“The doctor's in the house”: Watch Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton tip their caps to Peter Green with searing Black Magic Woman at the 2023 Crossroads Festival

Carlos Santana (left) and Eric Clapton perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on September 24, 2023
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/Crossroads Guitar Festival)

This past weekend (September 23 and September 24), possibly the greatest lineup of guitar talent ever assembled came together at LA's Crypto.com Arena for the 2023 Crossroads Guitar Festival.

The festival saw John Mayer jam with H.E.R., Joe Bonamassa and John McLaughlin honor Jeff Beck with a stunning version of Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers, and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram trade licks with Eric Gales and Samantha Fish, among other highlights.

Carlos Santana was the electric guitar icon chosen to close the star-studded proceedings, and he did so with some help from festival organizer Eric Clapton. 

The two played out the festival with a tip of the cap to the late Peter Green, in the form of a smokin' cover of Fleetwood Mac's Black Magic Woman, and a spirited version of the Doors' bar-band classic, Roadhouse Blues.

You can see fan-filmed footage of the performances below.

When paying tribute to the original owner of one of the most famous Gibson Les Pauls in history, a single-cut is in order, and indeed, Santana arms himself with the single-cut version of his PRS signature guitar, finished in – obviously – gold.

Clapton, meanwhile, uses a uniquely finished Stratocaster that was custom-built specially for the festival and inspired by his previous collaborations with New York street artist, John Matos.

Black Magic Woman certainly isn't the lead guitar version of a Formula 1 race, and indeed, the two guitar legends take the song as an opportunity to showcase their enviable vibrato and deft melodic touch. “The doctor['s] in the house,” Santana says in reference to his old friend at the conclusion of their equally smooth version of Roadhouse Blues, “Mr. Eric Clapton.”

Guitar Center's 25th Anniversary Crossroads Collection of guitars also, aside from the Matos-inspired Strat, features two gorgeous Martin acoustic guitars – a D-45 and D-28 – a Todd Krause-built Blu Scozia Strat inspired by one of Clapton's Ferraris, and a Private Stock PRS Carlos Santana I model finished in Santana Orange.

All five guitars will be sold, with part of the proceeds going toward Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua.

For more info on the 25th Anniversary Crossroads Collection, visit Guitar Center.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.