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Harry and the Potters to rock library, art gallery on way to LeakyCon

By C. Ryan Barber

Times Staff Writer

Paul Degeorge saw potential in the bespectacled "boy who lived."

There was the defiance in the face of authority. The willingness to stand up for what he believed, no matter the costs.

Harry Potter was already a punk rocker. He just didn't realize it yet.

But that was nothing the two Degeorge brothers couldn't fix with a robe and penciled-on forehead scar.

"I was in the middle of college on summer vacation and just read the series," said Degeorge, now 32. "I think it was the fourth book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) that inspired me because that's where you see Harry standing up to these different authority figures like the minister of magic, just refusing to compromise on his own beliefs."

Nearly a decade after conceiving the band, Degeorge and his 24-year-old brother, Joe, now see Harry Potter as more than a punk rocker. He's the namesake and inspiration of Harry and the Potters, a band that pays the rent and is part of a new genre of music with outfits like Draco and the Malfoys and the Whomping Willows. It's a band that has taken two brothers from Norwood, Mass., to bookstores and libraries around the world.

Belting out tunes like The Economics of the Wizarding World Don't Make Sense and Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas, the band will stop Tuesday at the Clearwater Main Library and that night at Transitions Art Gallery in Tampa.

"We're always open to different things that will draw teens to the library, just doing different things that are literacy-based," said Jen Obermaier, assistant director of Clearwater Public Library System.

"It's just a different twist."

Ten years of transporting J.K. Rowling's beloved protagonist from the series' more than 4,000 pages to sheet music has forced the band to put its own twist on the magical tale. The brothers' intricate narrative style at times reveres Harry Potter and his seven-year stay at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the two aren't above cracking a joke.

In The Economics of the Wizarding World Don't Make Sense, the Degeorge brothers do a price comparison of unicorn hair and wands with a unicorn hair core. They wonder why a wand actually devalues the hair of the horned creature, whose blood means bad luck in the series.

"It doesn't add up," Joe Degeorge said. "There must be government subsidies or something."

Nor do they know just how far Harry and the Potters might take them. The Degeorges will stop in Tampa Bay on the way to Orlando. On July 15, the same day as the release of the final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, they are slated to perform at LeakyCon, a Harry Potter fan and literary convention in Orlando (See Page 3).

The Florida trip will nearly end a figure-eight-shaped tour across the country. But their return home to Massachusetts won't mark the end of Harry and the Potters, even with the last movie coming out.

"The movies don't mean anything to me," Paul Degeorge said. "What means something to me is the story and all the places I've seen because of it."

C. Ryan Barber can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @cryanbarber.

>> fast facts

Harry and the Potters

The brothers play at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the meeting room of the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Free. (727) 562-4970. Then they'll perform at 8 p.m. at Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $8. (813) 382-3477.

Harry and the Potters to rock library, art gallery on way to LeakyCon 07/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 4:30am]
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