TEXT OF STORY
Doug Krizner: The final Harry Potter book goes on sale in less than 24 hours and it’s already setting records. Amazon.com received 2.2 million pre-orders globally. In the 10 years since the first book, the Potter spell has created quite a business, not just for author JK Rowling. Rachel Dornhelm looks at music inspired by the Potter craze.
Harry and the Potters: So the next song we’re going to play is called “Save Ginny Weasley.”
Rachel Dornhelm: For the uninitiated, Ginny Weasley is the kid sister of wizard Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron. “Save Ginny Weasley” is one of the biggest hits by one of the biggest bands in wizard rock.
Harry and the Potters:“Are you scared to walk through the hallways? Are you worried that the spiders run away?”
The two-brother band Harry and the Potters started writing their songs five years ago and popularized a new musical category: rock based on Harry Potter. Now, they have the same number of fans on MySpace as the indie band Wilco.
Harry and the Potters: We’ve got to save Ginny Weasley from the Basilisk . . .
This summer, they’re performing in 70 cities — from New York clubs to the Omaha Public Library.
One of the brothers, 28-year-old Paul DeGeorge, realized he could make enough to cover rent and food and was able to quit his job as a chemical engineer two years ago. The band sells T-shirts, CDs and some more creative merchandise.
Paul DeGeorge: A couple years ago, we started carrying toothbrushes that say like “Harry and the Potters, rock the plaque off,” or “‘Scourgify’ your smile.” That’s the cleaning spell, is scourgify.
There are now more than 200 wizard rock bands. Six are touring this summer.
Including Draco and the Malfoys. They sing songs from the perspective of orphaned Harry’s nemesis, Draco Malfoy.
Draco and the Malfoys: My dad is rich, and your dad is dead. My dad is rich and your dad is dead.
Those cheeky lyrics aside, the co-producer of the film “Wizard Rockumentary,” Mallory Schuyler, says wizard rock is all about fan magic. She says no one would have listened if it came from a media giant.
Mallory Schuyler: It would have been considered gimmicky and a bastardization of the character. But because it has been started by all these creative kids and young adults and has grown as an underground community, that’s what makes it so special, and has made it successful.
[Music by Harry and the Potters: “Voldemort Can’t Stop The Rock”]
I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.