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With all that has been said about J.P., the legend grows out of control. Often things that started out as rumor are now considered to be fact. His temperament and demeanor are described as everything from “sweetheart” to “volatile at best”. His shyness is often mistaken for rudeness or being standoffish. His no-nonsense way of communicating can be startling to those who are more politically correct. Intimidating is another description often used. It’s hard not be when you’re 6?4” and 300 lbs. Here are some interesting tidbits that most people don’t know about J.P.:
- He was born in London, Ontario and schooled in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
- His favorite color is blue.
- He had Scarlet Fever as a child and it damaged his eyes. He wears dark glasses to protect them from the stage lights.
- He is a 32nd Degree Free Mason, having completed the Scottish Rites.
- He has never drank 24 beers in one sitting.
- He is an avid collector of movies, video games, and guitars.
- He has no favorite instrument.
- His father died when he was 8, and left J.P. and his mother alone and on social assistance. They lived in poverty until J.P. left home for the southern US at the age of 15.
- Stompin’ Tom Connors was the first person to give a regular paycheck to J.P. After receiving $500 in cash from Tom to go buy clothes before the tour, J.P. started to cry as he told Tom’s wife Lena, “This is the most money I’ve ever seen in my life.” J.P. was 19 at the time. Tom is still like a father to J.P. to this very day.
- He doesn’t drink hard liquor, except for the occasional sip of a fine, single malt whisky. His favorite is Dalwhinnie.
- J.P. is extremely spiritual, and never credits his own abilities for what he is able to do.
- His favorite food is spaghetti.
- He doesn’t like domestic beer.
- He has never shot or punched anyone at a gig.
- He has an Associate’s Degree in American Music History and Folklore.
- He is an avid and talented teacher of music. He once had over a hundred private students.
- J.P. is extremely shy and once suffered from Chronic Anxiety Disorder that almost ended his career. He was too afraid to go on stage.