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Iron Maiden Involved in Legal Dispute Over ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ + ‘The Nomad’

Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

Those hoping to see Iron Maiden perform the classic “Hallowed Be Thy Name” on their second go-around on their world tour in support of 2015’s standout album The Book of Souls will not be so fortunate this time. The song was dropped from the set list, but for good reason it appears.

Maiden are currently embroiled in a legal dispute over “Hallowed Be Thy Name” as well as Brave New World‘s “The Nomad” as they contain music and lyrics from “Life’s Shadow,” a song from British prog rockers Beckett (audio below). The track appears on the band’s 1974 self-titled debut and was originally written by Brian Quinn (then using the alias Ingham) and later recorded by his friend Bob Barton. While Barton settled with Steve Harris in recent years, he apparently failed to acknowledge Quinn’s hand in the songwriting, as Metal Talk reports.

Quinn is currently represented by Barry McKay and is suing Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray over breach of copyright. A statement released by Maiden’s management reads as follows:

Phantom Management are aware of the action brought by Barry McKay (initially by Barry McKay and Brian Quinn) against Steve Harris and Dave Murray.

The dispute concerns the song ‘Life’s Shadow,’ a song originally written in the early 1970s, credited to Robert Barton and Brian Ingham, and recorded by the band Beckett. Steve Harris was a fan of Beckett and some six lines from ‘Life’s Shadow’ were referenced in Steve’s song, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name,’ which was recorded by Iron Maiden and appeared on the album ‘The Number of the Beast’ which was released in 1982.

As far as Steve is concerned, this matter was settled some years ago by agreement with Robert Barton, but there now appears to be a dispute between the two original writers as to their respective shares in ‘Life’s Shadow.’ Further, an individual called Barry McKay in taking this action now claims to publish Robert Barton’s interest in ‘Life’s Shadow,’ despite so far being unable to come up with a publishing agreement and showing little or no evidence in his claim of any interest in Mr. Barton’s songs in approximately 40 years. Mr. McKay also states that he entered into a publishing agreement with Brian Quinn (aka Ingham) on 29 March 2017, two days before the claim was served.

Mr. Barton maintains he was the writer of the lyrics of ‘Life’s Shadow’ and recently said: ‘I wrote the lyrics of ‘Life’s Shadow’ and am happy with how Iron Maiden have, and are, dealing with this matter.’

Any evidence presented by Mr. McKay will be looked at very closely and a Defence at court will be submitted in due course.

It is also of note that Maiden’s manager, Rod Smallwood, was Beckett’s agent before linking up with the British metal titans, where he has remained since. Quinn stated he was approached by Barton years ago to bring a claim against Harris and Murray, but had not heard anything from Barton after refusing to get involved. Having recently become aware that the two sides reached an undisclosed settlement, he says he feels “cheated, both by Bob Barton and by Steve Harris and Dave Murray” and that he has “never received a penny from anyone.”

McKay also spoke with Metal Talk exclusively since the news broke, stating, “Steve Harris must be embarrassed. I can’t understand why he did not credit Brian back in 1982 as a co-writer as he was clearly listed as a writer of ‘Life’s Shadow’ on the Beckett LP. As music publisher for my old friend Brian Quinn, not only of ‘Life’s Shadow’ but of all of his other songs, I am, through the Chancery Division of the High Court, having to seek a co-writer’s credit from Steve Harris and his publishers for Brian, as well as damages. I always do my best to avoid going to court and I did try.”

The outlet also reported that Iron Maiden have released a statement confirming that the legal dispute was the cause for excluding “Hallowed Be Thy Name” from the set list on their current world tour. “As previously announced for the current second leg of the Book of Souls tour a couple of changes to the setlist were due to be made. The first was including a different track from the new album and having been made aware of a legal claim, the second change was to replace ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name,'” they said.

A settlement is expected to be reached before a probable 2018 court date as Quinn and McKay are aiming to negotiation a licensing agreement in order for Maiden to continue performing the fan-favorite live.

Beckett, “Life’s Shadow”

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