Leslie performing in his tribute to


check out Les and Justin's tribute:
The Boy's From Beatlemania

Cast Member:


Lead Guitar

Gretsch Country Gentleman , Richenbacker 360, Epiphone Casino, Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar, 
bass and sitar

(l-r) Leslie Fradkin, Mitch Weissman, 
Joe Pecorino, and  Justin McNeil
pose for a 1978 Rolling Stone interview

ABOVE: Les with the "ORIGINAL CAST" Mitch, Joe, and Justin
Q:  "How old were you when you auditioned?"

      A:   25 years old.

 Q:  "How long had you been playing prior to the audition?"

     A:   I've been playing since 1963. The auditions occurred in 1976. 

Q:  "What was your reaction when you got 
       the call telling you that "you were IN!!!"???"

     A:  I thought I could swing it!

(and "swing it" he did, folks! 
The man is PHENOMENAL on the fretboard!!!)

          * Back in the beginning, How did you hear about BEATLEMANIA 

A: I saw the ad in the Village Voice newspaper while I was at a recording session. 

          * Had you been impersonating George Harrison before you heard about 
       plans for a Beatlemania show? 

A: No, but I knew all his licks since I was a kid. 

          * What was your audition experience like? eg: was the room full of 
       Beatle impersonators, or was it just you and a music director? 

A: Just myself and Kenny Laguna. I walked in with a Rickenbacker 12-String and a Vox Amp
for the audition. He hired me on the spot. 

          * How old were you when you were accepted into the show? 

A: 25 years old 

          * Were you excited when you were told that you were "IN"? 

A: Of course! 

           * Had you had previous Broadway experience, prior to Beatlemania? 

A: No. 

          * What was your first (Beatlemania) experience on stage as George in 
       front of an audience like?  Tell us that moment right before you hit 
       that first note on IWHYH! 

A: Excitement. But I really had confidence in both myself and the band. We knew we were quite
good, even at that point. 

          * How many years were you with the show? 

A: Originally from July 1976 (audition thru October 1979 (Bway close) I have performed with it
in a reunion context off and on since 1989. 

          * You became a musical director for the show at some point, correct? 
       What was that experience like, and how long did you "wear that hat"? 

A: Yes, I MD'd for the Summer Stock shows in 1982. It was a very interesting experience since
Steve Landes was brand new at that time. So it was exciting to see and participate in his "Beatle"

          * Were there ever any accidents on stage say during costume changes? 
       eg:  trips and falls, etc. 

A: Well, let's just say that I always made sure my trousers were secure. I did get wacked on the
head during a curtain call once by the headstock of the bass. Raised stars for me. 

          * If you had any, what was the most embarrassing moment on stage? 
       Power outage?  Flubbed lyrics?   Sneezes? etc. 

A: The Power Outage of 1977 , actually, was handled quite nicely by the group what with the
acoustic sing-a-long we gave to calm everyone down. But I don't remember any real embarrasing
moments (or don't want to!). 

       * I first saw you perform at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, Calif, 
       and being the big George Harrison fan that I was (at 13 years old), I 
       was dissappointed that you didn't get to do any George songs during the 
       show.  Why was that and What were your feelings about that situation 
       back then? 

A: Although the story was relayed to me that George "objected to having his material used", 
that didn't preclude "Beethoven" or other pieces from entering the fray. I actually did perform
"Something" and "Here Comes The Sun" in Boston. I can't say what the reason was although I
was perfectly capable of singing these songs. Needless to say, I wasn't real happy about it. 

          * What was your favorite part of the show? 

A: The Pepper section and the Indian section. 

          * What was your least favorite part of the show? 

A:  If I felt ill, singing harmonies to "Nowhere Man" and "Hey Jude" were especially difficult to

          * Who did you enjoy working with the most? 

A: Justin was always a friend. For musical quality-Bunk One. 

          * Where did you enjoy performing the most? (What city, country, 
       theatre, etc.) 

A: The Century City Schubert and The Wintergarden in NYC 

          * Did you play vintage instruments and use vintage equipment for the 

A: Depended on which instrument you were talking about. I occasionally used some of my own
vintage gear in those days including a 1963 Fender Strat, 1971 Rickenbacker "Light Show"
Guitar and a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. Most of the gear we used (except for the Vox
Amps) were the current models available in those days since the re-issue market didn't yet exist. 

          * What is your most favorite guitar to play? 

A: My Rickenbacker 360/12 WB/OS. I also love my white Strat. 

          * We know that supposedly none of the original Beatles ever saw the 
       show live, but some people from the Beatles camp (other than attourneys) 
       did see it. 
               Do you recall who? 

A: Keith Allison (spotting for Ringo), Various members of Fleetwood Mac (at my personal
invitation), Roger McGuinn (my invite), Mike Nesmith (my invite), Paul Simon, Barbara Eden,
Jackie Lomax (my invite)..... 

          * Did you ever meet any of the Beatles? 

A: Have met all except George. 

          *  Were there ever any VIP guests that mingled with you and the cast 
       backstage, before, during or after the shows? 

A:Roger McGuinn, Mike Nesmith, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie, Mick
Fleetwood, Jackie Lomax, Paul Simon, members of KISS, Keith Richards, Liz Taylor, Steve
Tyler & the rest of Aerosmith, the group Boston, Rick Derringer, the guys from the Left Banke
(who I had already worked with anyway), John Mendlsohn, Chet Atkins... 

          * Do you still perform with other alumni?  You also have a George 
       Harrison Tribute show.  Is there a website we can link to for more 

A: Yes, I occasionally perform with other guys from the original show. The GH tribute website is
in the works and I'll update as soon as it's ready! 

          * All-in-all, looking back, how was the Beatlemania experience for 

A: A fabulous life experience. 

Here a brief listing of Leslie's musical career:

A: PRE-Beatlemania: 
1969-1976 Hundreds of recording sessions with many artists incl. Edison Lighthouse 
1969-70 Staff writer for April Blackwood Music NYC 
               Columbia Records Solo Artist 
1970-72 Staff writer for Robbins Feist & Miller Music NYC/LA 
               "La Chansons des Souvenirs" ("Song Of A Thousand Voices") 
                (Mireille Mathieu-Phillips Recs.) 
               #1 in France, Austria, Germany, Benelux, Israel 
               (Composer / Lyricist) 
              MGM/Sunflower Records Recording Artist 
              as Fearless Fradkin ("Song Of A Thousand Voices" 45 Single) 
              #87 US #12 MOR Charts 
              as The Yummies ("Patty Cake / "Hippie Lady" 45 Single) 
              Regional Hit in various areas 
               Unreleased LP for Sunflower Records 
1972-73 Producer- Bell Records, 
               Unreleased Left Banke LP for Bell Recs. 
               Producer-Laurie Records 
               45 Singles for: 
               California (fictitious group starring me) 
               New Hope (folk rock group from the East) 
               Tom Selden (solo singer from Connecticut) 
               Mara Lynn Brown (MOR singer from NYC) 
1973-75 Recording artist for ESP-Disk' 
               Member/writer/producer for the Godz 
               The Godz-"Godzundheit" LP 
               Jim McCarthy-"Alien" LP 
               Member/writer/producer Thornton, Fradkin & Unger 
1974       Release of "Pass On This Side" (TFU) 
               "God Bless California" Single (TFU) (Top 20 Benelux) 
               TFU National Tour with Roger McGuinn, BS&T, Richie Havens, 
               Brewer & Shipley, Livingston Taylor 
1975-76 Off Bway Show-ESTELLE (Composer) 
               Songwriter/Artist/Session Musician/Performer 
               w/ Ian Lloyd, David Peel, Drifters, Earl Lewis & The Channels, 
               California, Nell Carter, Dion, etc. 
1976       Producer for Laurie Records 
               California (several singles) 
               "Jeans On" released in 1976 actually features the entire original Bway 
               Beatlemania cast - Mitch (Piano), Joe P. (Lead Vocals), Justin (Drums) 
               plus myself (Vocals, Bass, Guitar) and Diana Haig co-producing it with me. 

1981-1987 Producer for Laurie and 3C Records 
                Songwriter / Artist / Performer 
                California- "Summer Fun Medley" 
                Barbara M., Valerie Tyler, many others... 
1985      Kama Sutra Records Solo 12" single 
              Roberto Jordan's cover of "Song Of A Thousand Voices" 
              #1 in Mexico 
1985-1989 Jingles, Soap Opera Music, MIDI and Synth Programming/Composing 
               "Honey Nut Cheerios", "American Express", Campbell's Soup, Very Fine 
               Apple Juice, Nestle's, Disney, HBO/Cinemax, NBC Winter Olympics, 7Up,
               Johnson & Johnson and endless others 
1989-1994 Beatlemania Shows 
1993-94 Godz reunion and reissues 
                Singer / Musician / Performer 
                The Godz- "Godzundheit" 
                The Godz- "Alien" 
                The Godz-"Godz Bless California" (aka "Pass On This Side") 
1995   Beatlemania in Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel 
           Moved to LasVegas for 6 months 
1996  Recorded "Get Wet" CD in Phoenix Arizona (6 months) 
          Moved to Redondo Beach California for three years. 
1996-99 Beatlemania Shows 
1999  Opened my own Internet label-Trackbytrack Records 
          "Get Wet" CD- mp3.com 
2000 Moved to Denver, Colorado area 
          Beatlemania shows 
          Produced "Venus In Blue Jeans" teen group CD 
          Produced "June Record" single 
          Married (2nd wife) in October 2000 in CO. 
2001 Formed new version of Edison Lighthouse for recording & touring 
2002 Edison Lighthouse recording & touring 
         "Get Wet-A Day At The Beach" CD-mp3.com 



Birthday:  January 15th, 1951
Gretsch Country Gentleman
 Rickenbacker 360/12, Epiphone Casino, 
 Gibson J-200 Acoustic, Bass, and Sitar

 Leslie's "FRADKIN FAQ's":

 Q: When and Where did the show begin?
  A: 1976 (Auditions) New York City
    1977 (Previews) Boston, Mass.
     1977 (Broadway) New York City

 Q: Who were the original cast members?
 A: Mitch Weissman (Bass Guitar/Piano)
 Joe Pecorino (Rhythm Guitar/Piano)
 Les Fradkin (Lead Guitar/Sitar)
 Justin McNeill (Drums)

 Q: Who were the show's original producers?
 A: Steve Leber & David Krebs

 Q: Was there a Cast Album?
 A: Yes- on Arista Records (1978)

Q: Where else did the Original show play?
 A: Los Angeles (1978), Chicago (1978)

Q: Did The Beatles ever see the show?
 A: Don't know. We know several family and friends saw us.

Q: Like who?
 A: Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie,
 The Kinks, Boston, Aerosmith,
 Mike Nesmith, Roger McGuinn, etc.

Q: What's it like to play the same  songs all the time?
 A: Practice makes perfect!

 Q: Ever played overseas?
 A: Yes... Japan, England,   Iceland, Australia....

Q: Do you use equipment just like The Beatles used to play?
 A: Yes. Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Hofner, Fender, Ludwig, Vox



Contact:  Beatlemaniac@BeatlemaniaAlumni.com