Renaissance Fair
AKA:  The Illusions
Lake Forest Park, Washington
1964 ~ 1967


Ron Blair ~ Rhythm Guitar
Jim Carlson ~ Guitar
Lloyd "Bud" Kersey ~ Drums
Pat Peterson ~ Vocals
Fred Raxter ~ Bass
Bill Thornton ~ Keyboards

At our peak, we had a regular circuit through most of the high schools in the north end, but our garage band roots hadn't worn off enough to get us into places like Parker's.  It took us until '67 to figure out that bands had to be totally tight, not miss the chord changes, and either be original... or a dynamite cover band.  We had the right idea, but could have used a little more natural talent.

We started as "The Illusions" ('64) and within a year or so had changed names to Renaissance Fair.  I played bass, Jim Carlson (now an ophthalmologist in Totem Lake) lead guitar, Bill Thornton handled the keyboards, Ron Blair on rhythm guitar, Bud Kersey on drums, and Pat Peterson sang lead.  We could be found in most of the battle of the bands events, and from time to time opening for the local name bands.  We even played the same venue (on the same night!) as Paul Revere and the Raiders one summer.  Evidently they had booked a couple of obscure gigs to get ready for a northwest tour, and we were lucky enough to be on the same bill.  One of the places was a nasty old resort southeast of Renton called Shadow Lake Resort.

Shadow Lake Resort was a 30's/'40s style dance hall (arched cloth ceiling, hardwood floors, etc.).  There were several hundred of us jammed into this small room... but a great show.  A couple of weeks later, the whole scenario was repeated at Gold Creek Park, north of Redmond.  They had a dome shaped gym that doubled as the dance hall.  Again, with a band like the Raiders... it was a memorable night.

Fred Raxter, December 2001

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Last Update:  14 January 2011
Credits:  Fred Raxter
Band # 676