Michel Petrucciani came from an Italo-French family (his grandfather was from Naples) with a musical background. His father Tony played guitar, his brother Louis played bass, and his brother Philippe also plays the guitar. Michel was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which is a genetic disease that causes brittle bones and, in his case, short stature. It is also often linked to pulmonary ailments. The disease caused his bones to fracture over 100 times before he reached adolescence and kept him in pain throughout his entire life. “I have pain all the time. I’m used to having hurt arms,” he said. In Michel’s early career, his father and brother occasionally carried him because he could not walk far on his own unaided. In certain respects he considered his disability an advantage, as he got rid of distractions like sports that other boys tended to become involved in. And he hints that his disability was helpful in other parts of his life. He said: “Sometimes I think someone upstairs saved me from being ordinary.”

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