1965 – The Beatles record “Day Tripper” this day in rock history!

The Beatles

1965 – The Beatles record “Day Tripper” this day in rock history!

“Day Tripper” is a riff-driven rock song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles as a “double A-side” single with “We Can Work It Out”. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the Rubber Soul album. The song topped the UK Singles Chart and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Day Tripper” became a part of the group’s concert repertoire in 1965 and 1966, and was one of the songs played at their final tour date at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on 29 August 1966.


Got a good reason for taking the easy way out
Got a good reason for taking the easy way out now

She was a day tripper, a one way ticket yea
It took me so long to find out, and i found out

She’s a big teaser, she took me half the way there
She’s a big teaser, she took me half the way there now

Tried to please her, she only played one night stands
Tried to please her, she only played one night stands now

She was a day tripper, a sunday driver yea
Took me so long to find out, and i found out

Day tripper
Day tripper yea


Under the pressure of needing a new single for the Christmas market,

The lyric may be partly about McCartney’s reluctance to experiment with LSD.

According to Ian MacDonald, the song “starts as a twelve-bar blues in E, which makes a feint at turning into a twelve-bar in the relative minor (i.e. the chorus) before doubling back to the expected B—another joke from a group which had clearly decided that it was to be their new gimmick.” Indeed, in 1966 McCartney said in Melody Maker that “Day Tripper” and “Drive My Car” (recorded three days prior) were “funny songs, songs with jokes in.” McCartney provides the lead vocal and Lennon the harmony, in contrast to the Beatles’ usual practice of a song’s principal composer singing lead.


The song was recorded on 16 October 1965 at Abbey Road Studios. The Beatles recorded the basic rhythm track for “If I Needed Someone” after completing “Day Tripper”.

The released master contains one of the most noticeable mistakes of any Beatles song, a drop out at 1:58 (1:49 in the version on Past Masters, Volume Two) in which the rhythm guitar part momentarily disappears; this may have been done to cover tape damage or some other recording mishap. This was later fixed on the 2000 compilation 1.


* John Lennon: lead vocal, rhythm guitar and tambourine.
* Paul McCartney: lead vocal and bass.
* George Harrison: lead guitar.
* Ringo Starr: drums.

Cover versions
Year     Band     Record     Notes
1966     Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66     Herb Alpert Presents     album
1966     Nancy Sinatra     Boots     album
1966     Otis Redding     Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul     album
1967     Jimi Hendrix Experience     BBC Sessions     album of recordings from 5 days with BBC’s Radio One, released in 1988.
1967     Lulu     Love Loves To Love     album
1974     Electric Light Orchestra     Long Beach     live album and single in Germany and the Netherlands
1975     Anne Murray     Highly Prized Possession     album, and a minor hit single, reaching #59 on the Billboard charts
1978     Whitesnake     Trouble
1979     James Taylor     Flag     album
1980     Cheap Trick     Found All The Parts     live 10″ EP
1980     Sham 69     The Game
1980     Yellow Magic Orchestra     Public Pressure     live album
1984     Devo     4th Dimension     borrowed riff
1976     Skyhooks     Million Dollar Riff     borrowed riff
1987     Bad Brains     The Youth Are Getting Restless     live album
1991     Daniel Ash     Coming Down     album
1994     Gene Wooten     The Great Dobro Sessions     album of dobro players.
1996     Ocean Colour Scene         single with members of Oasis
1999     tok tok tok     50 Ways To Leave Your Lover     Album of German Jazz Award winning soul-acousic band, “Day Tripper” to re-appear on 2005 compilation I wish
1999     Type O Negative     World Coming Down     album
2000     Simply Uncanny     Heads over Heels     demo album
2001     The Bollock Brothers     ’77 ’78 ’79 – The Bollock Brothers     album
2001     Ian Hunter     Missing In Action     live album
2004     The Punkles     Pistol     album
2006     Tommy Shaw     Butchering the Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute     Compilation Album
2008     David Cook     Day Tripper (American Idol Studio Version)- Single     American Idol Season 7

Cultural references

* On the 1966 John Mayall album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, a faster version of the riff is interspersed within the closing section of their cover of “What’d I Say”, the 1959 rhythm & blues signature hit by Ray Charles.

* In 1968, Yes used the riff in their Beatles cover “Every Little Thing” on their debut album.

* The Police incorporated part of the riff into “O My God”, from 1983’s Synchronicity. It can be heard in the introduction and chorus call “Fill it up”.
* In 1984, Devo reused “Day Tripper”‘s riff in “The 4th Dimension” on their album Shout!.

* 2 Live Crew used the riff on the As Nasty As They Wanna Be album track “Fraternity Record.”

* The Wildhearts covered part of the song in “My Baby Is a Headfuck”, appearing on their album Earth Vs The Wildhearts.

* April Wine used the riff at the end of their song “I Like to Rock”, in canon with The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” riff, and “I Like to Rock”‘s own riff.

* The Eagles play the riff in the outro for “In the City” from The Long Run.

* Buffalo Springfield borrowed the riff for “Baby Don’t Scold Me” (at the 1:54 mark) on their debut album.

* In the ABC comedy, Full House, Danny Tanner plays the riff on the season two episode “I’m There For You, Babe”.

* Johnny Marr of The Smiths incorporated the riff from “Day Tripper” in live versions of the band’s early song, “Jeane”.

* Guns N’ Roses plays the riff from “Day Tripper” at the end of a cover of “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth (band) in their 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident?.

* The song is featured in the TV show The Mighty Boosh, near the end of the episode “Jungle”. Vince Noir and mod-wolves are seen dancing to the song.

* Type O Negative cover the song as part of a medley consisting of “Day Tripper”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, on the album “World Coming Down”.

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