Janick Gers

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Janick Gers
Janick Gers @ Bluesfest July 6 2010.jpg
Janick Gers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Background information
Born (1957-01-27) 27 January 1957 (age 57)
Hartlepool, England
Genres Heavy metal, progressive rock, hard rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1975–present
Labels EMI
Associated acts Iron Maiden, White Spirit, Gillan, Gogmagog, Bruce Dickinson
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster

Janick Robert Gers (/ˈjænɪk ˈɡərz/; born 27 January 1957 in Hartlepool, England) is an English musician, best known for being one of the three current guitarists in Iron Maiden, along with Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, as well as his earlier work with Gillan and White Spirit.

Career and Personal life[edit]

Janick Gers began his career as the lead guitarist of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal band White Spirit, before joining Gillan, a group formed by former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan.[1] After Gillan disbanded, Gers undertook a Humanities degree before joining Gogmagog, which included former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno and drummer Clive Burr.[2] The project came to nothing;[2] however, Gers went on to work with Marillion vocalist Fish before being asked to record a song called "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" with Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson for a soundtrack.[3] The project expanded into an album, Tattooed Millionaire,[3] and during its recording Gers was asked to join Iron Maiden in place of Adrian Smith.[1] He has remained with the band ever since, even after Smith rejoined the band in 1999,[4] contributing to a total of eight studio albums.

Gers' main influences are Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck and Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher.[5] He is noted for his energetic stage presence,[6][7][8] which often involves performing tricks with his guitar, such as throwing it into the air and catching it.[9] He is also left-handed although he plays guitar right-handed; he can be seen signing autographs with his left hand in the Rock in Rio DVD.

He has two children with his wife Sandra, Sian and Dylan Gers,[10] and lives in Yarm, Teesside.[11] His father, Bolesław,[12] was an officer of the Polish Navy before he came to England and joined the Royal Navy.[13] Gers is a fan of Hartlepool United and often stands in the Millhouse Terrace at Victoria Park on match-days. Gers is a graduate of the English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College.

Gers had an uncredited part in the BBC drama The Paradise Club in 1990, appearing as the lead guitarist of a band called Fraud Squad.[14] He appeared in the 2010 fan-made Iron Maiden documentary Maiden Heaven.

Musical equipment[edit]

Gers is a long-time proponent of the Fender Stratocaster. His guitars are typically black or white with rosewood fingerboards and Seymour Duncan JB Jr. and Hot Rails pickups.[9][15] His favourite guitar over the years has been a black Stratocaster, equipped with JB Jr. pickups,[15] which was given to him by Ian Gillan.[16] Gers uses four different Fender Stratocasters, as well as a Gibson Chet Atkins semi-acoustic model for songs such as "Dance of Death".[17] Gers is currently endorsed by Sandberg Guitars, and he uses a California ST-S tobacco hc-aged and a California ST-S creme hc-aged model on stage.[18]

Like his bandmates, Dave Murray[19] and Adrian Smith,[20] Gers currently uses the Marshall JMP-1 preamp through a Marshall 9200 power amp.[21][22] Preferring not to use foot-switches while playing, Gers' roadie operates his MIDI Foot Controller offstage.[21] Favouring cables, Gers only uses a Shure UR4D wireless system when he throws his guitar around.[22] He uses Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel-wound guitar strings, although he does not use the B strings.[16]

Discography[edit]

White Spirit
  • White Spirit (1980)
Gillan
Gogmagog
Fish
Bruce Dickinson
Ian Gillan
Gers (right) performing with Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in Costa Rica.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 468. CN 5585. 
  2. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 280.
  3. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 281.
  4. ^ Wall 2004, p. 331.
  5. ^ Wall 2004, p. 277.
  6. ^ Pehling, Dave (6 August 2012). "Live Review, 8/3/12: Iron Maiden Dominates Shoreline". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (25 July 2012). "Iron Maiden by the numbers at MTS". Winnipeg Sun. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Collins, Robert (30 July 2012). "Iron Maiden takes fans on a rampage down memory lane". CTV News. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Main Fender Strat (closeup)". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Iron Maiden. "Iron Maiden Thank:". From Here to Eternity Booklet. 
  11. ^ "Iron Maiden fan auctions guitar for charity". Evening Chronicle (Newcastle upon Tyne). 11 August 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. "...and has become friends with the band’s guitarist, Janick Gers, who lives in Yarm, Teesside." 
  12. ^ Tees Valley Birth Marriage & Death indexes.
  13. ^ Wall 2004, p. 276.
  14. ^ "Bruce Dickinson, the actor". Bookofhours.net. Retrieved 17 September 2011. "In the studio we see "Fraud squad" which are, Janick Gers on guitar, Andy Carr, bass and Dickie Flitzar on drums, i.e. the band that Bruce used on the 1990 solo tour." 
  15. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Black Fender Strat". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Documentary". Death on the Road (DVD). EMI. 6 February 2006. 
  17. ^ "Janick Gers' Gibson Chet Atkins Acoustic/Electric". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Janick Gers at Sandberg Guitars". Sandberg Guitars. 
  19. ^ "Dave Murray's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Adrian Smith's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "Janick Gers' MIDI Foot Controller". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]