043 – Day Tripper – Elaine Caswell
Original version Recorded October 16, 1965
Ukulele version Recorded: September 4, 2009
Remixed with new ukulele April 2011
Elaine Caswell – Vocals
Nathan Macormack – Cello
David Barratt Ukulele and everything else
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste, Brooklyn
ABOUT THE SONG
Arthur Schopenhauer said that every action in the universe was driven by The Will; broadly speaking, the ceaseless desire to live. But this, he argued, left us swinging pointlessly between suffering and boredom. The only escape from the tyranny of The Will was to be found in art, and particularly in music.
Arthur was, of course, wrong.
Music, more than anything else is an act of The Will.
The writing of Day Tripper is an example of this. After an exhausting touring schedule from 1962 – 1965, The Beatles needed a hit for the Christmas market. They were tired and irritable. But you would never know it from listening to their recording of Day Tripper.
This is the sound of a confident band. Like At the top of their game as much as Lionel Messi or Alex Rodriguez are now.
The song begins with a simple yet deadly riff. The form is a modified 12 bar blues. The harmony singing is celestial and effortless. The drumming is adequate. The tambourine is, as usual, obscenely loud.
Day Tripper is a true Lennon & McCartney song with the chorus and the riff by John and the verses by Paul. No time for them to argue about which is the best part. They had to go for it quickly and they did and it was brilliant.
The phrase "day tripper" was a typical play on words by Lennon: "Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But it was kind of . . . you’re just a weekend hippie.”
This was of course a snipe at Paul who was the only Beatle not to have done LSD at that point. Typically though, McCartney was the first to publicly announce that he had tripped. That was a rare Paul PR disaster. The same thing happened when the band broke up. Paul was the last one to quit and the first one to alert the media. That was a PR coup coinciding with his first solo release.
One way you can tell a good tune is by how it’s been covered. Special mention should be made for Otis Redding’s Stax version where he sweats, screams, and cries his way through the song with little respect for the original melody or lyrics. Very proto-TBCOU. We also enjoy Jimi Hendrix’s speed crazed guitar abuse version.
The Ukulele version features the sultry Elaine Caswell. It is slow, slippery, and illicit. Elaine’s love object has disappointed her. She wanted more, but her partner was not able to deliver.
Bad girl but not bad enough. Bridge and Tunnel indeed.
Nathan MacCormack’s cello is a monstrous sex-toy of vibrating bends, pulsating where you least expect it and want it most.
Strings playing the blues are like a posh girl talking dirty.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Elaine Caswell has made a lot of people look good including Joe Jackson. Cher, Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, Little Richard and Bonnie Raitt.
In addition she has sold a lot of products including Sears, Dr. Pepper, Chrysler-Plymouth, Pontiac, Pepsi, Hasbro, Burger King, Kellogg’s and Folgers,
You may have seen her on your television set on The Late Show With David Letterman, Saturday Night Live or Late Night With Conan O’Brien.
She sang the National Anthem at Shea Stadium, before a Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.
But her crowning glory was circumnavigating the globe in her hand made catamaran while wearing only leopard-skin 6” heels.