Road Blog - 9-11-08 A Day With Carlos
Perhaps there is no such thing as a typical day with Carlos Santana on
the road because something unusual and unanticipated almost always
seems to occur. And there's simply no predicting what kind of folks
he'll encounter and what will transpire in these usually brief and
sometimes memorable meetings.
Unlike many other celebrities, Carlos refuses to become a recluse on
the road in order to avoid the hoards of fans and well wishers, each of
whom invariably wants an autograph, a photo with him, or a few minutes
to tell him how much they enjoy his music and/or how affected they were
by one particular concert. "Carlos, I saw you in Des Moines in 1972 and
you were great. I was the one wearing the green and red t-shirt in the
front row. Do you remember me?"
Carlos likes to take advantage of being out in the world getting a
chance to see the sights and feel the special vibe that every city has.
In the process he seems to add to his store of memorable experiences in
just about every city. I recall that time in Philadelphia maybe twelve
or so years ago when he and I were just strolling about getting a
little fresh air and exercise when a young man passed us and then did a
double take and ran up to Carlos. "Tana, this ain’t you, is it Tana?
Tana, how you doing? Are you really Tana?"
Or there was the shop owner in Copenhagen a few years ago who had some
great Miles Davis photos in the window. As Carlos went inside to check
them out, the owner said," Aren't you somebody? Carlos somebody, I
And I shouldn't forget the African doorman for the Paris hotel who was
so excited as he told Carlos about listening to his music in his small
village in the Cameroons. Carlos in his usual gracious fashion, thanked
the man for his compliments and wished him well but before he could
continue on his way, the doorman said,"I have seven children and each
one was conceived with your music in the background".
"Well, thank you again," said Carlos as he tried to make a graceful
exit but the doorman persisted:" Let’s see, my first daughter came from
"Europa" and my first son came from....." Fearing the worst from this
TMI onslaught, Carlos made it to the street and commented," Well, at
least he's not asking for child support".
Today in an overcast early-autumn Edmonton, Canada, we made a quick
visit to a nearby mall and then had lunch at an excellent restaurant
next to our hotel. The people were all quite friendly and respectful of
his privacy acknowledging him with a subdued "Hi Carlos".
But it's still early so who knows what the rest of the day will yield.
In a few hours Carlos will go the evening's venue early to work on his
sound. Even though the previous concert in Vancouver was utterly
magnificent, something about his sound bothered him so he'll get this
worked out today. That's the way Carlos is.
And later,.....who knows.