Tuesday, August 15, 2000
Talk to Carlos Santana and most of the time you'll get thoughtful commentary about rock history, his enduring career and the diverse musical tastes that inform his sound.
But every so often, bits of hippie enlightenment will drop from his lips like pearls from the oysters of heaven, as the man himself would put it. After all, it wasn't for nothing that he called his latest effort "Supernatural" -- an album that has pushed the guitarist to new career heights.
Here's a sampling of the cosmically quotable Carlos Santana, culled from a variety of interviews over the years.
Describing his music: "Santana music is the dance of the two lovers. Melody is the woman; rhythm is the man. The bed don't matter. The bed could be reggae or rock or jazz or whatever. If you put sand on a cymbal and you turn it upside down and you plug the hole, and you hit a note on the piano, the vibrations of the piano will travel to the cymbal and rearrange the sand to make a certain pattern. If you hit another note, it will rearrange itself. So sound vibration and resonance unify the molecules with the light. We all come from the light."
Describing his music, Part II: "You know, it's music to pick up hearts like a crane and put hearts in a different place because a lot of hearts, they're like in a swamp, you know, and guitars are like cranes to pull people's hearts from self-imposing misery."
On conversing with the late Miles Davis: "He just seems as cool as ever. I can smell him. Even on the other side, there is smell. Like, when babies are born, there's two smells -- one is chicken soup, which is the flesh, and the other is lilacs, which is coming from the spiritual garden. The spirit has a lilac smell."
On his commercial resurgence: "I feel like this is the best part of my life because I've learned that God made the world round so that we can all have center stage. I have center stage right now."
On the music of fellow '60s icon Jimi Hendrix: "The first three albums by Jimi -- it was like being captured and put into a spaceship and they take you on a trip and they bring you back instead of like jumping in a Mercedes or a Rolls Royce."