Carlos SantanaGuitar, vocals
Gregg RolieKeyboards, vocals
David BrownBass1967-1971
Michael ShrieveDrums
Mike CarabelloPercussion
Jose Chepito AreasPercussion
Neal SchonGuitar1971-
Coke EscovedoPercussion1971-
Tom RutleyBass1971-

Santana Artistfacts

  • The group formed in the Latin District of San Francisco. They are named after group leader Carlos Santana, and were originally known as the Santana Blues Band. It's one of the few groups named after a guitarist in the band (The J. Geils Band is another).
  • They appeared at both the original (1969) and second (1994) Woodstock. When they played the 1969 festival, they hadn't yet released their first album - their manager, Bill Graham, pulled some strings to get them on the bill. They went on sooner than expected, catching Carlos in the middle of a mescaline experience. "I was praying to God to keep me in time and in tune," he said.

    Their performance was one of the most acclaimed and thrust them to stardom. As Graham predicted, it went to their heads: Carlos embraced an extravagant rock star lifestyle, but soon changed direction and went down a more spiritual path.
  • Carlos launched line of shoes at J.C. Penny in 2000. He did not design them, but they were supposed to be inspired by his music. Proceeds go to children's charities.
  • When Neal Schon entered the group, there was some controversy because he was white. Carlos Santana wanted to try a two-guitar sound and thought Schon was up to task even though he didn't have a Latin heritage. Schon and Rolie formed Journey when they left the group.
  • When the band had some hits and became a popular live draw, some of the members started using drugs, and Carlos thought they were getting lazy at their shows. He briefly left the band, but rejoined them later on tour.
  • Carlos Santana had a huge resurgence when his 1999 album Supernatural was released. Pairing Carlos with popular young singers like Rob Thomas, Everlast and Dave Matthews was a winning combination, and made Santana relevant to a whole new generation. The album was the big winner at the 2000 Grammy Awards.
  • Some of Santana's early hits were new arrangements or adaptations of other artists' material: "Jingo" from Babatunde Olatunji, Willie Bobo's "Evil Ways," Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," and Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman" (a big UK single for the late '60s Fleetwood Mac). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Don - Sebastopol, CA
  • In addition to being husband and wife for 34 years, Carlos Santana and his wife, Deborah, have also owned businesses and started a children's charity, the Milagro Foundation, together. In late 2007, Deborah filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • In the early '70s, Santana helped out another Bay-area band that went on to a five-decade career: Tower Of Power. Carlos Santana enlisted them as an opening act when ToP's first album came out.

    "We were hot in the Bay area, but in the rest of the country we were nothing," Tower Of Power founder Emilio Castillo told Songfacts. "But Carlos was into the band. And mind you, every night, we gave him a run for his money. A lot of guys would have just said, 'I ain't going to have those guys open for me, I look bad.' But I believe he felt it made him play better and urged him on. So he took us all over the country and people had no idea who we were."

Comments: 14

  • Jude from UkMarry me Carlos
  • Sharon A Roubal from Pequot Lakes, MnYou, Carlos Santana, are the best guitarist I have heard since BB King & Jimi Hendrix! You have inspired me in my writing with the feeling of the Spirit!
    Por favor explain to me what Europa & Samba Pa Ti mean!
    Keep up the excellent work!!!
  • David from Woburn, MaSantana's greatest song is "Freeway" of their live album Live at the Filmore - 1968. Over half an hour of straight up jamming. It's pure bliss.
  • Evan from Post Falls, Idto don in cda dude he is my bass instructor at NIC he is in the boswell hall its the first building on the left as you drive onto campus
  • Roger from Dallas, TxDoes he even write anything? It seems like he covers a lot, and even that song "Smooth" the two other guys wrote.......will someone please explain this to me.
  • Danny from Sydney, AustraliaSantana's got nothing on Jimmy Page
  • William from Philadelphia, Pathere is a selection on santana's compilation cd. On the spirit cd, 5 song, made up mainly of drums. There is some singing, can anyone tell me what they are saying in english. I asked several of my spanish brothers but they couldn't help me. thank you in advance
  • Wing from Montreal, CanadaCARLOS SANTANA ' MY GUITAR IDOL.
    There are many great guitarists I admire. But Carlos Santana is the only one who can make me move. A guitar player's music I can dance to.

    Santana's music is not your ordinary 4/4 time feel but a variety of moods and tempo changes. His guitar is a wide range of notations anywhere from a whole note, triplets, to 32nd notes and are improvised with every rhythmic riffs and patterns possible. It is the blend of Carlos Santana's emotions, passion and the distinctive sound of his guitar that takes me away every time I listen to him. And the Santana band is like adding a set of monster wheels to a Hummer.

    But the most of all, I had the honour to have his autograph. Just go to my website to see it. Wing: singer/songwriter & guitarist. Website:
  • Don from Coeur D'alene, IdI was taking lessons from Tom Rutley, but I have lost track of him. Tom If you get this call me up!!
  • Teresa from GijÃ?n, SpainI don't know about other cities, but Santana's "Supernatural" tour concert in GijÃ?n (Spain) lasted over 3 hours! He would go behind the stage and lay down flat on the floor because his back was aching, but he would get right back up and go on playing. I have never seen anyone play the guitar for such a long time with such dedication and I have seen many concerts in my life, to include all major rock groups like Dire Straits, Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen etc.
  • Don from Pittsburgh, PaI saw Santana in an outdoor venue in Pittsburgh. On the "Supernatural" tour. If you wanna see an amazing guitarist and his band, Don't miss him if he comes to your town. Sitting in that concert with 20,000 other people, I had those What do ya call them? Chill bumps for three hours. Awesome, Carlos.
  • Cari from Rathdrum, IdTom has been teaching my son bass guitar, he is awesome and such a wonderful person to know. Thank you Tom for your time and understanding with Alex.
  • Christine from Chicago, IlCarlos tried to learn the violin but he gave up on that because his father played it so well.
  • Hans from Oakdale, CaCarlos has a way cool distinctive sound to his elctric guitar playing. You can tell its him when you hear his songs
see more comments

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