Hampstead rock agent takes Iron Maiden band members back to court over ‘copied’ songs

PUBLISHED: 16:22 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 29 June 2018

Barry McKay

Barry McKay


A Hampstead rock agent has taken two members of Iron Maiden back to court over claims they’ve copied lyrics for some of their songs.

Iron Maiden performing on the Main Stage at the Reading Festival, Sunday 28 August 2005. Photo. Yui Mok/PAIron Maiden performing on the Main Stage at the Reading Festival, Sunday 28 August 2005. Photo. Yui Mok/PA

Months after the world famous heavy metal band settled out-of-court, Barry McKay has launched new high court proceedings against David Murray and Steve Harris over the lyrics of the songs Prowler, Charlotte the Harlot, Phantom of the Opera, Iron Maiden and Prodigal Son.

He’s hoping to get £2million for the man he claims wrote the lyrics, former Iron Maiden singer Dennis Willcock.

In court papers seen by this newspaper, the collection of songs are referred to as the Willcock Works.

Mr McKay also claims Mr Willcock wrote a new section to the song Iron Maiden, and co-wrote Prodigal Son alongside Mr Harris.

Mr Willock was a member of Iron Maiden from 1976 to 1978.

Mr McKay claims that during this time, the former Iron Maiden singer wrote the lyrics that were later taken on by the band, and included in further albums.

Currently Mr Harris and band member Mr Murray take credit for writing the words to the tracks.

Mr Willcock, who left the music scene in 1980, wasn’t aware the songs were being performed by the band until 2014.

Unlike when the legal action took place over Hallowed Be Thy Name, none of the songs involved in this legal battle will be taken off the band’s live set lists.

Barry was previously described as a “serial litigant” by Iron Maiden, after they settled out-of-court with him in March over Hallowed Be Thy Name.

At the time Mr McKay claimed part of the hit had been written previously by Brian Quinn and Robert Barton, from little-known band Beckett.

Iron Maiden paid out a six-figure sum over the song, but didn’t accept that Mr Quinn had written the six lines in Hallowed Be Thy Name that the action was launched over.

A spokesman for Iron Maiden said: “This is outrageous. Absolutely ridiculous.”

Mr McKay said: “Dennis Willcock was originally a prolific lyricist for Iron Maiden and then for V1, composing lyrics and titles to all of their songs, before he gave up the music business. Dennis then enjoyed a successful career in an entirely different field and he never looked back.

“It was not until 2014 that Dennis first appeared on social media, only to receive an avalanche of messages from heritage fans. Some of these fans knew Dennis had written the early lyrics and wondered why he had not been credited. Others presumed Dennis must have passed away as he had never been heard of for decades.

“Dave Murray owes a debt of gratitude to Dennis Willcock, who brought him into Iron Maiden in the first place. He certainly owes it to Dennis to now come clean, even if it goes against management policy.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:23

Up to 100 children looted cheap sweets from a supermarket off Stroud Green Road and threw missiles at cars in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Yesterday, 14:31

A third-floor room was badly damaged in a fire in Golders Green on Saturday night.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A “cowardly career criminal” who held vulnerable women at knifepoint during a six-week spree robbing shops has been jailed.

Friday, October 12, 2018

“It stank. It smelt like the goat pen at London Zoo.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Hampstead school has scrapped a pilot project that saw commercial helicopters landing on its playing fields after neighbours complained it was causing “quite a riot”.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hampstead’s well-known ceramics workshop, Well Walk Pottery, has been made an Asset of Community Value (ACV), boosting hopes it will stay as a workshop despite its rumoured sale.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pulses have been racing at a pilates class in Highgate Newtown Community Centre (HNCC) for some time.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hampstead Business Improvement District (BID) rebel Jimmy McGrath – who continues to defy requests to pay the BID levy – saw his day court appearance adjourned for a month yesterday at Highbury Corner magistrates’ court.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now