Janick Gers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Janick Gers
Gers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Gers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Background information
Birth nameJanick Robert Gers
Born (1957-01-27) 27 January 1957 (age 66)
Hartlepool, England
Years active1975–present

Janick Robert Gers (/ˈjænɪk ˈɡɜːrz/; born 27 January 1957) is an English musician who is best known as one of the three guitarists in heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He initially joined to replace Adrian Smith, but remained in the band even after Smith rejoined. Gers was previously a member of Gillan and co-founder of the band White Spirit in 1975.


Gers began his career as the lead guitarist of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal band White Spirit -- appearing on their debut self-titled album in 1980 -- before leaving in 1981 to join Gillan, replacing Bernie Torme in the group formed by then-former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan.[1] Gers first performance with Gillan was on Top of the Pops, and Gers would go on to record two albums with the band before Ian Gillan disbanded the group at the end of 1982.

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 would ultimately come to nothing.[2] Gers would later contribute, and perform on, the track "View from the Hill" on former Marillion vocalist Fish's first solo album, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors,[3] released in 1990. In 1989 Gers was asked to record the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" with Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson for the soundtrack to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child[4] -- this project then expanded into Dickinson's first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire.[4]

During the recording of Tattooed Millionare, 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,[5] contributing to a total of ten studio albums.

Influences, musical style, and performance style[edit]

Gers' playing style uses heavy distortion and is noted for having a very raw tone. He prefers alternate picking instead of playing legato using hammers and pull-offs. Gers' main influences are Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck and Rory Gallagher.[6]

He is noted for his energetic stage presence,[7][8][9] which often involves dancing, prancing, and performing tricks with his guitar, such as throwing it into the air and catching it.[10] However, his on-stage performance has drawn criticism from some.[11][12][13]

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.

Personal life[edit]

He has two children with his wife Sandra, and lives in Yarm, Teesside. His son Dylan also plays guitar and has released ambient post rock tracks as both a solo artist and with Noah Yorke, son of Radiohead singer Thom Yorke[14][15][16] Gers's father, Bolesław,[17] was an able seaman of the Polish Navy and served on ORP Burza and ORP Błyskawica on which he came to England and later joined the Royal Navy.[18] Gers has relatives in the Bydgoszcz area[19] and Sośno village in Poland and visited them regularly as a teenager until 1977.[20][21] Gers bought his first guitar during one of those visits, in a music store in Złotów close to Piła.[22] Gers met his Polish family again after 34 years at a 2011 concert in Warsaw.[20]

Gers is a fan of Hartlepool United and is a season-ticket holder in the Neale Cooper Stand at Victoria Park. 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.[23] 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 pick-ups.[10][24] His favourite guitar over the years has been a black Stratocaster, equipped with JB Jr. pick-ups,[24] which was given to him by Ian Gillan.[25] Gers uses four different Fender Stratocasters, as well as a Gibson Chet Atkins semi-acoustic model for songs such as "Dance of Death".[26] 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.[27]

Like his bandmates, Dave Murray[28] and Adrian Smith,[29] Gers currently uses the Marshall JMP-1 preamp through a Marshall 9200 power amp.[30][31] Preferring not to use foot-switches while playing, Gers' roadie operates his MIDI Foot Controller offstage.[30] Favouring cables, Gers only uses a Shure UR4D wireless system when he throws his guitar around.[31] He uses Ernie Ball Regular Slinky nickel-wound guitar strings, although he does not use the B string.[25]



  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. ^ Reesman, Bryan (17 August 2010). "Iron Maiden's Janick Gers Talks Festivals, Fish and The Final Frontier". bryanreesman.com. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 281.
  5. ^ Wall 2004, p. 331.
  6. ^ Wall 2004, p. 277.
  7. ^ Pehling, Dave (6 August 2012). "Live Review, 8/3/12: Iron Maiden Dominates Shoreline". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  8. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (25 July 2012). "Iron Maiden by the numbers at MTS". Winnipeg Sun. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  9. ^ Collins, Robert (30 July 2012). "Iron Maiden takes fans on a rampage down memory lane". CTV News. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Main Fender Strat (closeup)". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Why doesn't Iron Maiden get rid of Janick Gers...? (I can't STAND him in that band.)". thegearpage.net. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Eddie Trunk on Janick Gers of Iron Maiden dancing on stage 2.3.20". YouTube. 3 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  13. ^ "JANICK GERS's Dance Moves Spotlighted In New IRON MAIDEN Concert Clip". Blabbermouth.net. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Sons of IRON MAIDEN's JANICK GERS and RADIOHEAD's THOM YORKE Release New Collaborative Single 'Red Skies'". 2 December 2022.
  15. ^ Iron Maiden. "Iron Maiden Thank". From Here to Eternity Booklet.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Tees Valley Birth Marriage & Death indexes.
  18. ^ Wall 2004, p. 276.
  19. ^ "Iron Maiden - ciekawostki o zespole". WhatNext.pl (in Polish). 31 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Przyszły gitarzysta Iron Maiden "bał się burzy". Skąd się wziął w Sośnie Janick Gers?". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Gitarzysta Iron Maiden spędzał wakacje pod Bydgoszczą". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl (in Polish). 9 June 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Gitarzysta Iron Maiden rodzinę spotkał po 34 latach". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Bruce Dickinson, the actor". Bookofhours.net. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. 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.
  24. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Black Fender Strat". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  25. ^ a b "Documentary". Death on the Road (DVD). EMI. 6 February 2006.
  26. ^ "Janick Gers' Gibson Chet Atkins Acoustic/Electric". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  27. ^ "Janick Gers at Sandberg Guitars". Sandberg Guitars.
  28. ^ "Dave Murray's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  29. ^ "Adrian Smith's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  30. ^ a b "Janick Gers' MIDI Foot Controller". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  31. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.


External links[edit]