Carlos Santana

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Carlos Augusto Alves Santana (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican-born American Grammy Award-winning rock musician and guitarist.

  • "What people call psychedelic music is basically entering a door--a different door of perception--which brings me to the saying, "You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly." This is why "Shaman" is important. When the European people came to America, the first thing they killed was the shamans, because they knew that those guys knew too much and they wanted to make people deaf, dumb and blind. Same with Africa. This way, they'll indoctrinate you with the Christian thing, but you cannot have access to Christ unless you go through them. Psychedelic music liberates you from that kind of thinking. Even Cary Grant took LSD under supervision! I always tell people there's a big difference between drugs, which man makes, and medicine, which Mother Earth makes. There's a big distinction there. I think they should legalize medicine and they should outlaw drugs. Anheuser-Busch is a drug; cigarettes are a drug. Anything that imprisons you is a drug; anything that liberates you is medicine. But we're just too advanced for a lot of people still! I can tell that when I open my mouth people are afraid, because their sense of right and wrong is still in a little box. But I'm comfortable with my existence, and the things that I did learn from mescaline and LSD, I don't regret one trip. I learned so much from each one--as far as all is one, to feel someone else's pain, to feel connectedness. There is something about the terminology "visit yourself." In our music, we try to do that even today--transport people to a place where you're not afraid and you don't have anger or fear. Music remains the most potent psychedelic force, from Beethoven to Jimi Hendrix. I equate it with a snake shedding skin: Every time that I took [a trip], I got rid of some luggage that I really didn't need and I got rid of some things that weren't me anymore, that didn't fit. I cleaned my closet a lot and got rid of clothes that weren't me anymore, and I learned a lot. But the thing that makes the most sense is John Coltrane's music and Bob Marley's music."