The group formed in the Latin District of San Francisco. They are named after group leader Carlos Santana, and were originally known as the Santana Blues Band. It's one of the few popular groups named after a guitarist in the band (The J. Geils Band and Van Halen are others).
They appeared at both the original (1969) and second (1994) Woodstock. When they played the 1969 festival, they hadn't yet released their first album - their manager, Bill Graham, pulled some strings to get them on the bill. They went on sooner than expected, catching Carlos in the middle of a mescaline experience. "I was praying to God to keep me in time and in tune," he said. Their performance was one of the most acclaimed and thrust them to stardom. As Graham predicted, it went to their heads: Carlos embraced an extravagant rock star lifestyle, but soon changed direction and went down a more spiritual path.
Carlos launched line of shoes at J.C. Penny in 2000. He did not design them, but they were supposed to be inspired by his music. Proceeds went to children's charities.
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