|Origin||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
Keytar Bear is the name given to a well known busker from Boston, Massachusetts. The nickname "Keytar Bear" is due to the fact that the performer wears a bear suit and plays a keytar in his performances, usually near subway and train stops. Little is known about the busker other than small bits of his life, as the performer in the suit prefers to remain anonymous. Keytar Bear has been involved in several unprovoked attacks by "drunks and school children" over the years prompting public displays of support.
Little is known about Keytar Bear's identity as he is emphatic that his real name not be used in any given context. In an interview done with Vice News, he would only state that he was "somewhere in his 20s and 30s". Keytar Bear though has been open about some of his life saying that he was interested in music since he was a kid, and was homeschooled by his grandma in Sutton, Massachusetts. Keytar bear also mentioned that he has biracial parents, but has never met his dad who was in the military. He also mentioned that he was inspired by a real-life bear in the form of a mother bear and her cub that would visit his grandmother's backyard. It was also revealed by The Boston Globe that he is a music and hip-hop dance teacher.
Keytar Bear started performing in 2011 after buying a bear costume from the movie Ted for Halloween. When asked why he decided to start performing in a bear costume, he stated that he wants to "kill" racism. He went on to say; "You don’t know if [I’m] black or white, you just see a little bear. He’s playing music and he’s having fun".
In 2014 Cambridge declared May 8 to be "Keytar Bear and Abigail Taylor Day" after a successful performance for charity. Mick Jagger said on his Facebook page that he is a fan of the bear, and posted a video of him performing "a cuddly cover of Start Me Up".
On June 12, 2018, Trillium Brewing Company released a beer called the Keytar Bear Double IPA to honor the Boston busker. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the beer went to help the performer after a motorcycle crash in the spring. While initially he did not think he would be able to perform in the summer, the performer was seen out and about (with crutches) after the release of the beer.
Keytar Bear has been prone to multiple attacks involving robbery and battery. In November, 2014 he was beaten and robbed near Faneuil Hall which led to the arrest of two people. The attack left his keytar broken but it was later replaced through donations.
A fourth attack occurred on June 17, 2017 when three teenagers from New Hampshire beat and robbed the performer which again damaged his equipment. The teenagers were arrested shortly afterwards, and an online fundraising page raised $9,500 to help Keytar Bear with his losses.
- Michael Marottaon (April 30, 2014). "Public Assembly: Boston comes together to help Keytar Bear regain his musical mojo". Vanityland. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Alex Norcia (October 25, 2018). "Boston's Keytar Bear Is a Great Musician, When People Aren't Punching Him". Vice News. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "This bear's bullish on life". The Boston Globe. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Steve Annear (April 4, 2014). "The Keytar Bear Tells All". Boston Magazine. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- Michael Marotta (May 9, 2014). "Bearing Good News: May 8 declared 'Keytar Bear and Abigail Taylor Day' in Cambridge". www.vanyaland.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Kristi Palma (November 2, 2016). "Mick Jagger is a fan of Boston's beloved Keytar Bear". Boston.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Jacqueline Cain (June 12, 2018). "Trillium Brewing Unveils a Keytar Bear Beer Can". Boston Magazine. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- Chris Caesar (November 1, 2014). "2 Arrested After Keytar Bear Assault, Robbery". Boston.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Dalton Main (June 18, 2017). "Boston's 'Keytar Bear' attacked; 3 juveniles arrested, police say". www.statesman.com. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- Melissa Buja and Karen Hensel (June 18, 2017). "Boston Musician 'Keytar Bear' Attacked; 3 Teens Arrested". NBC. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- Marc Fortier. "Keytar Bear is Back!". NECN. Retrieved June 22, 2017.