The inside track on the LNM (Linn Naim Mujahedeen), converting the PRaT Kafirs and foot-tapping finger-snapping staff who really should have known better.

Howard Popeck writes: I was in a particularly foul mood when CV emailed me this question a while back. My choice of language as shown here is not necessarily what I might use today. However, I stand by every word regarding the sentiment. Channa Vithana asked:

Can you give an example of Original-Selling-Point hyperbole in hi-fi that has discrepancy with actual performance?

This is how I remember it about 30 years back. The forced foot tapping in Linn Naim nutter dealers years back; the LNM. Some poor sod, well in the late 1970s at least, would turn up with his hard-earned to see what all the fuss was about. Why? because the magazines were so evangelical. He arrives and he’s softened up. He’s put down, both literally and metaphorically for being as yet, un-anointed into the brotherhood. And then he’s offered a potential lifeline that if, maybe, possibly or if he’s particularly lucky, they might, just might condescend to take his money – if he really is worthy, and let him join the brotherhood.

 But first – he has to pass the test.

There’s no other way to Nirvana “John”. No other way at all. You might, if you were receptive, smell the prospect’s fear. The foot-tappers like a hyenas circling a wounded buffalo.

 Glasgow, Salisbury …

Using the well tried and devastatingly effective techniques so well honed in Glasgow (I believe) and Salisbury (I believe) in those days, the hapless sod was force-fed some tuneless nonsense and the grinning idiot that purported to be the in-house all things expert, your friendly but slightly sinister local LNM representative – right on cue started to foot tap.

 It looked spontaneous ; but it wasn’t – not as far as I could tell

 The persuasive power and the assumption of control must, I felt, have been meticulously rehearsed. The outcome was, I felt, inevitable. Picture this; he starts by foot-tapping in front of the victim. Then he sits next to the victim. The foot taping picks up but this time Mr. flat-earth starts to bounce ever so slightly on the sofa. This is of course sensed by the retreating rectum and surrounding tissues of the victim.

Who’s the PraT now eh sonny boy?

Mr. victim then got the verbal truncheon about the significance of foot tapping and PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing) – although it wasn’t called that at that time. Slowly yet remorselessly he’s made to feel in some way physically and mentally defective because he just can’t pick up the ‘vibe’. So Mr. flat-earth ramps up the foot tapping a pace. Now he’s like Fred Astaire on steroids. His bum is bouncing up and down on the sofa. Is it St Vitus dance? Nope. It’s the ‘technique’ And, wonder of wonders, Mr. victim is bouncing ever so slightly too. Hallelujah

 His feet are shuffling. But the thing is though – he hasn’t got the first damn idea why or how.

All he knows is, he should be. Tapping with the music? No way. Power has shifted. He is now so keen to please the inquisitor that he’d foot tap to the sound of a bloody spin dryer if it had Linn or Naim stamped on it. Job done.

Epilogue

That’s how it was, way back when as I experienced it. I neither know nor care if it’s been abandoned or refined. The latter I guess.