Fred Mandel

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Fred Mandel
BornEstevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Session musician
InstrumentsKeyboards, piano, guitar
Associated actsSupertramp, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd

Frederick Lawrence Mandel (born c. 1953 Estevan, Saskatchewan)[1] is a Canadian session musician, keyboard player and guitarist.[2]


Mandel became involved in music from an early age. He started playing the piano at 4 and picked up the guitar aged 8. Growing up in an Orthodox Jewish household, he found his parents less than encouraging of his musical endeavors.[3] Nevertheless, in 1964, at the age of 11, his family moved to Toronto, where he became immersed in the local music scene.

Mandel made his first appearance on record courtesy of Domenic Troiano (whose band he was in at the time). Troiano was invited to record on Alice Cooper's first solo record and got Mandel to play keyboards on the record.[4] This led to Alice Cooper inviting Mandel to join his live band. Mandel did this for four years (1977-1980) progressing from keyboards to lead guitar and finally ending up working as the musical director.[2]

During his work with Alice Cooper, Mandel was invited to play keyboards on the Pink Floyd album The Wall and this was followed up by some recordings with Cheap Trick.[2]

In the 1980s, Mandel was asked to perform with Queen on their 1982 tour supporting their album Hot Space (the Hot Space Tour). He struck up a good working relationship with the band and was later invited to be a contributing musician on their 1984 album The Works (thus becoming the first significant guest performer on a Queen record). Mandel performed on 'Man on the Prowl' and three of the album's singles, "Radio Ga Ga", "Hammer to Fall", and "I Want to Break Free" (the famous synthesizer solo on the latter, often mistaken for guitar, is played by Mandel on a Roland Jupiter-8). Mandel also played on two Queen spinoffs: Brian May's 1983 mini album Star Fleet Project and Freddie Mercury's 1985 album Mr. Bad Guy.[4]

Following this, Mandel went on tour with Supertramp who were performing their last gigs with their original line up on a tour named Famous Last Words.

Later on, Mandel was offered the chance play with his teen idol Elton John,[5] whom Mandel states as being " this day, one of the most bad-ass rock and roll piano players around!"

In 2013, Mandel worked with legendary thrash band Anthrax on the track "Smokin'", originally by Boston, ultimately released on Anthrax's album Anthems, an EP principally featuring covers from some of the band's favorite acts of the 1970s, along with two versions of "Crawl", a song from their previous studio album.[4]

Selected discography[edit]



  1. ^ "Mandel, Fred". Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  2. ^ a b c Bernardin & Stanton (1996)
  3. ^ Fred Mandel - Profile at Jewish Telegraph Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Fred Mandel | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  5. ^ Bernardin & Stanton (1996, p. 159)