] and are seeking what they claim is their fair share of the proceeds.”

I’m guessing that this will also eventually be settled out of court, with Maiden’s members forking over a relatively small amount of their vast fortune in exchange for being left the fuck alone. Then McKay can go get Paul Di’Anno to sue, claiming he was never paid for lyrics he wrote on The Number of the Beast. McKay has a regular cottage industry going here.

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