JANICK GERS BIOGRAPHY
Janick Robert Gers (aka 'Jan') was born on January 27th 1957 in Hartlepool (it's in the North East of England).
He started playing the guitar first when he was eleven, and he played his first gig at school. Then he played in a band called 'White Spirit', and around 1975, they turned professional. They played mostly covers of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and toured in the North East. White Spirit also supported Samson, Bruce Dickinson's old band! White Spirit release a single ('Back To The Grind' at Neat Records, and the song made #2 at the independent charts.
When Ian Gillan found out about the band, he decided he wanted to produce them, so with his help they went to London to record the first (and last) White Spirit LP in 1980. (However, bassist John McCoy turned out to be their producer. The sound of the album wasn't that perfect, though.) The band supported Gillan's band called 'Gillan'. The tour went great, but sadly, the band's van crashed and the guys didn't have the money to buy a new one before too soon.
The guitarist of 'GILLAN' left, so shortly after this Janick got a phone call from Ian Gillan whether he would like to join them for the rest of the tour. He agreed to join, even though he had one night to learn the
songs. They released 'Double Trouble' in 1981, and headlined the Reading Festival. Then came another tour before they were in the studio again, recording 'Magic' in 1982. The very same year GILLAN supported Status Quo at Donington. The band split up when Ian Gillan joined Black Sabbath.
Not having any particular musician to work with at the time, Janick went back to university to study Sociology and English Literature. During the next couple of years Janick played in quite a few projects, like DiAnno and Gogmagog (1985). In 1988 or 1989 (?) he met FISH (formerly of Marillion) at a football match. Janick was invited down to see Marillion at Wembley and in the end he, Bruce Dickinson and our very own Nicko had joined them on stage, playing some Marillion songs and covers like 'All The Young Dudes'.
Janick co-wrote two songs and played on one song at FISH's solo album. They were just about to tour when Janick got a call from his old school mate Bruce Dickinson, who invited him into his solo project. They ended up recording an entire album, which became 'Tattooed Millionaire' in 1990, as you might already know. The record was followed by a successful tour, and they released a live video (Dive! Dive! Dive!) as well. It was also during this period when Janick made a cameo appearance in 'Paradise Club' along with Bruce.
Janick has always been friends with the members of Maiden, he often played football with them. When Adrian Smith left, he got auditioned. As usual, Janick had one night to learn the songs, and he passed with flying colours.
His dynamic and powerful style added something extra to Maiden's music. He has always played from the heart, played what he felt and he's not into compromises. His energetic and sexy stage performance heavily influences the other members in the band as well, and it's due to his presence that Davey isn't that passive anymore.
Janick's influences were: Rory Gallagher, Paul Kossof, Dave Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Richie Blackmore and Jeff Beck.
His favourite football team is Hartlepool.
Not a lot of people know that he's left-handed, even though he plays right-handed guitars.
The name 'Janick' is a version of John (French, some dictionaries say. However, he's not of French descent) and it derives from the old Hebrew, meaning 'The Lord has been gracious'.