Beach Bear

Beach Bear was the guitarist for the Rock-afire Explosion. He was the character who arguably underwent the most changes over the years, although he has often been seen as the "coolest" character of the entire group.

Beach Bear's origins began with the Wolf Pack 5. He was the only character to keep his original name (Beach Bear) when the Rock-afire Explosion was developed. Both in the Wolf Pack 5 and in the early days of the Rock-afire, Beach Bear had shaggy gray fur and wavy blonde hair. He also wore a tropical lei and flowery Hawaiian shorts. In the Rock-afire, he was also seated on a surfboard that he'd rock back and forth on.

Originally Beach Bear had quite a crazy personality. This was accentuated by the wild voice given to him by Aaron Fechter. Sometimes it worked well in songs, sometimes not so much. In late 1982 the decision was made to revamp Beach Bear's character - the most noticeable change being his new voice. Rick Bailey took over his vocals and gave Beach Bear a more laid back, carefree attitude. Of course he did still have his crazy moments, but they were toned way down from what they were before.

Beach Bear was also given a new appearance around this time. The gray fur was exchanged for white, and a few years later his blonde wig was removed, as Aaron Fechter believed it would improve the appearance of his character. Also during this time, Creative Engineering was developing a "2nd generation" Beach Bear - one with improved animatronics that could actually stand up. Unfortunately due to difficult financial times at ShowBiz, this improved version of Beach Bear never was completed or distributed.

In the early 1990s the New Rock-afire Explosion was developed, and Beach Bear was included in the full version of the show. He was redone in the 'mijjin' style, and was on stage right along with a Looney Bird that was concealed behind a window. Although he now wore a t-shirt, his character was largely unchanged.

In more recent years, Beach Bear has often been seen as the unsung hero of the Rock- afire Explosion. He's definetely one of the most underrated characters from back in the ShowBiz era. Rick Bailey has stayed semi-involved with Creative Engineering and has appeared at some modern-day Rock-afire Explosion fan gatherings to meet with and sign autographs for his fans.