Janick Gers is one of Iron Maiden
's guitarists. He joined the band in 1990, after the departure of Adrian Smith.
Janick Robert Gers was born January 27, 1957 in Hartlepool, UK. His father is Polish, but settled in the UK when he met Janick's mother. Janick started playing the guitar when he was 11, and started doing it for a job when he was 18. After playing in a few school bands, he formed White Spirit. They recorded their first album, White Spirit in 1980, but Janick left in 1981 when he was asked to play in Ian Gillan's band. He recorded a few albums with Gillan, but he left at the end of 1982.
In early 1985, Janick joined the band of former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno, which a few months later was renamed to Gogmagog. He recorded an EP with Gogmagog, 1985's I Will Be There. In 1988, Janick joined the band of ex-Marillion singer Fish. He worked with Fish on the album Vigil IN A Wilderness Of Mirrors, and played live with him a couple of times.
In 1989, he was asked by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson to work on Bruce's solo album. Since they had been friends for a long time, he was thrilled to do it. He co-wrote a lot of songs on Bruce's first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire, which was released in 1990.
In early 1990, Adrian Smith left Iron Maiden. At that time, Janick was working with Bruce, and was asked to audition for Iron Maiden. He got the job, and went on to record the album No Prayer For The Dying with them in 1990.
He's been in Iron Maiden ever since, and has played on Fear Of The Dark in 1992, The X Factor in 1995, Virtual XI in 1998 and Brave New World in 2000.
Of course, being in Iron Maiden means playing live across the world. He can be heard doing this on 1993's live albums A Real Live One, A Real Dead One and Live At Donington.
In 1999, Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to Iron Maiden. Since Iron Maiden had always had two guitarists, fans were wondering if Janick would have to go, since it was out of the question that longtime Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray would be fired. Fortunately (or unfortunately, according to some) Janick stayed, and Iron Maiden continued with three guitarists.
Sources: Official Iron Maiden fanclub newsletters, the official Iron Maiden website, various fan websites, various magazine articles.