Select Page

The Rocking Reality of The Les Fradkin News – Second Edition

The Rocking Reality of The Les Fradkin News – Second Edition

The Rocking Reality of The Les Fradkin News – Second Edition

Les Fradkin is a 21st Century New Media Artist and Composer / Innovator on the Starr Labs Ztar and a virtuoso MIDI Guitarist. An original cast member in the original Broadway Production of Beatlemania, Les Fradkin has been very active in this modern age of music.  The Les Fradkin News was released last year and now as an end to the pandemic seems to be in sight, the artist has unveiled Mirror Image upon the world at large.  Vibrant social commentary is presented to superbly infectious tunes, destined to leave an impact on all types of music fans.  Highwire Daze recently had a chance to catch up with Les Fradkin to discuss the wondrous innovations of Mirror Image and a thoroughly brilliant career in music.  Read on…

First of all, you are best known for being in the original Broadway production of Beatlemania. What was that experience like, and have you ever wanted to go back and do another Broadway show?
The experience was unique and special and we made a great team. I have no desire to act in another Broadway Show but I would be interested in my music being used in some sort of future production.

For those who missed the first interview, tell me about your previous album The Les Fradkin News and its release last year in the middle of a pandemic.
This album condenses and edits for Radio play, the essence of various essential Reality The Rock Opera tracks. The Les Fradkin News is both a story of a possible Dystopian Future and a realization of that Dystopian Moment we are now experiencing as “Reality”. The songs were composed by my wife, Loretta and I in 2003 and have since come true.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the new album Mirror Image?
Yes. It’s an neutral overview of what’s happening now in the World and what might happen in the future.

Select two songs from Mirror Image and what inspired the lyrics.
Turn To The Movement and The Lie We Live come to mind as two very significant songs. Turn depicts what’s happening now. It really pulls no punches with respect to the insanity we see and experience all around us. Of course, we all have never lived through anything like this before. But the song tries to express a Spiritual message. The Lie We Live depicts a possible future and was inspired observing the world we are living in. As always, I am a One Man Band on this recording. I prefer working that way, as a solo Artist with a blank canvas. I have been told that the entire album speaks “hard truths with a soft voice”. This album has the same basic feel as my previous work but is clearly a progression in a newer direction. It has a surreal quality and a lot of depth.

Let’s go way back to 1970 and your first hit Song Of A Thousand Voices. What was it like working with producer Randy Edelman, whose credits include The Carpenters, Barry Manilow and Dionne Warwick and how did that come about?
Well Randy didn’t have those credits yet when I worked with him he was a beginner as was I . Randy and I wrote at CBS/April Blackwood Music in 1969-1970. When we both moved over to MGM, I asked him to Produce my debut Sunflower single and he accepted. He played Piano on both sides and arranged the Orchestration.

Tell me about your work with the Mellotron and why it is your favorite go-to keyboard. It sounds so perfect on the Mirror Image album.
I have played Mellotron since 1969. It appears on most of my solo material as well as other projects throughout my career. I love it as an Orchestral tool. It has a unique sound and vibe all its own. For Mirror Image, I decided to feature it as the main instrument on the album. It certainly performed beyond expectations. My new Mellotron Micro digital keyboard forms a great background to my singing style and performance with it is effortless.

Tell me about the Hallmark Guitars “Les Fradkin” Signature Model guitar and how that came about and was developed.
It’s similar to the 1960’s Mosrite Ventures Model. But it has several refinements for modern playing, specifically, a wider neck, bigger frets, a 14” neck radius, two hum bucking pickups and 500k pots. It was developed from the Hallmark 60 Custom model which I quite liked. My wife chose the Surf Pearl color. They all have sold. I played my Hallmark Gospel Guitar on Turn To The Movement.

Tell me about Ventures Fest and how you became involved with the legendary band.
Around 2004, I was endorsing their Wilson Bros. Ventures Model Guitars which resembled the Mosrite Ventures Model instruments they played in the 1960’s. I met Nokie Edwards for the first time at Louiefest 2004 in Tacoma, Washington. He and I enjoyed playing together at Louiefest so he suggested to The Ventures that I guest with them on stage which I did in Issaquah, Washington later in 2004. This led to my recording a couple of duets with Nokie which saw release later. In recent years, I have performed with various Ventures members at Ventures Fest in the Philadelphia area. Those Jams have been interesting, particularly when I played my Ztar with them.

What was it like being inducted into the Television Production Music Hall Of Fame and do you still create scores for television?
It’s a great honor. I do TV music on demand.

Any other music projects on the horizon?
I just released the Mirror Image album so my attention is focused on that work.

What do you hope 2021 brings for you and for the world of music in general?
Wide acceptance and success for Mirror Image. For the World? Peace on Earth and an end to the Pandemic.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
You’re welcome!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Mirror Image by Les Fradkin on Bandcamp

Skip to content