Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Saturday, July 30, 2016

1966: A Great Year in Rock - Day Tripper

If you're a long-time music lover, you probably have a favorite music year, a period when the songs stand out for multiple reasons. For me, that year is 1966
In 1966, I was 14 years old and a freshman in the South Jersey high school I attended. 
Although I didn't know it at the time, it would prove to be one of the greatest years for garage rock, a type of music named because bands just starting out would learn and practice these 3- and 4-chord songs, which were relatively easy to rehearse and then perform live at local dances. And most of these bands would rehearse either in the garage or the basement of whatever member had the most tolerant parents.
I should probably add one more thing here. 1966 was the year I joined one of these garage bands as a keyboard player. It's a role I would find myself in off and on for the next 40 years. And even though I'm no longer performing live, I still keep a couple of keyboards set up for my enjoyment in my writing office.
So periodically here in Rock of Agers I want to highlight some of my favorite songs from 1966. I'll tell a little about the tunes and sometimes a little about myself. But more importantly, thanks to YouTube, you can listen to the artists and see if you can hear some of what I and the rest of my generation first heard then.  
Day Tripper - The Beatles

I don't know if this would be #1 (it can change regularly), but I know this tune is definitely one of my top 10 favorite Beatles' tracks.

The title "day tripper" was the first overt reference to drugs in a Beatles' song. John Lennon who provided the bulk of the writing with help from Paul McCartney also gave a second meaning for the phrase.
"Day Tripper was [written] under complete pressure, based on an old folk song I wrote about a month previous. It was very hard going, that, and it sounds it. It wasn't a serious message song. It was a drug song. In a way, it was a day tripper - I just liked the word." -- John Lennon in the notes for The Beatles Anthology
"That's mine. Including the lick, the guitar break and the whole bit. It's just a rock 'n' roll song. Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But it was kind of - you know, you're just a weekend hippie. Get it?" -- John Lennon in All We Are Saying by David Sheff
In later years, McCartney said that the phrase "she's a big teaser" was originally supposed to be "she's a prick teaser" but he and Lennon decided against recording it like that.

The song was released in late 1965 as a double-A side with "We Can Work It Out."

"Day Tripper" contains one of the great opening guitar riffs in classic rock and Jimi Hendrix would sometimes include his version of the tune in his concerts.  

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