“It was the time that I went with him to his studio,” the 72-year-old told Fox News. “He was recording and I got invited by Devon [Wilson], his lady. And when I got out of the cab, Jimi Hendrix got off after his cab and he came over to where I was and he paid my cab… He shook my hand and he said, ‘Great choice of notes, man.’ And I was like, ‘I’ll take it. Thank you!’”
The friendship between the two rock stars was brief. The iconic guitarist died on Sept. 18, 1970, at age 27 from a barbiturate overdose. Janis Joplin would also join the infamous 27 Club on Oct. 4, 1970, followed by Jim Morrison of The Doors on July 3, 1971.
(Photo by Odile Noel /Redferns/Getty)
Santana, who released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1969, escaped the grim fate and went on to lead a decades-long career. His 17th studio album titled “Supernatural,” which was released in 1999, went 15 times platinum in the U.S. and won eight Grammys, including Album of the Year.
The record captivated listeners with chart-topping singles such as “Smooth” with Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas, as well as “Maria, Maria.”
It was Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill who presented Santana with Album of the Year during that historic night at the Grammys.
Music legends Carlos Santana (L) and Bob Dylan (R) attend the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 24, 2000. Santana, who like Dylan, played at the original Woodstock in 1969, won eight Grammys on the night for his 1999 album ‘Supernatural,’ including one for ‘Best Album’ and two for the single ‘Smooth’ featuring Rob Thomas.
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
“[For me, that night] meant to be grateful to my mother and father first, God of course, but my mom for instilling in me conviction and my father giving me some charisma,” he shared. “But I was grateful to all of the musicians… And I remember saying — the last thing that I had said that evening was ‘John Coltrane and John Lee Hooker are alive.’”
And Santana doesn’t mind reminiscing about the past. In 1969, he famously performed the band’s breakthrough set at Woodstock under the influence of the psychedelic drug mescaline. The historic concert, which also included Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and Joan Baez, among others, turns the big 5-1 this year.
Santana said many important events that have occurred since then remind him of the same outher-worldly emotion he felt while performing at Woodstock.
Guitarist and bandleader Carlos Santana playing guitar on stage during his band’s performance at the Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York.
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
“When the Berlin Wall came down and Mr. Mandela was free and when we celebrated the year 2000 from New Zealand and all the way to Honolulu, I was able to witness… that humans are capable of coexisting with unity and harmony with elegance, grace and yeah, being funky, but at the same time being very respectful of each other’s differences,” he explained.
“We celebrate our differences,” he continued. “We’re not afraid of it. So when I think of Woodstock, it reminds me of that. I saw it with my own eyes, that humans are capable to do something beyond politics or religion.”
The concerts, which mark the first time the Grammy-winning artists will share the stage in the U.S., kicks off on June 19 in San Diego and will make stops in Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Toronto and more before wrapping Aug. 29 in Tampa.
Santana said he hopes audiences will experience “naked joy” at the shows.
“It’s an incredible blessing,” he explained. “I keep visualizing a 747 with Earth, Wind & Fire and Santana, and of course everybody in the crew side, lights, sound, everything — riding on the plane [as] peace ambassadors and [going] everywhere and anywhere in the world and bringing peace… unity and harmony globally.”
Musician Carlos Santana rejoices backstage with his Awards at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards Show on Feb. 23, 2000, in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.