Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers is no shy performer, shimmying around the stage and twirling his guitar during the band’s concerts. But his antics got the best of him during the band’s Wednesday show in San Antonio when Gers accidentally let go of his axe while doing one of his signature windmill twirls, dangerously slinging his guitar into the crowd.
As we witnessed during Iron Maiden’s Brooklyn show early on in the “Legacy of the Beast Tour”, Gers’ theatrics contrast with the more workmanlike styles of his bandmates. He executed his spinning twirl in Brooklyn, which we described as an endorsement for the power of strap locks. But it wasn’t the locks that gave way in San Antonio; rather, Gers simply lost grip of the neck, launching it off the stage.
According to a witness who wrote into Blabbermouth, “Janick was twirling his guitar and he lost control of it and it flew off and hit a security guard in the back of the heard and upper torso … They returned it and you could tell he was apologetic. The security guard was okay but his eyes were the size of golf balls and he was in shock.”
Fortunately, the flying guitar only grazed the security guard, who was startled but uninjured. However, it was certainly an embarrassing moment for Gers, who hung his head in disbelief before the crowd surfed his instrument back to the stage.
Gers’ flashy performance style has been a point of contention for fans who feel that it distracts from Iron Maiden’s otherwise traditional stage show. An outspoken critic, radio personality Eddie Trunk once wrote that Gers “behaves like he’s auditioning for Dancing with the Stars” and that he “cannot possibly be turned up in the mix much of the time.” Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith later defended Gers in an interview with Trunk: “Some people enjoy it. I think it’s interesting to have contrasting styles and different personalities [within] the band.”
Regardless, for the sake of those in the front rows, let’s hope Gers is a bit more careful with his guitar tricks as Iron Maiden finish up the remaining dates of their tour. Watch footage of the flying axe below from two different angles.