Don McGahn takes the stage with his band one recent night, sporting a black cap and a T-shirt warning: "Not Now, I'm Busy." He props his leg on a speaker, points his red electric guitar skyward and strums the distinctive opening notes to the Guns N' Roses classic "Paradise City." The boozy beach crowd here flocks to the dance floor to shout along. A few days later, Mr. McGahn leans into a different kind of microphone, his shaggy hair resting on the collar of his pin-stripped business suit. Addressing a few dozen Washington bureaucrats and election lawyers, Mr. McGahn weighs the merits of a pleading from a politician caught up in a prostitution ring, asking to be allowed to use re-election funds to pay an assistant to monitor the trial.
In his day job, the 40-year-old lead guitarist for Scott's New Band serves as chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Trading his Gibson Les Paul guitar for the gavel at the regulatory agency, he is the top cop enforcing the laws for the most expensive campaign in history.
Musical Talent Runs Deep in Among Political Leaders