Day Tripper: (n) a person who goes on a trip, especially an excursion lasting one day
I was well into my thirties before I realized my parents were very conservative.
I should have known.
My mother would tell absolute strangers that she voted “a straight Republican ticket.” That meant she walked in, pulled the lever down for all the “R” candidates, no matter who they were.
Honestly, throughout my high school years, I was not interested enough in politics to distinguish between the colliding hordes.
All I knew was that the Beatles came to America and I liked what I heard and my parents decided the Fab Four were communists, attempting to use African music to raise the heart rate of American youth, to lure them to their will.
Because of this, I was not allowed to watch them perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. I had none of their records. If one of their tunes came on the radio, I had to listen to a speech about how evil they were (while trying to hear the plea from them to “hold her hand”).
I had one escape.
My friend, Paul, would invite me over to spend the weekend at his house, and Paul’s parents liked the Beatles. His mother even said they were “cute.”
Unfortunately for Paul—who wanted to play basketball, goof off and eat foods his mother normally would not prepare unless there were guests—I sat directly in front of their stereo and listened to the Beatles for hours at a time. Matter of fact, Paul finally complained to me that I wore out part of the vinyl on a Beatle record because I played it over and over again.
It was the song, “Day Tripper.”
The guitar lick and the drums made me want to dance. I was fat, awkward and had never really thought about dancing before—but Day Tripper did it to me. Sometimes I forgot where I was and began my little dance routine, which made Paul look over and laugh at me. I didn’t care.
I wasn’t concerned about what the lyrics meant.
I wasn’t thinking about whether John Lennon was more popular than Jesus.
And I certainly was oblivious to whether Paul was dead or not.
I was a kid who heard a beat, who felt joy, and for a moment was transformed from my swirling uncertainty of adolescence into a jubilant being who actually believed that “love is all we need.”
It just “took me so long to find out.”