I totally forgot to mention the best Trio tune of all: “Sunday You Need Love (Monday Be Alone)”.

That’s New German Cheerfulness there, I tell you what. The Trans Am song built around the “laser beam” keyboard setting is “Enforcer”, from their fantastic self-titled debut:

Anyway, let’s talk about the Casio VL-1. What a godsend this little bastard was. It approximated musical instruments about as accurately as those keychains that make machine-gun sounds. It is impossible to make a Casio VL-1 (aka VL Tone) sound like anything other than a Casio VL-1. And since Trio managed to use it in a popular song, it only makes you sound like Trio.

As with all consumer keyboards, the VL-1 has a delightfully awful demo function, which my uncle Bob asserted was a song from the Top 10 in Mexico.

The novelty of the thing superseded any musical application. Also, it was the ideal shape and density to crack your cousin on the head with. You could program a melody into it, and then replay it note-by-note by hitting the pair of blue keys on the right. It could not play two notes simultaneously, making chords impossible. And like all things from Japan in 1980, it was a calculator, too.

The word salad dialogue in the final panel was inspired by the crazy super-religious woman from that reality show a few years back. I won’t look her up because her face frightened me. She looked like Thunder about to explode from Big Trouble In Little China. I do regret not using “computey”, a common expletive of Angry Grandpa’s, but it might’ve been more confusing to read anyway.

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