Report: Iron Maiden Address Dennis Willcock’s Legal Songwriting Challenge
In late June, it was reported that Iron Maiden were being sued by early era vocalist Dennis Willcock over past songwriting contributions. Former manager and rock agent Barry McKay previously was involved in a legal battle with the band over the songwriting contributions on "Hallowed Be Thy Name" that was eventually settled and is reportedly representing Willcock for his legal pursuit as well. This latest legal action claims that Willcock wrote the lyrics to "Prowler," "Charlotte the Harlot," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Iron Maiden," while also co-writing "Prodigal Son" with Steve Harris. According to Ham & High, Maiden have now formally responded to the legal action, claiming that Steve Harris and not Willcock wrote the lyrics in question.
According to Ham & High's report, the band admits that the songwriting credits on "Charlotte the Harlot" are wrong, but state that Harris and not Willcock should have the other songwriting credit alongside guitarist Dave Murray. Documents served reportedly state, "The lyrics [for the song] were written by Mr. Harris in or around 1977 to accompany music written by Mr. Murray, who had joined Iron Maiden in late 1976."
The band admitted that Willcock changed three words on "Prowler" and two words on "Charlotte the Harlot," but question whether the vocalist could remember his contributions.
"[He] was, when he was a member of Iron Maiden, notorious for forgetting lyrics for the band's songs, or missing out words or singing the wrong words. He ... even had to sing from lyric sheets at live performances. Accordingly, it is implausible that Mr. Wilcock can now remember lyrics he allegedly wrote some 40 years ago."
McKay reportedly stated that he could not wait for the case to be heard in court.
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