Barry McKayFormer Lindisfarne manager Barry McKay has advised Iron Maiden management to settle the dispute over allegedly stolen lyrics and music to Maiden songs ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and ‘The Nomad’ before the matter reaches court.

McKay is suing Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris and Dave Murray, former Beckett band member Bob Barton and publishing company Imagem London Ltd on behalf of Brian Quinn, aka Ingham, as confirmed by recently released court papers. The full details of those papers were revealed on MetalTalk on 6th May 2017 right here.

A legal process is currently in motion which will lead to a trial date being set which is likely to be sometime in 2018 and now McKay has spoken exclusively to MetalTalk and suggested Iron Maiden management settle the matter before that happens.

The court writ alleges that ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ contains verses of lyrics written by Brian Quinn in 1969 which originally appeared on a song called ‘Life’s Shadow’ which was recorded by Newcastle band Beckett and appeared on their 1974 sole album which was self-titled.

It is also alleged that the instrumental part of ‘Life’s Shadow’ was used on Maiden’s song ‘The Nomad’ which appeared on their 2000 album ‘Brave New World’.

‘Life’s Shadow’ was co-written by Bob Barton and Brian Quinn, who used the stage name Ingham at the time. Barton has already received settlement in a ‘secret’ deal with Maiden some years ago, as revealed in the aforementioned court papers.

Maiden are currently mid-way through their first UK tour in seven years and have dropped ‘Hallowed…’ from the setlist. McKay told us:

“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.”

After much speculation, Maiden have confirmed that they did drop ‘Hallowed…’ from their setlist because of the dispute. A band statement said:

“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’.”

iron maiden
Brian Quinn, aka Ingham

McKay continued:

“As a matter of course, the legal papers served on Steve Harris do mention ‘injunction’, however all Steve Harris needed to have done, going forward, was come to me, as Brian’s publisher (and they know that I am indeed Brian’s publisher) and, on a without prejudice basis, negotiate a licence, in order to continue to perform ‘Hallowed…’ on their current tour.

“I don’t want to stop fans hearing their favourite Maiden song, written by Steve Harris and Brian Quinn, and in any event, new 12” LP’s, CD’s, DVD’s, video games, downloads and streaming all containing ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ are all still available worldwide. This will all be straightened out in court, if not before.

“I really don’t know what is wrong with Steve Harris, or is it that he is being poorly advised by his management? Is Steve Harris so greedy that he would rather deprive his fans of enjoying seeing Iron Maiden perform their best and most popular song than pay the actual co-writer of that song his entitlement to publishing from a performance of a joint copyright?

“Do they prefer to deprive Brian Quinn from earning a few hundred pounds per live performance of ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ rather than perform the song he co-wrote on the rest of the tour? I don’t know. Why not ask his publicist?

“Brian has never earned a penny from writing ‘Life’s Shadow’, the song that clearly inspired Steve Harris to write ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and earn a fortune in the process. Lyrics and music were taken and used by Steve Harris and Dave Murray without Brian being even credited. Brian Quinn lives in a mobile home in Canada. The profits from Brian’s work would have helped Dave and Steve pay for their wonderful lifestyle and for their various homes including those in the Bahamas and Hawaii.”

“Often the public performance societies, i.e. the PRS, will allow compositions to be performed while there is a dispute, but they will freeze the royalty payments until the dispute is determined or settled. There was no need for Iron Maiden to withdraw the song from their set.

iron maiden
Barry McKay and Lindisfarne, Newcastle City Hall, Christmas 1985

“But if they wish to do the right thing, they are welcome to contact either myself or my lawyers and reach a simple agreement to perform ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ during the rest of their 2017 World Tour. After all, Steve Harris’ Iron Maiden have been performing ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ without crediting Brian Quinn or Bob Barton as co-writers for thirty-five years.

“This will be resolved in the High Court. But going forward, why disappoint the fans? I don’t want to. Why do they?

“This can be resolved. Or is Steve Harris that stubborn and upset at being exposed after reaching a secret deal with Robert Barton a few years ago, that he is now cutting off his nose to spite his face and disappointing his fans just weeks after they voted ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ Iron Maiden’s all-time best song?

“They know where to contact me and where to contact my lawyers and an arrangement, on a without prejudice basis, could easily be reached between Steve Harris and I so as not to disappoint the fans. Both my lawyers and I are available to agree a license on a without prejudice basis.

“‘Life’s Shadow’ was written by Brian Quinn and Robert Barton made some irrelevant changes to it and changed the title from ‘Lying In My Shadow’. They are both credited on the copyright.

“When Barton decided to bring a claim against Iron Maiden in 2011, he asked Brian Quinn to join him because he realised that he needed to involve him. However, Barton then lied to Iron Maiden by saying that he was the sole author of the relevant lyrics.

“What is remarkable is that Iron Maiden were willing to believe what Barton told them without even making contact with Brian Quinn.

“I bet Barton could not believe his luck. As soon as he realised that Iron Maiden were willing to believe that he was the sole author he immediately ended all further communication with Brian Quinn and proceeded to agree a secret deal. This is a blatant case of song theft. Brian Quinn has been ripped off by Barton, who used to be his friend, and by Iron Maiden who apparently believed Barton’s lies.

“I managed Barton for a year or so back in 1975 some months after he had walked out on Beckett. Geoff Docherty, the north-east’s Bill Graham and a really terrific guy, advised me to avoid Barton but unfortunately, a 21-year-old Barry McKay, who thought Barton was the most fantastic guitarist (and he was) did not listen. Managing Bob Barton was the worst experience of my life… but that is all in my forthcoming book.

“Meanwhile, Geoff Docherty has already written and published two books, ‘Three Minutes Of Magic’ and ‘A Promoters Tale: Rock At The Sharp End’, which are well worth reading and which talk about Barton.”

McKay has brought several cases of a similar nature throughout the years involving high profile artists. The majority of these were not publicised as they were settled before reaching court. The former north-east concert and festival promoter continued:

“With most cases that were settled I am stuck with confidentiality agreements. I can think of thirteen of them which I am not allowed to talk about.

“When I started managing Alan Hull and Lindisfarne in the 1970s, I discovered that he was being cheated by people running Hazy Music, who had his publishing on a Northern Songs/Dick James type arrangement during the period when Lindisfarne had the biggest selling LP by a UK band.

“As a result, Alan Hull ended up owning 100% of all of his songs. I retrieved them all for him, in their hundreds and instead arranged a sub-publishing deal with Chappell and Co. Elton John, Sting and Paul McCartney would have loved to have done the same. They had the wrong advisers.

“I did take EMI Records Ltd to the High Court back in the early 1980s and the case went to a full trial of the action in front of the late Mr Justice Michael Davies. That case set an important legal precedent for recording artistes which ended up helping many bands, some of whom started similar actions soon after. That case was very well reported at the time, both in the national media and in trade papers Music Week and Billboard.

“I tried to assist my late friend Gus Dudgeon who was Elton John’s record producer after I did an audit at his accountants. I did my best to try and persuade him to sack his accountant and I told him he could go bust if he didn’t.

“Sadly he did not take my advice and some time later, Gus did go bankrupt, losing his beautiful studio which was later bought from the receivers by Jimmy Page. That same accountant ended up being sent to prison for stealing millions from Sting.

“I developed a reputation for getting musicians out of unfair contracts.”

Phantom Management also said on behalf of the band:

“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’.

“As far as Steve is concerned, this matter was settled some years ago by agreement with Robert Barton. Any evidence presented by Mr McKay will be looked at very closely and a defence at court will be submitted in due course.”

McKay concluded by saying:

“Perhaps they should put their fans first before their egos and wallets.”

Iron Maiden Book Of Souls remaining UK tour dates:
May 16th: Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena, UK
May 17th: Aberdeen AECC GE Oil & Gas Arena, UK
May 20th: Liverpool Echo Arena, UK
May 21st: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
May 24th: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
May 27th: London O2 Arena, UK
May 28th: London O2 Arena, UK

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