Carlos Santana: “I’ve always really loved B.B. King and Peter Green, and I wanted to combine that with Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria”

Carlos Santana
(Image credit: Medios y Media/Getty Images)

Carlos Santana is one of a handful of guitarists whose style is so instantly recognizable that – if you hear just a handful of notes anywhere on the neck – there’s no doubt who’s playing them. 

He released his debut album, Santana, in 1969 and famously played at the Woodstock festival (where, some argue, he stole the show) that August. The following year, he cemented his rep with Abraxas, a now-classic album that stars three of his most popular songs – Oye Como Va, Samba Pa Ti and his cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Black Magic Woman – all of which have been staples of rock radio for the past 50-plus years.

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Mark McStea

Mark is a freelance writer with particular expertise in the fields of ‘70s glam, punk, rockabilly and classic ‘50s rock and roll. He sings and plays guitar in his own musical project, Star Studded Sham, which has been described as sounding like the hits of T. Rex and Slade as played by Johnny Thunders. He had several indie hits with his band, Private Sector and has worked with a host of UK punk luminaries. Mark also presents themed radio shows for Generating Steam Heat. He has just completed his first novel, The Bulletproof Truth, and is currently working on the sequel.