Janick Gers

Janick Robert Gers (/ˈjænɪk ˈɡɜːrz/; born 27 January 1957) is an English musician and one of the three guitarists in Iron Maiden. He was also previously a member of the bands Gillan and White Spirit.

Janick Gers
Janick Gers @ Bluesfest July 6 2010
Janick Gers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Background information
Born27 January 1957 (age 62)
Hartlepool, England
GenresHeavy metal, progressive rock, hard rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1975–present
Associated actsIron Maiden, White Spirit, Gillan, Gogmagog, Fish, Bruce Dickinson

Career and personal life

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 then-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 nine 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 and served on ORP Burza and ORP Blyskawica on which he came to England and later joined the Royal Navy.[13] Gers has relatives in the Bydgoszcz area[14] and Sosno village in Poland and visited them regularly as a teenager until 1977[15]. Janick Gers bought his first guitar during one of those visits, in a music store in Zlotów close to Pila[16] Gers met his Polish family again after 34 years at a 2011 concert in Warsaw[17]

Gers is a fan of Hartlepool United and used to stand in the Millhouse Terrace (he will return if they get out the conference ) 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.[18] He appeared in the 2010 fan-made Iron Maiden documentary Maiden Heaven.

Musical equipment

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.[9][19] His favourite guitar over the years has been a black Stratocaster, equipped with JB Jr. pick-ups,[19] which was given to him by Ian Gillan.[20] Gers uses four different Fender Stratocasters, as well as a Gibson Chet Atkins semi-acoustic model for songs such as "Dance of Death".[21] 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.[22]

Like his bandmates, Dave Murray[23] and Adrian Smith,[24] Gers currently uses the Marshall JMP-1 preamp through a Marshall 9200 power amp.[25][26] Preferring not to use foot-switches while playing, Gers' roadie operates his MIDI Foot Controller offstage.[25] Favouring cables, Gers only uses a Shure UR4D wireless system when he throws his guitar around.[26] He uses Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel-wound guitar strings, although he does not use the B string.[20]


Iron Maiden en Costa Rica
Gers (right) performing with Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in Costa Rica.


  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 1 August 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. ^ "Iron Maiden - ciekawostki o zespole". WhatNext.pl (in Polish). 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  15. ^ "Wyborcza.pl". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  16. ^ "Wyborcza.pl". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  17. ^ "Wyborcza.pl". bydgoszcz.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Black Fender Strat". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Documentary". Death on the Road (DVD). EMI. 6 February 2006.
  21. ^ "Janick Gers' Gibson Chet Atkins Acoustic/Electric". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  22. ^ "Janick Gers at Sandberg Guitars". Sandberg Guitars.
  23. ^ "Dave Murray's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Adrian Smith's Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  25. ^ a b "Janick Gers' MIDI Foot Controller". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Janick Gers' Rack". Premier Guitar. November 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.


  • Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (third ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. ISBN 1-86074-542-3

External links

Be Quick or Be Dead

"Be Quick or Be Dead" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released as the first single release from their ninth studio album Fear of the Dark, released in 1992.

Brave New World Tour

The Brave New World Tour by Iron Maiden began on 2 June 2000 and ended on 19 January 2001. (The three 2002 dates listed below were fundraisers for former drummer Clive Burr rather than part of the tour.) It supported their 2000 album Brave New World. In Europe, the tour was called Metal 2000. The initial batch of dates included just one in Iron Maiden's homeland. "Everybody in the band would like to do a thirty-date tour of 1,500-2,000-seaters," maintained Bruce Dickinson, "but we've got a tour booked in Europe this summer and we will be playing to over two million people in two months. Newbridge Memorial Hall will have to wait for a while!"On 19 January 2001, the band recorded Rock in Rio in front of an audience of 250,000, their second-largest crowd in Rio de Janeiro (the largest crowd being their 1985 Rock in Rio performance during the World Slavery Tour).The Madison Square Garden concert on 5 August sold out in two hours. Three dates scheduled for Germany, Bulgaria and Greece in mid-July 2000 were cancelled so guitarist Janick Gers could recover after an accident at Mannheim, Germany, on 8 July: he slipped, fell off the stage, sustained a concussion and sprained his back.

Double Trouble (Gillan album)

Double Trouble is the fifth studio album by the British rock band Gillan, released in 1981. It was released as a double album, the first disc containing studio material, and the second containing live recordings. It reached No. 12 in the UK charts. In 1989, Virgin re-released the album, with the same track listing, in CD format. It is the first album to feature Janick Gers, since Bernie Tormé left the group during the tour of Germany in 1981. Janick Gers came in for the rest of the tour on 25 June 1981.

In 2007, Edsel Demon Music Group released this album with bonus material.

"Nightmare" was covered by Lionheart on their 1984 album, Hot Tonight.

El Dorado (Iron Maiden song)

"El Dorado" is the second track from English heavy metal band Iron Maiden's 2010 album The Final Frontier. The song is the band's forty-first single, and the only one from the album. It was made available as a free download on the band's official site at 00:01 on 8 June 2010 (UTC), one day before the album's supporting tour began. The cover art was created by Anthony Dry and is based on the covers of the EC Comics published by William Gaines that were popular in the 1950s. Regarding the early online release of the song, vocalist Bruce Dickinson explained, "El Dorado is a preview of the forthcoming studio album. As we will be including it in the set of our Final Frontier World Tour, we thought it would be great to thank all our fans and get them into The Final Frontier mood by giving them this song up front of the tour and album release."Dickinson explained that the lyrics are a cynical critique of the financial crisis of 2007–08, comparing the bankers responsible with the people who sold the myth of El Dorado:

[El Dorado] has a cynical lyric about the economic crap that's been happening. It seemed a bit like a perfect storm; people were borrowing money like crazy. I thought, "This is really going to screw people up" and sure enough, we're all in deep doo-doo! And that's what El Dorado is about, it's about selling somebody the myth that "The streets are paved with gold" and them asking, "Where do I sign up?"

"El Dorado" won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2011. It is the band's first win following two previous nominations ("Fear of the Dark" in 1994 and "The Wicker Man" in 2001).The song's guitar solo, which lasts from about 3:42 to 4:23, is a trade-off divided into three parts; the first is played by Adrian Smith (3:42-3:53), the second by Dave Murray (3:53-4:06), and the third, which segues into the verse riff again, by Janick Gers (4:06-4:23).


"Futureal" is a single from the Iron Maiden album Virtual XI, released in 1998. It is the last single by the band to feature vocalist Blaze Bayley, as he parted ways with the band in February 1999.

Gogmagog (band)

Gogmagog were a short-lived British heavy metal supergroup assembled by record producer Jonathan King. The band's lineup featured former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno and drummer Clive Burr, future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, former Def Leppard guitarist Pete Willis, and former Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray. King was best known as the man who discovered Genesis in the late 1960s

Together for only a short time, Gogmagog released a three song E.P. on the independent Food For Thought label in 1985 entitled I Will Be There. Two of the songs recorded were written by producer King ("Living In A Fucking Time Warp" and "It’s Illegal, It’s Immoral, It’s Unhealthy, But It’s Fun"), with the title track being composed by longtime KISS collaborator Russ Ballard and originally released on his 1981 solo album Into the Fire. The band members were not permitted to write any original material.Originally, King attempted to put together a supergroup revolving around Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale, bassist John Entwistle of The Who, and veteran drummer Cozy Powell, but this early line-up "wasn't working out" according to Di'Anno. Being little more than a contrivance concocted by producer Jonathan King, the band quickly fell apart once he lost interest. Vocalist Di'Anno was completely dismissive of both the group and producer, referring to the failed project as "...nothing. That was some fucking idiot who got us doing that shit."

Holy Smoke (song)

"Holy Smoke" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the first single release to feature guitarist Janick Gers, who joined the band in mid-1990. It was released just weeks before the album, No Prayer for the Dying, and climbed to number three on the UK Singles Chart.

List of Iron Maiden band members

Iron Maiden are a British heavy metal band formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris. After several lineup changes prior to their recording career, they settled on Harris, vocalist Paul Di'Anno, guitarist Dave Murray and drummer Doug Sampson. The band released an EP as a four-piece, before hiring guitarist Dennis Stratton in 1979. Doug Sampson was dismissed from the band as he was unable to cope with the touring schedule and, at the suggestion of Stratton, replaced by Clive Burr, with whom the band recorded their self-titled debut album in 1980. Later that year, Stratton was replaced by guitarist Adrian Smith, due to musical and personal differences brought about by choosing not to travel with the band when supporting Kiss on the European leg of their Unmasked Tour.During the tour supporting their second studio effort, Di'Anno was fired from the band after drug and alcohol abuse affected his live performance. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson left his previous band, Samson, to audition for Iron Maiden in September 1981 and joined shortly afterwards. After the release of their third album, The Number of the Beast, drummer Nicko McBrain replaced Burr, who left due to personal and scheduling problems on the subsequent Beast on the Road tour. This is considered by many as their quintessential lineup, with which they released a series of high-impact works.In 1990, prior to the recording of their eighth studio album, Smith was asked to leave the band due to a lack of enthusiasm, brought about by the "stripped-down" musical direction they were taking, which Smith considered "a step backwards". Janick Gers, an old friend of Dickinson's who performed on his debut solo album, became the new guitarist. This formation recorded one more album before Dickinson departed in 1993, in order to pursue his solo career further.The band listened to hundreds of tapes submitted by vocalists before asking Blaze Bayley to audition, with whom they would go on to release two studio albums, after which Bayley left the band by mutual consent in January 1999. At that point, the band were in talks with Dickinson, who, after a meeting with Steve Harris and Rod Smallwood (the group's manager) in Brighton, agreed to rejoin along with Adrian Smith, who was telephoned a few hours later. Iron Maiden thus became a six-piece band and have gone on to make five further studio releases. The current lineup is now the longest and most stable in the band's history.

List of songs recorded by Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed by bassist Steve Harris in 1975. The band's first album, 1980's Iron Maiden, was written primarily by Harris, with vocalist Paul Di'Anno co-writing two tracks and guitarist Dave Murray contributing "Charlotte the Harlot". The 1981 follow-up, Killers, was written almost entirely by the bassist, with frontman Di'Anno contributing only to the title track, "Killers" (the North American bonus track "Twilight Zone" was credited to Harris and Murray). Bruce Dickinson replaced Di'Anno after the release of Killers, although he did not contribute any songwriting to The Number of the Beast, released in 1982, which featured three songs co-written by guitarist Adrian Smith. The Number of the Beast also spawned Iron Maiden's first UK Singles Chart top ten in the form of "Run to the Hills", which charted at number seven on its release. It was not until 1983's Piece of Mind that the songwriting process became a more varied and collaborative approach, with just four of its nine tracks being credited solely to Harris, two to Dickinson and Smith, one to Harris and Murray, one to Dickinson alone, and one to Harris, Dickinson, and Smith. The Dickinson and Smith-penned "Flight of Icarus" was the first Iron Maiden single to chart in the United States, reaching number eight on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.Powerslave followed in 1984, which featured one of Iron Maiden's longest songs to date in the form of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", written by Steve Harris and running for almost 14 minutes. Somewhere in Time was notable for having both its singles written by someone other than Steve Harris, in this case Adrian Smith, who wrote three of the songs on the album. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son featured songwriting from a combination of Harris, Dickinson, Smith, and Murray, before Smith left the group during the recording of its follow-up in 1990 having contributed to one song, "Hooks in You"; the resulting album, No Prayer for the Dying, was the first to feature guitarist Janick Gers, although he did not write any material for the record. It was also the first to spawn a UK number-one single – Bruce Dickinson's "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter". Gers contributed to his second album with Iron Maiden, 1992's Fear of the Dark, co-writing three tracks with Dickinson, who would leave after the album's release, and two with Harris, who also produced for the first time.In 1995, the band released The X Factor, their first album since 1981's Killers without Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Blaze Bayley replaced the frontman, and received songwriting credits for five of the album's eleven tracks, all of which were alongside Harris, Gers, or both. The band's first compilation album, Best of the Beast, was released in 1993, which featured a new song and single in the form of "Virus", credited to Harris, Bayley, Murray, and Gers. Bayley recorded a second album with Iron Maiden, Virtual XI, on which he only contributed songwriting for three songs, the rest being written almost entirely by Harris.Both Dickinson and Smith returned to the band for the recording of Brave New World, the first Iron Maiden album produced by Kevin Shirley (alongside Harris), which was released in 2000 and spawned two UK top-20 singles in the form of "The Wicker Man" and "Out of the Silent Planet". Another largely collaborative album, only one song ("Blood Brothers") was written by Harris alone. The 2003 follow-up, Dance of Death, was even more commercially successful than Brave New World, and also featured the first track in the band's history to be written with long-term drummer Nicko McBrain, "New Frontier". A Matter of Life and Death, the band's first release to chart in the top ten of the US Billboard 200 albums chart, was released in 2006 and was largely written by Harris, Dickinson, and Smith, with Gers and Murray also contributing to a couple of tracks. The Final Frontier, released in 2010, was their first album since Fear of the Dark to top the UK Albums Chart and was another collaborative effort from the band, with Harris, Dickinson, and Smith again leading the songwriting. The Final Frontier also led to the band's first Grammy Award win, as single "El Dorado" won the award for Best Metal Performance at the 2011 ceremony. Their 2015 studio album, The Book of Souls, is their longest to date, at 92 minutes, and their first double album. It features "Empire of the Clouds", written by Dickinson, which surpasses "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as the band's longest song, with a running time of 18 minutes.Since their formation, Iron Maiden have also released numerous additional songs as B-sides to their singles, including original songs and cover versions. A collection of these B-sides were compiled and released in the form of Best of the 'B' Sides, one of three albums included in the Eddie's Archive box set released in 2002. Included on this album was a range of B-sides released since the band's formation, including originals "Burning Ambition" (Harris), "Black Bart Blues" (Harris, Dickinson), and "Justice of the Peace" (Harris, Murray), and covers "Cross-Eyed Mary" (Jethro Tull), "Communication Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin), and "My Generation" (The Who). The album also contained 1988 re-recordings of Iron Maiden tracks "Prowler" and "Charlotte the Harlot", released as B-sides to "The Evil That Men Do", and a 1999 live version of "Wasted Years" from the 1986 album Somewhere in Time, released as a B-side to "Out of the Silent Planet" in 2000. Iron Maiden also contributed a cover of Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'" to the 2012 tribute album Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head.

Lord of the Flies (song)

"Lord of the Flies" is an Iron Maiden single and second track on their 1995 album The X Factor. The song is based on the book and film of the same name.

Man on the Edge

"Man on the Edge" is a single from the Iron Maiden album The X Factor released in 1995. The song is based on the film Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas. It was the first single the band released with Blaze Bayley on vocals.

No More Lies (EP)

No More Lies - Dance of Death Souvenir EP is a studio EP by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 March 2004.

This EP was released as a "thank you" to fans, packaged in a box containing a free sweatband. Besides the studio version of "No More Lies" (originally from the 2003 album Dance of Death), it also contains two alternate versions of songs from Dance of Death; an orchestral version of "Paschendale" and the original electric version of "Journeyman" (not the acoustic album version). The EP also contains a hidden bonus track; an alternative version "Age of Innocence" (retitled as "Age of Innocence... How Old?") with drummer Nicko McBrain on lead vocals.

The first guitar solo in "No More Lies" (at 4:49) is played by Dave Murray. The second (at 5:09) is played by Adrian Smith, and the third (at 5:29) is played by Janick Gers.

No Prayer on the Road

No Prayer on the Road is a concert tour by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden in support of their album No Prayer for the Dying. It is the first tour to feature Janick Gers, who replaced leaving guitarist Adrian Smith. Following their large-scale stage shows used in the 1980s, the band opted for a less elaborate production from this tour onwards, with bassist Steve Harris commenting, "We thought the Seventh Son ... stage show just got a bit out of hand. I mean, the actual Eddie and the backdrops I thought looked amazing, but the giant icebergs and stuff were a bit naff, I think, and we just wanted to get away from all that and turn everything into like a massive club gig again, which we really managed to do. And having Janick in the band gave everybody a much-needed kick up the arse, too, because, being new, he was so enthusiastic about everything. I think it made us all open our eyes a bit and look at things in a new way."

Out of the Silent Planet (song)

"Out of the Silent Planet" is a single from the Iron Maiden album Brave New World, released in 2000.

Tattooed Millionaire

Tattooed Millionaire is the first solo album by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, released in 1990.

The album project began when Dickinson was asked to record a song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, and so wrote "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter". Collaborating with future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, Dickinson began creating a solo album which was fundamentally different from his works with Iron Maiden, with a hard rock sound that is less progressive. "Bring your Daughter..." wasn't included on the original release, as Iron Maiden planned to record an alternate version for their 1990 album No Prayer for the Dying, which went on to become the band's only number one single on the UK Singles Chart to date.

The album did however yield four Top 40 singles in the UK, with the lead and title single "Tattooed Millionaire", reaching no. 18. A cover of the David Bowie penned, Mott the Hoople hit "All The Young Dudes", was also a relative success, reaching no. 23

The Best of Bruce Dickinson

The Best of Bruce Dickinson is a compilation album released in 2001 by Bruce Dickinson. Two versions were released; a single disc version and a bonus disc version. On the front cover, the album title is imposed upon the seal of the demon Astaroth.

Disc 1 is a selection of songs from his previous solo albums, with the addition of two new songs, "Broken" and "Silver Wings", both of which were written by Dickinson and guitarist/producer Roy Z. Disc 2 contains rare songs, most of which have appeared as b-sides on singles. The track "The Voice of Crube" is an explanation of the various songs, narrated by Bruce (for whom 'Crube' is an anagram).

Virus (Iron Maiden song)

"Virus" is a single from Iron Maiden, released in 1996. It is the first single since 1980's "Women in Uniform" that does not appear on any official Iron Maiden studio album. It was, however, featured as a brand new track on the band's first ever career retrospective — 1996's double-disc Best of the Beast. It is the only Iron Maiden song to be credited to both of the band's guitarists. It has never been performed live by Iron Maiden, but Blaze Bayley performed it several times in his solo career. Lyrically, the song warns of rising business corruption in an increasingly Internet-dependent world.

Wasting Love

"Wasting Love" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the third single from their ninth studio album, Fear of the Dark, released in 1992.

White Spirit (band)

White Spirit was a heavy metal band from Hartlepool, England, best remembered for guitarist Janick Gers who went on to play with Ian Gillan, Bruce Dickinson, and ultimately, Iron Maiden. Other members of the band were Bruce Ruff (vocals), Malcolm Pearson (keyboards), Phil Brady (bass), and Graeme Crallan (drums).

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