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Rod Stewart Geeks Out Over Hobby-Shop Owner

Rod Stewart
Neilson Barnard, Getty Images

He’s one of the world’s biggest rock stars, but even a guy as famous as Rod Stewart can be struck by the thrill of being in the presence of a celebrity. Just ask hobby-shop owner George Sellios.

Sellios has zero Grammy Awards or platinum records to his name, but he’s a superstar to Stewart, who’s a well-known model train enthusiast and couldn’t let his recent Boston gig pass without paying a visit to Sellios’ Fine Scale Miniatures shop in Peabody, Mass. With his nearly unlimited funds, Stewart’s built a pretty impressive setup, but according to ABC News Radio, Sellios’ is “legendary in [train hobbyist] circles,” and Stewart was reportedly “in awe” when they finally met.

Suitably impressed by the detail in Sellios’ setup, Stewart fell into mock despair, saying he was going to tear up his own model when he got back home. “That made me feel kind of good,” admitted Sellios, who seemed pretty star-struck himself. “He gave me the biggest hug I’ve ever gotten,” Sellios continued. “When he left, the same thing. I ended up kissing the guy — he got me so excited because he’s Rod Stewart, you know?”

Pleasantries aside, it sounds like Stewart spent most of his visit taking in the sights at Sellios’ store — to the point that his handlers had to drag him out with a mere 45 minutes to spare before his gig. “He was so down-to-earth,” recalled Sellios. “It’s incredible. He was just like a little kid running around here, going from spot to spot. Just so natural. Nothing like the big star he is. I was nervous: ‘What’s he going to be like, sophisticated?’ It was great. Everybody loved him.”

Next: Top 10 Rod Stewart Songs of the '70s

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