LEON NAHAT sat on a pier at Hermosa Beach with his guitar and noted how each wave was different. He saw birds fly above and got a feeling. He went right to a recording studio and put “Saturday Song” down in one take, a touchstone of the sole 1977 album Love Me Crazy by ILIAN. However, getting “the feeling” is perhaps the easy part, presenting it in a contagious way is where the talent comes in. Ilian (Nahat’s nickname) put together his first rock band, FAT DADDY PUCK, in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan while he was still a teenager, circa 1970. Along with Doug Brown, Steve Marston, and Tom Fine, the band quickly built a local following playing all original material. When Ilian turned 18 years old, the band moved to Phoenix, Arizona and soon were among the most popular live acts in town. Their next move was to Colorado where Tommy Bolin of the hard rock band Zephyr caught a show and flipped. Tommy became a good friend of the band and partying buddy. Anybody can throw a bunch of licks at your face. Communicating, telling the story is where it’s at. Ilian was influenced heavily by the concise, innovative guitar moves on the ’60s Yardbirds classics. Every note speaks, adds to the story the song is laying out. You can hear that in both his guitar tracks and the arrangements of his songs on Love Me Crazy. Not one dicey or stale move allowed, no horses beaten to death in pursuit of pop perfection. He moves fast and if it doesn’t happen, he moves on to the next one. Brings ’em back alive. The songs of Love Me Crazy LP were recorded at different times in different studios. They hang together so well because Illian moved fast and with his virtuosic guitar-playing guiding the way. His music sounds fresh and timeless today because the songs were captured quickly before the magic of inspiration faded.