Neil Peart has just posted his first update of 2014 to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog. This February 2014 entry is titled "Bubba And The Professor". The entry takes a look at Neil's duality of personas, if you will, from his given nicknames of "Bubba" and "The Professor". Neil elaborates on how - and why - he received these nicknames:"...It was the same way with Bubba — I didn’t pick it, and probably wouldn’t have. It came from Andrew MacNaughtan, the band’s main photographer from around 1989 until his tragically early death in 2011. During those years Andrew shot us casually and formally all over the world, including the portrait that opens this story (with expert Photoshop work from Hugh Syme), my all-time favorite. (Bubba’s, anyway.) In the early ’90s, Andrew also traveled with us on a couple of tours as a personal assistant. (Poor guy.)Neil talks in length about spending quality time with his family and his now 4-year old daughter Olivia in particular. He only touches upon the new graphic novel adaptation of Clockwork Angels and reveals an image of Crown City.
Back in those days, early in a friendship that would deepen over the years, Andrew started calling me Bubba. Originally Southern slang for “brother,” that title has grown to convey a “good ol’ boy” stereotype—even “redneck.” I could only assume Andrew was calling me that because I was pretty much the “Anti-Bubba” (I hope that’s what he was thinking), because, you know, I had read books, and written them, and cared about art, and cooked for my family, arranged flowers, and was friends with gays and brown-skinned people.
An even earlier nickname given to me, “The Professor,” had an an equally ironic root. It was not, as many strangers assumed, some reflection of admiration from the Guys at Work for my intellect and learning. Oh no. Nor did it reflect an actual university degree, as some rumors held. No, the Guys at Work were simply equating my demeanor with the character on “Gilligan’s Island,” played by Russell Johnson.
Not terribly insulting—but not exactly cool, either.
So ... a question arises that has honestly never occurred to me before: which is the “real me?” The Professor, or Bubba?
The entry also looks at other ways Neil is enjoying his down-time, including his love of driving (on and off the track). Once again, another interesting and enlightening read.
You can read the entire entry via this LINK.
And to check out every News, Weather, and Sports entry Neil has made dating back to 2005, they are all available at the News, Weather, and Sports Archives.