The composition is believed by some to have been inspired by marijuana, not least due to the word "tripper" in the title. However, "day tripper" is a common term in British English for someone who goes on a one-day coach outing (as seen in Magical Mystery Tour), and this is probably yet another Beatles "drug reference" which in fact is just a coincidence. John Lennon has said that he really meant "weekend hippie."
The song was recorded on October 16, 1965, during sessions for the Rubber Soul album. The song was recorded in three takes. Take three was used on the final record. Hear the aborted take one here:
- John Lennon - lead vocals, lead guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325)
- Paul McCartney - lead vocals, bass guitar (1963 Hofner 500/1)
- George Harrison - harmony vocals, lead guitar (1961 Fender Stratocaster)
- Ringo Starr - drums, tambourine
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