The Universal Tone

Bringing My Story to Light


By Carlos Santana

With Ashley Kahn

Formats and Prices




$15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 4, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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.”


Begin Reading

Table of Contents



Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


Conviction and Charisma

Josefina Barragán

José Santana

Mi historia comienza con un desfile.

My story starts with a parade.

But really, we could start at any point in my life, and that would be cool. It's like the set list for a Santana concert. You could just rip it up, throw it in the air, then put it back together. Anything you start or end with can work, really. It's all the same circle, and it all connects.

There are a lot of chapters to my story. There are a lot in anyone's life. But my life has three parts. There's my musical journey; there's my being a son, brother, husband, and father—what I call domestic rhythm; and there's the spiritual dimension, the invisible realm. They are woven together tightly—the physical and the spiritual, the seriousness and the humor, the sacred and the earthy. So is this book.

I know you want to hear about the Fillmore and Woodstock, and you will. And about the '60s, the '70s, and of course about Supernatural and the awards shows and everything that's happened since then. I will give it all the correct, complete hug: my past teachers, my divorce, my new marriage, my being molested as a boy—all of it.

There is my childhood in Mexico and the trip we made from Autlán to Tijuana with my mom, sisters, and brothers. My dad teaching me violin and sending me my first electric guitar from San Francisco. My sisters sitting on top of me, forcing me to listen to Elvis. The family moving from Tijuana to San Francisco, where I learned English and began my life in a new country as a dishwasher.

This book is not a discography or a year-by-year chronicle of the rock group Santana's every show. All that is for another time and another book. This book is not his-tory, it's my story. In telling my story, I know that what I remember is a choice I have. There is such a thing as divine rationale: I call it celestial memory. In fact it's anyone's choice to look back and see the past as beauty and blessings. I think ice cream can taste sweeter when I look back on tasting it, and even the air can feel better in the lungs. I also celebrate honesty and the details that tell the stories of my life.

My goal was to make this book multisensory, to make it read the way my mother's home cooking tasted. Interesting but also delicious. Not crass, and not boring.

The food I love from Mexico, the clothes and the colors and the music, it's all still alive for me. I still smell the inside of the strip clubs in Tijuana and backstage at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. I see the people, I smell the weed. I feel the guitars I played in my hands and can hear the sounds each of them made. I'm so grateful for all these memories.

That parade I mentioned? That is not one of my memories. I don't remember it because I wasn't there. The day of the parade was when my father and mother met for the first time as adults. That's when it all began for me.

My mom would tell me that it was five in the afternoon—the sun was getting low, and everything looked golden, as it does at that time of day. All of a sudden she heard this commotion out on the street. This was in her hometown—Cihuatlán, in the Jalisco province in Mexico, on the Pacific coast. It was around 1938, when Mom was still living with her family. Her name was Josefina Barragán.

My grandfather—her dad—was complaining, "Oh, it's that diablo Farol." They called my dad El Farol. It literally means "lantern" and was a nickname they gave him because of a song he used to sing and play.

"What are you talking about?" she said. "It's him—José Santana." My mom had run into him once when she was a little kid and he was a teenager. Her ball landed between my dad's feet, and she ran over to get it. "Boo!" he said. "Hey, little blond girl, your hair is straight, like corn silk." And she ran away.

More than ten years later, my mom parted the window curtains and saw a group of people walking down the middle of the street with José in the lead—and all the town's prostitutes following him. Everyone was laughing, making music, and singing. The man who would become my father was holding up his violin bow like it was a flagpole, and a pair of panties and a brassiere were hanging from it. The mayor was next to my dad, and there were other musicians, too. The town priest, who was really pissed off, was following them and trying to throw holy water on everyone. They're all making this incredible barulla, this racket. The way my mom told it, I got the feeling that these guys had been carrying on all night and through the day and were just so full of themselves, drunk and wasted, that they decided to take the party into town. It was such a small town, anyway. Everybody was looking at this spectacle and shaking their heads.

The mayor just adored my dad. He loved musicians and their lifestyle, so who's going to tell them they can't sing and play in the streets? Most people liked my dad—he was charismatic. He was born in Cuautla, a small town around three hours inland, and, like his father, he had become a musician. He had moved to Cihuatlán for the work—playing in symphonies and in bands that played popular Mexican songs. Don José, they called him.

In 1983, after my son, Salvador, was born, I visited that part of Mexico with my dad. I met a lady there who told me, "Carlos, I grew up with Don José. We were from the same generation. I want you to know that you might be recognized around the world. But here Don José is the Santana that counts." My dad just looked at me. I smiled and said, "Hey, that's fine with me."

Not everybody felt that way in Cihuatlán—not the priest, and definitely not my mom's dad. He didn't like José because he was a musician and especially because he was a real Mexican, a Mexican mestizo. You could see the Indian blood in him. He was dark in complexion and proud of it. But his name—Santana, or Santa Anna—came from Europe. Saint Anne was Mary's mother, Joseph's mother-in-law. Jesus's grandma. Can't get much more Catholic than that.

My mom's family was lighter-skinned, European. I once saw my family tree, and there's some Hebrew on that side of the family—there were many Jews who came over from Spain to the New World after 1492. We Santanas ate pork, but my mom had some strange rules about food—what we could and couldn't eat and when; foods that couldn't be eaten at the same time. Some of that could have been handed-down kosher stuff.

The Barragáns lived on a hacienda. They owned horses and stables and had people working for them. All my dad had was his violin.

That didn't stop my mom. She used to tell me, "When I saw your father at the front of that crazy parade I knew that would be the man I would marry and leave this little town with. I had to leave. I didn't like the smell of the ranch; I didn't like men who smelled like horses and leather. But your father did not smell like that."

José and Josefina met up and fell in love. She did not get any blessings from her father. They eloped on a horse; Dad just stole her away. Her family came looking for them, and a friend helped hide them in Cihuatlán. Then they ran off to Autlán, where they started our family. Mom was eighteen, and Dad was twenty-six. I was born a few years later, the middle child of seven.

I never found out exactly what the parade was about, what unholy event they were celebrating. My father never spoke about his younger days. He never spoke much about anything, really. It doesn't matter. I love all parts of their story: the sex and the religion and the humor. It shows Dad's supreme sense of charisma and mom's supreme conviction. It shows them coming together, and it shows what they gave to me.

From my mom I have this rage and fury to make things right. In all the pictures I've seen of my mom as a little girl, she has an intensity of focus about her, almost like she's angry—between angry and committed. At a very young age she questioned everything. She even questioned the Bible. "I need to know: I don't just accept something," she used to say. Her character was definitely made out of steel.

My dad was strong, too, but he was romantic. He loved playing music. I can remember how he would put his chin on the violin, slowly, as if it were the shoulder of a woman. Then he would put the bow on the strings with his eyes closed. All women belonged to him at that moment. He played from the center of his heart.

Dad lived to play, and he played to live. That's what musicians are meant to do. He played what was asked of him for work—polkas, boleros, mariachi music. But he was a pure melody guy at home. His favorites were the songs of Agustín Lara, who was the Cole Porter of Mexico—many of his songs were in the films of the time. He wrote the song "Farolito," which my dad loved to sing and was how he got the nickname El Farol. Since he played Lara's music for himself at home, that's the first music I heard. That and "Ave Maria."

This book was written to honor my dad and all the other musical heroes who left their fingerprints on me—my "Who's your daddy?" list. Lightnin' Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, and John Lee Hooker. B. B. King, Albert King, and Otis Rush. Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Gábor Szabó, Bola Sete, and Wes Montgomery. Miles Davis, John and Alice Coltrane, and many, many more.

I'm proud to say that I met almost all of them and was able to shine in their light and feel a connection with them through the music they shared with the world. I looked straight into their souls and I saw me, and because I love them, I love me. A lot of people spend their lives in such a hurry that when they die, life's going to seem like one big blur. But the times I spent with Stevie Ray or Otis or Miles Davis—I can just freeze that moment right now in my brain and get in it and tell you what they were wearing, what we said to each other. Every moment is still very clear—they're some of the memories that you'll find in this book.

When I started creating this book, it wasn't easy. It was like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning before you get a chance to get yourself right. I told myself I'd have to give myself another mantra: "I'm not afraid to dance in my own light." And I'm not.

I used to be a very intense, compulsive person. I was always angry because my ego had convinced me that I was hopeless and worthless. I was playing hide-and-seek with myself. I remember a long time ago in Mexico someone asked me, "What are you most afraid of?" I told him, "Disappointing God." Now I realize there's no way I could disappoint God because this isn't an issue to him. It's only an issue for my ego. What is an ego except something that thinks it's separate from God?

When I could understand that, I was like a snake shedding its skin. The old skin was guilt, shame, judgment, condemnation, fear. The new skin is beauty, elegance, excellence, grace, dignity. More and more I'm learning to bless my contradictions and my fears and transform them. More and more I want to use my guitar and my music to invite people to recognize the divinity and light that is in their DNA.

That's the story behind the stories, the music inside the music. John Coltrane called it A Love Supreme. I call it the Universal Tone, and with it ego disappears and energy takes over. You realize that you are not one alone; you are connected to everyone. Everybody's born with a way to receive the Universal Tone, but very few allow it to give birth to itself. Most people abort it with things that are more important to them, such as money or fame or power. The Universal Tone is outside of me, and it's through me. I don't create it. I just make sure I don't get in its way.

Marvin Gaye was once asked, about his album What's Going On, "How did you create such a masterpiece?" He said, "I just did my best to get out of the way and let it happen." My wife, Cindy, tells me that Art Blakey used to talk to her about drumming and tell her that the music comes "straight from the Creator to you." He used to say that a lot, and his music felt that way. Real musicians know that real music arrives like that. It doesn't go to you—it goes through you.

It's the same thing with John Coltrane, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Marley, Dr. Martin Luther King—all the message givers. I'm really grateful that I was able to hear so many of their sounds live. Some people are put on this planet to help elevate consciousness, and through them come the sound and words and vibrations and music. It has nothing to do with show business or entertainment. It's not elevator music—it's elevating music.

That's the Universal Tone doing what it does. Suddenly the music compels people to go against what they thought was aesthetically solid for themselves, and what used to fit so well then feels really uncomfortable, like shoes that have become too tight and can't be worn anymore. It raises people's consciousness and stops the static so they can hear the forgotten song within. Their molecules are changed so they can stand outside the realm of themselves and outside of time. They can stand in a forever now.

I have been fortunate to see how universal the Universal Tone really is. It's such an incredible thing to be known worldwide, to be a point of connection between so many people. I accept being a conduit. I accept that grace has chosen to work through me as it wants to, and I also accept the gifts and awards and accolades and royalties that come with it.

I didn't always feel that way—I didn't have the confidence that would make me feel comfortable carrying the Universal Tone. I had to learn that from being around other musical shamans and spirit givers, people like Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, B. B. King and Wayne Shorter. Watching how they rise above the fame-and-stardom thing while their feet never leave the ground. How they accept the nice hotels and first-class seating and awards shows along with the late hours and fast food and early wake-up calls and sound problems. How they serve the music and carry the Universal Tone.

I met a beautiful couple in Saint Louis not long ago who had given away a lot of money to help people who badly needed it. The wife said something that knocked me out: "It's a blessing to be a blessing." Those words were perfect. They said what's been inside me for so many years, even when ego, shame, and guilt have gotten in the way.

I'm just one man. I have feet of clay, like everyone else. I like ecstasy and orgasm and freedoms and all the kinds of things I can afford now, but I am very, very guarded with myself. I keep my darkness in check. Most of the time I try to get the best out of myself by being gracious and consistent and humble, not obnoxious or rude or cruel or vulgar.

Then suddenly: damn it, I blew it again. I had a temper tantrum. I got knocked out by my own ego and said or did things without thinking. Said something wrong to somebody I care for. Before, I did not know that anger is just fear with a mask. Now I know that, and I know I have to move on. Take a deep breath, forgive myself—get back to the Universal Tone.

People know me as much for being a spiritual seeker as for my music. "Cosmic Carlos," "Crazy Carlos"—I know what people say, and I have no problem with that. I'm the guy who talks about light and luminosity and always wears dead people on his shirts and jackets. Many people put people on their clothes. In my eyes John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis—they are inspirers and igniters, finders of blessings and miracles. They are all immortals, still alive in an eternal now. And they make me look good—try them on for yourself.

"Cosmic" to me means being connected. From the place where I am, where I am blessed to be, I have been able to see how we're all connected. When people call me cosmic or crazy I take it as a compliment and say, "Well—behold. My craziness is working. How's your sanity doing?"

If people really want to know me, they shouldn't stop there. They should know that I'm always going to become better and that it took me a long time to realize it's time to stop seeking and start being. The spiritual goal I was looking for wasn't something that was far away, at the top of some mountain—or even a few feet above that. It is always right here, in the here and now, in my spirit and music and intentions and energy. I'm constantly hoping to use my energy and blessings for the highest good, to do things and say things and play music that all resonates on the same frequency—the Universal Tone.

When you put out a certain music and energy, you never know whom it will hit and who will be shining with it. Sometimes I'm sitting down to eat and just about to put a fork in my mouth, and someone says, "I'm sorry to disturb you…" and they have a story to tell me. Or they want me to sign something or have a photo taken with them. At that point, food really is not important.

Friends will be eating with me sometimes when this happens, and they'll ask me how I deal with it. I'll say, "Look, man, where are we right now?"

"Uh… in a restaurant."

"Okay. And you know who's paying for this food? They are. And that nice car outside that's waiting for us? They helped me get that, and they're paying for the gasoline, and the house I'll be driving to after I eat, and I wouldn't be here eating if it weren't for them. So if they want to take a picture, hell, take two."

I put the fork down, I make eye contact with the people who come up to me, and I listen to them. I'll give them a hug if it's appropriate.

It's about accepting a role that I have been chosen for and learning when to make myself available—and when not to. One time in Philadelphia I was stopped on the street by this guy who started hustling me. "Hey, 'Tana! Is that you? No, you ain't 'Tana, are you? Wait: yes, you are! Well, now, looka here, now—that's you, right, 'Tana? Man, I got all your shit, 'Tana—the records and the CDs, the eight-tracks, the cassettes, and I just got some DVDs." This was definitely before iPods. "I know you're going to help a brother out with the rent now, right 'Tana?"

I told him that my name is Santana, not Santa Claus, and that maybe he should have paid his rent first. I walked away, but that name followed me—to this day there's a few friends who still call me 'Tana. I'm cool with it. We talk about how some things are "'Tana stuff" and some stories are "'Tana stories." My assistant, Chad, calls me 'Tana, and my friend Hal asks for the Tanaman when he calls the house.

Sometimes it's about knowing when to leave, like the time a guy came up to me with his wife after a show at Madison Square Garden wanting me to stand next to her for a photo. "Come on, honey, get close to Carlos. Closer! Okay, now kiss him." I was like, "Hey!" and got away.

That's a little too close, thank you. Once in Paris, a hotel doorman was telling me how each of his children had been conceived to Santana music and started to run down a list of all the kids and all the songs. I thanked him before he went too far. That's all a little too much connection for me—I'm not that universal.

I told myself that this book should be healthful, healing, elevating, informative, raw, honest, and elegant. It should absolutely be entertaining, in a form that anyone, especially my children and family, can read and enjoy, laugh with and understand. There's so many funny things I've experienced that I feel I have to share—experiences that prove God has a sense of humor.

I like to laugh, and I love stories, and I wanted all that in this book, too. One of my favorite stories is about a man who is so successful at business that all he can do is make money, and everything he does or touches keeps making more money, but the more money he makes the more depressed he gets, and he can't figure out why. A friend tells him about this one special guru who has the secret to happiness and lives in a cave at the top of a mountain way across the ocean—where they always live, right? It was a long, long, expensive trip—on a plane, then a boat, a taxi, a horse, and then on foot. He spends weeks and weeks and finally finds the right mountain and climbs to the cave and goes in. Slowly his eyes adjust to the darkness, and he sees an old man with a long beard meditating—deep, deep, deep. Like, just buzzing. He waits and waits for the guru, and finally the old man opens his eyes and looks at him. "O Wise One, I've come a long way," the pilgrim says. "What is the meaning of all this, of existence?"

The old man just smiles and tilts his head toward a sign by his feet. The pilgrim looks at it—it's hard to see in the cave. The sign says HOKEY POKEY. He's thinking, "What? Huh?" He looks back at the guru and says, "Hokey pokey?"

"Yup. That's what it's all about."

The lesson is a simple one: you have to have fun with your existence. At some point you have to stop taking things seriously and personally and getting all stiff, which only paralyzes your creativity and vitality.

I can tell you what I didn't want this book to be about—I didn't want it filled with any regrets, remorse, or guilt. You can read other books for that. A friend told me something I kept in mind in writing this: when you go through hell—your own darkest night of the soul—don't take pictures to show to your friends. Someone else said, "Don't cry when you see your own movie." It all makes sense to me.

When somebody would ask me how I want to be remembered, I used to just shrug that off and say, "Me importa madre"—I don't give a damn. But now I say, as someone who consciously and unconsciously is doing things to inspire people to aspire, this book is about accepting the responsibility to raise consciousness in others and to express my supreme gratitude to everyone, every spirit who has guided my life and given me the chance to acknowledge these gifts and share them. It's through them that I'd like to be remembered.

And as for what I've learned: be an instrument of peace. Be a gentleman at all costs. Enjoy yourself—have fun with your existence. Learn to listen to your inner voice and don't overdose on yourself. Keep your darkness in check. Let music be a healing force. Be a real musician: once you start counting money before notes, you're a full-time wannabe. Put your guitar down and go outside and take a long drink of light with your eyes. Go walk in the park and take off your shoes and socks and feel the grass under your feet and mud between your toes. Go see a baby smiling, go see a wino crawling, go see life. Feel life—all of it, as much as possible. Find a human melody, then write a song about it. Make it all come through your music.

Welcome to my story—welcome to the Universal Tone. Vamos a empezar.


(Clockwise from top left) Irma, Laura, Tony, me, Lety, and Jorge in Autlán, 1952.

Maria, 1959.

I believe I grew up with angels. I believe in the invisible realm. Even when I've been by myself, I've never been alone. My life has been blessed that way. There was always someone near me, watching me or talking to me—doing something at the right time. I had teachers and guides, some who helped me get from one place to another. Some saved my life. When I look at the whole vortex of things that happened in my life, it's amazing how many times angelic intervention came through various people. This book is because of them and is written to acknowledge them. It's about angels who came into my life at the point where I needed them the most.

Bill Graham, Clive Davis, and my high school art teacher, Mr. Knudsen. Yvonne and Linda—two friends in junior high school who accepted me and helped me with my English. Stan and Ron—two friends who gave up their day jobs to help me get a band together. The bus driver in San Francisco who saw me carrying my guitar and made me sit near him to keep me safe when his route went through a very rough part of town. Musicians I played with who were my mentors—Armando, Gábor, and many, many more. My sisters and brothers, who helped me grow up. My three beautiful children, who are so wise and are now my teachers. My mom and my dad. My beautiful wife, Cindy.

I believe the world of the angels can come through anyone at any time, or at just the right time, if you allow yourself to move the dial on your spiritual radio just a little bit and hold it at the right frequency. For that to happen, I have to avoid making my own static, avoid ego rationalization.

People can change the way they see things by the way they think. I think we are at our best when we get out of our own way. People get stuck in their stories. My advice is to end your story and begin your life.

When I was just a kid, there were two Josefinas in our home. One was my mom, and the other was Josefina Cesena—we called her Chepa. She was a mestiza, mostly Indian. Chepa was our housekeeper, but she was more like one of the family. She cooked, sewed, and helped my mom raise all us kids. She was there before I was born. She changed my diapers. When my mom would try to spank me, I'd run behind Chepa and try to hide in her skirt.

When moms are pregnant, they spank harder and more often. When I was little, it seemed like my mom was always pregnant, and Chepa protected me from a lot of whippings. She was also the first angel to intervene on my behalf.

Things were already hard for my family. Dad and Mom had been married ten years, and he was traveling more and more to play his music and make money. Autlán did not have enough opportunities for a professional musician, so he started to travel for work and was gone for months at a time. You can tell his travel schedule by looking at his children's birthdays. Starting in 1941, every two years another child was born. My three older siblings were all born in late October. The other four of us have our birthdays in June, July, and August.

When my turn came, Dad decided another child was one too many. The family was struggling financially. "Go over there and cook the tea," my dad had said to Chepa when he found out my mom was pregnant again. He had gone out and come back with this bag of tea that was toxic and meant to induce an abortion. I'm not sure how many times that happened before I came along, but I know that in total my mom was pregnant eleven times and lost four of her babies. After Antonio—Tony—then Laura and Irma, I was the fourth to come along.

"Boil this thing, and I want to see her drink all of it," my father told Chepa. But she knew my mother did not want to lose the child. When he wasn't looking Chepa pulled a three-card monte—substituted one tea for another. She saved my life before I was even born.


  • NPR's Best Book of the Year
    American Book Award Winner

    "One of the most articulate rock memoirs ever."—Chris Willman, San Francisco Chronicle
  • "With its deep insight into the Mexican musician who usually lets his music speak for itself, this book is a Carlos Santana fan's dream.... And his message seems to be as profound as the universe itself."—Felix Contreras, co-host of NPR's Alt.Latino, "NPR's Best Books of 2014"
  • "In this frank and impassioned memoir, iconic, influential musician Santana, 67, known for fusing rock and Latin rhythms, weaves together the rhythmic, domestic and spiritual dimensions of his career. Generously reflective and well-balanced.... Charismatic and soulful.... An appreciative and unpretentious chronicle, this is required reading for Santana fans and devotees of classic rock legends."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist's book is perhaps the most musically generous of the fall's memoirs. Santana doesn't pull punches...."—Brian Mansfield, USA Today
  • "Santana [writes] with the same searing intensity and blatant honesty displayed throughout his 45-year career in music.... The Universal Tone is a book examining a lifelong quest for knowledge and some sense of divinity... Santana deals with both in the same unflinchingly honest and dignified tone."—Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News
  • An "excellent new autobiography."—Jim Farber, New York Daily News
  • "A candid and stunning story.... Deeply honest and frank."—Robin Leach, Las Vegas Sun
  • "From Tijuana, Mexico to Woodstock and beyond, legendary guitarist Santana spins a freewheeling ballad of his remarkable life."—O, The Oprah Magazine
  • "The Universal Tone doesn't follow the usual well-trodden path of other rock star tell-alls... Santana sidesteps salaciousness for spirituality while taking readers through the touchstone moments of his remarkable life and career."

    "A compelling and uplifting journey through his life and career."—Joe Bosso, Music Radar
  • "Entertaining and enlightening.... Santana's journey from obscurity and abject poverty to affluence and superstardom is expressed eloquently via an informal conversational style that captures the cadences of his speaking voice."—Charles Waring, MOJO Magazine
  • "Compelling."—Henry L. Carrigan Jr., BookPage
  • "Universal Tone is every bit as tantalizing, succulent, and satisfying as the cactus fruit, roasted peanuts, and carne asada the author savored as a boy. And the sense memories peppering its pages are as frequent and visceral as the notes comprising his best guitar solos. Carlos doesn't merely tell us about his past; he lets us hear, smell, and taste it, too."—Peter Roche, Cleveland Music Examiner
  • "Fun and funky, The Universal Tone traces the arc of a singular life-yielding life lessons and inspiration to any reader.... Deeply honest and frank and richly detailed with his vivid memories, Santana's authentic voice shines through on every page."—WTSP 10 News

On Sale
Nov 4, 2014
Page Count
544 pages

Carlos Santana

About the Author

Carlos Santana was born in Mexico and is one of the most important rock musicians of our time. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Learn more about this author