Synopses & Reviews
The intimate and long-awaited autobiography of a legend
In 1967 in San Francisco, just a few weeks after the Summer of Love, a young Mexican guitarist took the stage at the Fillmore Auditorium and played a blistering solo that announced the arrival of a prodigious musical talent. Two years later -- after he played a historic set at Woodstock -- the world came to know the name Carlos Santana, his sensual and instantly recognizable guitar sound, and the legendary band that blended electric blues, psychedelic rock, Latin rhythms, and modern jazz, and that still bears his name.
Carlos Santana's unforgettable memoir offers a page-turning tale of musical self-determination and inner self-discovery, with personal stories filled with colorful detail and life-affirming lessons. The Universal Tone traces his journey from his earliest days playing the strip bars in Tijuana while barely in his teens and brings to light the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as husband, father, recording legend, and rock guitar star; his indebtedness to musical and spiritual influences -- from John Coltrane and John Lee Hooker to Miles Davis and Harry Belafonte; and his deep, lifelong dedication to a spiritual path that he developed from his Catholic upbringing, Eastern philosophies, and other mystical sources. It includes his recording some of the most popular and influential rock albums of all time, up to and beyond the 1999 sensation Supernatural, which garnered nine Grammy Awards and stands as arguably the most amazing career comeback in popular music history.
It's a profoundly inspiring tale of divine inspiration and musical fearlessness that does not balk at finding the humor in the world of high-flying fame, or at speaking plainly of Santana's personal revelations and the infinite possibility he sees in each person he meets. "Love is the light that is inside of all of us, everyone," he writes. "I salute the light that you are and that is inside your heart."
"Although Santana first captivated the world at his Woodstock performance, his intimate relationship with his guitar had long sustained him. Now, for the first time, the elusive guitarist tells his story in prose that is by turns ragged and sparkling. As he does with his music, Santana uses words to paint pictures, describing the streets of his Mexican hometown of AutlÃ¡n, his earliest gigs at the El Convoy bar in Tijuana, and his move to San Francisco as a teenager, where his career first took off, with the help of, among others, famous rock promoter Bill Graham. Santana also discusses the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, perpetrated by a neighbor, and his parents' efforts to downplay the incident. He strikes the perfect chord when he traces his ongoing spiritual evolution, attributing his success and the beauty of his music to what he calls the 'universal tone': 'The story behind the stories, the music behind the music.... With it you realize you are not alone; you are connected to everyone.' For him, it all comes back to the music: 'It's the fastest way of getting away from the darkness of ego.... It's a blessing to be able to play from your soul and to reach many people.' (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The intimate and long-awaited memoir of guitar legend Carlos Santana
In the realm of guitar gods, Santana stands alone for what's come to be called his "universal tone"-both the fact that you can recognize a Santana song from just one note and the fact that Santana is well known to believe music and soul are interconnected.
In the category of major rock memoirs yet undone, this is at the top-a big autobiography by one of the most mysterious and influential musicians of the last 50 years.
From growing up dirt poor in Mexico and suffering abuse to becoming a lowly dishwasher in the US with a hot guitar hand, to a person whom you might almost think is perpetually in a state of nirvana or at least bliss, this is the story of a fascinating man who brings the ideal combination of storytelling gold and a major marketing machine.
This is one of the most sensory (and sensual) major rock bios you'll ever read. His voice comes through, it's deeply honest and frank, and from imagining the wisps of smoke from a long gone Miles Davis before Carlos's shows to describing the depths of his connection to sound, Santana brings a remarkable book to his huge following this fall.
About the Author
Carlos Santana was born in Autlán de Navarro, Mexico, in 1947. He is a guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Santana. He has recorded or appeared on more than ninety albums. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, the drummer Cindy Blackman.