|Is||Musician Guitarist Composer|
|From||United Kingdom England|
|Birth||27 January 1957, Hartlepool, United Kingdom|
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.
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. After Gillan disbanded, Gers undertook a Humanities degree before joining Gogmagog, which included former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno and drummer Clive Burr. The project came to nothing; however, Gers went on to play guitar for former Marillion vocalist Fish on his first solo album, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, and was asked to record a song called "Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter" with Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson for a soundtrack. The project expanded into an album, Tattooed Millionaire, and during its recording Gers was asked to join Iron Maiden in place of Adrian Smith. He has remained with the band ever since, even after Smith rejoined the band in 1999, contributing to a total of nine studio albums.
Influences, musical style, and performance style
Gers' main influences are Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck and Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher. He is noted for his energetic stage presence, which often involves dancing, prancing, and performing tricks with his guitar, such as throwing it into the air and catching it. However, his on-stage flamboyancy has drawn criticism from some. 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, and lives in Yarm, Teesside. His father, Bolesław, was an able seaman of the Polish Navy and served on ORP Burza and ORP Blyskawica on which he came to England and later joined the Royal Navy. Gers has relatives in the Bydgoszcz area and Sosno village in Poland and visited them regularly as a teenager until 1977. Gers bought his first guitar during one of those visits, in a music store in Zlotów close to Pila Gers met his Polish family again after 34 years at a 2011 concert in Warsaw 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. He appeared in the 2010 fan-made Iron Maiden documentary Maiden Heaven.
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. His favourite guitar over the years has been a black Stratocaster, equipped with JB Jr. pick-ups, which was given to him by Ian Gillan. Gers uses four different Fender Stratocasters, as well as a Gibson Chet Atkins semi-acoustic model for songs such as "Dance of Death". 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. Like his bandmates, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, Gers currently uses the Marshall JMP-1 preamp through a Marshall 9200 power amp. Preferring not to use foot-switches while playing, Gers' roadie operates his MIDI Foot Controller offstage. Favouring cables, Gers only uses a Shure UR4D wireless system when he throws his guitar around. He uses Ernie Ball Regular Slinky nickel-wound guitar strings, although he does not use the B string.