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Day Tripper

The history of this classic Beatles song


The original US 45 sleeve for

The original US 45 sleeve for "Day Tripper"

source: dermon.com

Day Tripper

Written by: John Lennon (60%), Paul McCartney (40%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: October 16, 1965 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: October 25, 1965; November 10, 1966
Length: 2:47
Takes: 3
Musicians: John Lennon: harmony vocals, rhythm guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325)
Paul McCartney: lead vocals, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: harmony vocals, lead guitar (Gibson ES-345)
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), tambourine
First released: December 3, 1965 (UK: Parlophone R5389), December 6, 1965 (US: Capitol 5555) (double a-side with "We Can Work It Out")
Available on: (CDs in bold)
  • Yesterday and Today, (US: Capitol (S)T 2553)
  • The Beatles 1962-1966, (UK: Apple PCSP 717, US: Apple SKBO 3403, Apple CDP 0777 7 97036 2 3)
  • Past Masters Volume Two, (Parlophone CDP 7 90044 2)
  • The Beatles 1, (Apple CDP 7243 5 299702 2)
Highest chart position: 5 (US: December 18, 1965), 1 (UK: five weeks beginning January 28, 1966)
  • Based on a John guitar riff and vocal pattern and completed by both John and Paul quickly in an attempt to create a matching b-side to the band's latest single. The rushed nature of its completion led John to pronounce himself somewhat dissatisfied with the song in later interviews, but it has stood the test of time with both fans and critics -- indeed, it's the song that, in most minds, marks the beginning of the group's fabled "middle period."
  • The song was historically important in other ways, as well: along with "We Can Work It Out," it was the first song released (through not the first recorded) from the historic Rubber Soul sessions.
  • The meaning of the song's title has been debated endlessly by fans. Although the Beatles had tried LSD (or tripped) by the time this song was written, the song is not so much about drugs than dilletantism or being a poser. A "day trip," in British parlance, is a short holiday, so the pun "day tripper," in the LSD context, would refer to someone who works only part-time at being cool or hip.
  • This single also claims the distinction of being the first "double a-side" single in rock history. 45 rpm records usually featured the potential hit on the a-side, but John argued that "Day Tripper" was the song with the most potential. The compromise reached with Paul's "We Can Work It Out" meant that there would be no designated "b" side, and both songs were eventually counted as Number One singles. (When listing Beatles singles, most discographies designate "We Can Work It Out" as the a-side, but only because it's billed first on the 45 sleeve.)
  • This song was completed in one day -- with enough time left over to begin work on "If I Needed Someone."
  • It's been confirmed that the phrase "She's a big teaser" was a soundalike stand-in for "She's a prick teaser," a line Lennon knew he couldn't get on the radio.
  • There are two different stereo mixes for "Day Tripper"; one by Capitol for inclusion on the Yesterday and Today compilation and one by Parlophone in 1966 for the UK-only compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies.
  • In addition, the mix found on Beatles 1 "fixes" several mistakes in the original stereo mixes: two lead-guitar dropouts during the lines "tried to please her" in the last verse, a right pan of the lead guitar in the intro, and a stray "yeah" from John which appears just before the fade-out begins.
Live versions: June 24, 1966 (Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich, Germany), June 25, 1966 (Grugahalle, Essen, Germany), June 26, 1966 (Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg, Germany), June 30 - July 2, 1966 (Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan), July 4, 1966 (Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila, Philippines), August 12, 1966 (International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL), August 13, 1966 (Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI), August 14, 1966 (Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH), August 15, 1966 (Washington Stadium, Washington, DC), August 16, 1966 (Philadelphia Stadium, Philadelphia, PA), August 17, 1966 (Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada), August 18, 1966 (Suffolk Downs Racecourse, Boston, MA), August 19, 1966 (Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN), August 21, 1966 (Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OH), August 21, 1966 (Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO), August 23, 1966 (Shea Stadium, New York, NY), August 25, 1966 (Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, WA), August 28, 1966 (Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA), August 30, 1966 (Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA)
  • In America, the "We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper" single was released on the same day as the Rubber Soul album, although neither song was ever present on that album.
  • A short film of the Beatles lip-synching this song was made for promotional purposes and first broadcast, along with a similar lip-synch clip for "Day Tripper," on the Granada Television special "The Music Of Lennon and McCartney," which first aired December 17, 1965 in the UK. Since these performances were not filmed in front of an audience, they can be considered the world's first music videos as we understand the format today.
Covered by: Bad Brains, Booker T. and the MGs, Brinsley Schwartz, Cheap Trick, Electric Light Orchestra, Jose Feliciano, The Flamin' Groovies, Jimi Hendrix, Ian Hunter, Julian Lennon, Ramsey Lewis, Lulu, Herbie Mann, Ricky Martin, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, Anne Murray, Ocean Colour Scene, Domingo Quinones, Otis Redding, Mongo Santamaria, Sham 69, Nancy Sinatra, Spirit, James Taylor, Type O Negative, Mae West, Whitesnake
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