Santana will take the stage at the Tower Theater on April 9. In honor of 'Throwback Thursday', and his return to the area, we take a look back at his Woodstock performance, and how he got to take the stage at the historic festival in 1969.
Although Carlos Santana is originally from Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico, his family eventually moved to San Francisco. While in San Fran, he washed dishes at the Tic-Toc Diner, and played music on the streets.
According to the book Live at the Fillmore East and West: Getting Backstage and Personal with Rock's Greatest Legends by John Glatt, Santana actually had a run-in with the Grateful Dead one night at the diner while washing dishes.
One day while Carlos Santana was washing dishes at the Tic-Toc Diner, the Grateful Dead pulled up outside in two limousines. "I had my apron on," Carlos recalled, "full of hamburger pattie, peeling potatoes and crap. My shoes were funky from cleaning floors with hot water and bleach." Jerry Garcia walked in with the other members of the band, and they sat at the counter and ordered burgers and french fries. "I never talked to the Dead that day," Carlos said. "I just looked at them. But something in me just said, 'Man, you can do... what they do.' I walked up to the owner of the Tic-Toc and said, 'Man, I quit. I'm outta here.'
His instinct would prove right as Santana would propel to fame after their legendary performance at Woodstock. Visionary concert promoter Bill Graham (also known for The Fillmore West), was responsible for getting Santana a slot at Woodstock. The rest is literally well, history.