Mar. 10—When Larry Maglinger met Rod Stewart in 2012, the British pop star told him, "Nice hair, mate."
That was a worthy compliment to Maglinger, the Owensboro City Commissioner who has been putting on a Rod Stewart tribute show since 2006.
It all started when a friend of his told him he looked and sounded like Stewart. So Maglinger put a band together and began using soundtracks he had made that were complete Rod Stewart concerts without the vocals.
In 2008, he put a band together called Infatuation, also named for a Stewart song, and they had their first big show at the Executive Inn Showroom Lounge. Since then the group has performed at Friday After 5, and regionally in places like Evansville.
"I don't impersonate," Maglinger said. "I look like him and sound like him, so I do a Rod Stewart show. I do all of his hits and I enjoy it. I like the songs and I like Rod Stewart. I have been a fan of his for a long time."
Maglinger put out a CD that includes Stewart songs, with a twist of bluegrass, something he also enjoys. Mixing the two was a little difficult, he said, but it was a fun project to combine two of his favorite musical interests.
Maglinger is from Owensboro originally and has been involved with music since the age of 15, when he performed with a group called the Mags. He eventually landed a job as a recording engineer in Madisonville, and then went on to work at Nashville's Woodland Sound Studios.
He came back to Owensboro in the late 1970s and opened up Custom Audio-Video, Inc, a company that designed and maintained communication and video systems.
In 2016, he had a heart transplant, but was back on the stage performing at Friday After 5 just 12 weeks later. Following his recovery, he realized he wanted to be more involved in city politics, so in 2018 he ran for and was elected to a seat on the Owensboro City Commission. He was re-elected last year.
"I have always been involved with the chamber, and involved with the city," he said. "I always wanted to get more involved, so after I went through the transplant and everything, I thought it was time."
He likes being on the Commission, and said it's a "good fit" for him.
Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson said he loves serving alongside Maglinger. Watson, who sings in a choir, said he enjoys having fun with Maglinger, who he calls "Rod" sometimes during Commission meetings.
He said Maglinger is a "true asset" to the community, and the fact that he's able to continue performing following his transplant is a blessing.
"I've known him for forever, and I think what he does is really cool," Watson said. "Governments are so boring and mundane at times. It's nice to have a little levity. I try to bring that to the Commission meeting."
Bobbie Hayse, email@example.com, 270-691-7315