The intimate and long-awaited memoir of guitar legend Carlos Santana.
In 1967 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, a young guitarist played a blistering solo that announced a prodigious talent. Two years later he played a historic set at Woodstock, and the world came to know Carlos Santana by name.
THE UNIVERSAL TONE is a tale of musical self-determination and self-discovery. It traces his journey from his teen days playing in Tijuana, and the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as husband, father and rock star; and his recording of some of the most influential rock albums of all time, up to and beyond the sensational SUPERNATURAL, which garnered nine Grammy awards. The book abounds with a fearlessness that finds humour in the world of high-flying fame, speaks plainly of personal revelations, and celebrates the divine and infinite possibility Santana sees in each person he meets.
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 Autl 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.