Ex Iron Maiden Singer Sues for $2.6 Million Over Writing Credits
Former Iron Maiden singer Dennis Willcock has filed a $2.6 million lawsuit against the band, claiming he hadn’t been paid for co-writing five songs that appeared on their first two albums.
Willcock, who was Maiden’s second singer, joined in 1976 and left two years later. In that time, he claims he contributed to the songs “Iron Maiden,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Prowler,” “Charlotte the Harlot” and “Prodigal Son.” They were later recorded by his replacement, Paul Di’Anno. Willcock said he never knew about the alleged rights breach because he had left the music industry and didn’t listen to Iron Maiden’s records.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims “‘Prowler’ was inspired by a friend of Mr. Willcock and was performed by Mr. Willcock wearing a rubber mask,” and that for the song “Iron Maiden,” "in substitution for the then-existing lyrics, Mr. Willcock wrote new lyrics to fit in with a theatrical stunt involving a sword and fake blood.”
The lawsuit also includes a claim by Terry Wilson-Slesser of the group Beckett, who argues that his lyrics from his band's 1974 song “A Rainbow’s Gold” were used in Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name” eight years later.
Iron Maiden leader Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray are named as defendants in the suit, which was brought by music manager Barry McKay, who previously sued the band over “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and secured an out-of-court settlement for his client Brian Quinn. A spokesperson for Maiden told the Sun that the new legal action was “outrageous” and “absolutely ridiculous.”
Willcock reunited with fellow ex-members for a fan event in 2015, and went on to form a new version of his post-Maiden band V1 the following year.