What The Legend Has to Say About Perspective
It isn’t easy to take advice from a master. They make everything seem so effortless! Carlos Santana is definitely a master of his trade. Most people would assume he was born with an un-earthly ability to play along with the vibrations of nature and space- yet he has a personal psalm to share. Santana serves some praise worthy wisdom while sitting down with Grammy award winning musician, Wyclef Jean in an episode of The Living Room Tour. “People are flowers, music is the water, we are a hose and anyone who gets in the way- gets in the way,” he tells Wyclef. Santana’s advice may seem inconceivable but it takes a moment of reflection to really absorb what he’s saying. By “we are the hose,” Santana is talking about musicians. The flowers are the audience who listen to the music. “The hose” are the artists who “water” the listeners with their sound. Another analogy to take away from Santana’s prolific statement is that the Earth is the garden in which the flowers grow. When the garden is properly tended to- the world becomes a better place!
So, what’s his secret weapon?
Wyclef Jean asks 10 time Grammy award winning artist Carlos Santana, “Where does the sound come from?” Santana does not need a moment’s rest to answer, “Everything comes from God and everything returns to God.” He turns his words into guitar playing and we watch him walk with his fingers down the neck of the guitar- he describes that reaction as a language. The music magician says, “Follow your dream and with a lot of intention and purpose you will get to crystallize your mission.” The guitar he communicates with in this episode of The Living Room Tour, is a Paul Reed Smith with 2 pick-ups. He goes on to clarify that the creator of the guitar built the instrument to be “very tangible and very solid.” This guitar in particular is also a physical representation of Carlos Santana’s music. Santana discloses that the creator of the guitar, Paul Reed Smith, was inspired by the success of Fender and Gibson guitars. “This guitar is about following your dreams,” he tells Wyclef. Santana is a spiritually guided man so it’s easy to understand that the story behind the guitar was an “encouraging” force in his all-embracing sound.
He’s In A League of His Own!
Like all musicians, Carlos Santana speaks through his music. But what does he hear? “I hear all the John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin’ Hopkins- the cats who had no idea what fake or (that) anything could be like that- it just oozes out of them,” Santana tells in the sit-down with Wyclef. As he talks about who he considers to be “cool cats,” the viewer cant help but to see Santana as part of that crew. Hooker, Reed, and Hopkins were all guitarists with blues/jazz/ rock vibes– all which Santana has combined together with his own Latin feeling. Along with being in the same playing ground as his favorite musicians, Santana shares another similarity to his inspirers- he is an originator of his own sound. Few people can word themselves as genuinely and prolifically as Carlos Santana. “To play guitar from something that you love is not fabricating, or making something artificial/ superficial/ disposable sound bite… we want to do completely memorable,” he declares. The “cool cat” that is Santana is certainly unforgettable in music history.
Sacrifice at Woodstock
“Godfather, it’s a pleasure and an honor,” Wyclef tells Santana as they join hands in their introduction. It is a humbling moment for both award- winning musicians. Santana replies with, “It’s a joy to be in your presence, you’re always so inspiring and elevating to me.” Elevating is a key word in Santana’s story. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and become a musical prodigy under his Mariachi player father’s tenure. At age 5, he played the violin and then learned how to play the guitar at age 8. Santana was a dishwasher in San Francisco, California until landing a record deal. Playing a set at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 was monumental for him. He left listeners stunned during the 11 minute “Soul Sacrifice” performance. There the world absorbed Santana’s rhythm and fell in love. Jazz and Rock were his major driving musical forces to which he added his Mexican soul to. Whether Santana knew it or not, he showcased a new sound to the world and became a guitar legend. Although Carlos Santana will always be connected to his Latino origin, his talent has an international reach which has subsequently influenced guitarists every where.