I Don't Live Today

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"I Don't Live Today"
Song by the Jimi Hendrix Experience
from the album Are You Experienced
  • May 12, 1967 (1967-05-12) (UK)
  • August 23, 1967 (US)
RecordedFebruary 20, 1967
StudioOlympic, London
Songwriter(s)Jimi Hendrix
Producer(s)Chas Chandler

"I Don't Live Today" is a song by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released on their debut album Are You Experienced (1967). In a 1968 interview, Hendrix said it "was dedicated to the American-Indian and all minority depression groups".[2] The song was part of the Experience concert repertoire and Hendrix often repeated the dedication during his introductions.[1]


The song was recorded by the Experience in London during the sessions for Are You Experienced. Scheduling conflicts at Olympic Studios led manager Chas Chandler to book time at De Lane Lea Studios.[3] There they recorded "I Don't Live Today", which featured a manual wah effect that predated the pedal unit.[4] They completed a working master by the end of the day, though Hendrix eventually recorded a new lead vocal at Olympic.[5]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Musicologist Ritchie Unterberger considers the lyrics to "I Don't Live Today" to be more at home in a gothic rock setting than in psychedelia, however; he describes the music as being "played and sung with an ebullience that belies the darkness of the lyrics."[6] Author Sean Egan wrote that Hendrix "superbly, and with great economy of words evok[ed] despair, whether that despair be an individual's or the despair of a devastated and brutalized race."[7] The song's tribal rhythms served as a platform for Hendrix's innovative guitar feedback improvisations.[8] In honor of his Cherokee heritage, Hendrix dedicated the song to the American Indians and other minority groups.[6]



  1. ^ a b c Greenwald, Matthew. "Jimi Hendrix/The Jimi Hendrix Experience: I Don't Live Today – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Roby 2012, p. 65.
  3. ^ Egan 2013, p. 150; McDermott 2009, p. 39.
  4. ^ Shadwick 2003, p. 103.
  5. ^ McDermott 2009, p. 39.
  6. ^ a b Unterberger 2009, pp. 182–183.
  7. ^ Egan 2013, p. 198.
  8. ^ Heatley 2009, p. 64: guitar feedback in "I Don't Live Today"; Unterberger 2009, pp. 182–183: the tribal rhythms of "I Don't Live Today".