Iron Maiden are in the midst of a massive world tour (they come to North America this summer with Ghost), and while they are playing a lot of big hits, there is one hit you will likely not see in the set, "Hallowed Be Thy Name."
In fact, according to Setlist.fm, while the song is the third most played in Iron Maiden history, the band haven't played it since last August. So what gives?
The band is actually being sued. In addition to "Hallowed Be Thy Name," the song "The Nomad," from 2000’s Brave New World, is also in the suit. Both songs feature music and lyrics from the 1974 album “Life Shadow,” by the band Beckett. Metal Insider notes the song was originally written by Brian Quinn in 1969, and later recorded by Bob Barton. Barton settled with Maiden bassist Steve Harris over the song rights a few years ago, however Quinn was not compensated, so Quinn's suing both Steve Harris and original songwriter Brian Quinn over the royalties.
Iron Maiden's management issued the following statement:
“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.”
So for the immediate future, don't expect "Hallowed" on tour this summer.