Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

Carlos Santana comes to Tampa preaching positivity and ‘validating your horniness ... with honor and grace’

Stare long enough at the darkness in the world, and you might go blind to the light. You値l feel hopeless as the news from Las Vegas or Charlottesville or Puerto Rico breaks you down, as the tweets and headlines and talking heads fill you with rage and despair.

Or you can try to be like Carlos Santana. You can channel that sorrow into something beautiful, something uplifting and glorious.

"I thank Nikola Tesla, because he invented the remote control," the 70-year-old guitar legend says by phone from outside San Francisco. "Pick it up and turn that s--- off. Only watch beauty, grace, elegance, integrity, excellence. And I知 working on that. I知 working on convincing Apple TV or Zuckerberg from Facebook to create one channel that you only show a high frequency of high consciousness John Coltrane, Arthur Ashe, Mahalia Jackson, women and men of every color, people who only live with beauty and elegance. Because we have the opposite of that on every other channel. And I think it痴 possible."

Of course he does. For Santana, the glass of life is never just half full. It overflows, always. When his legendary rock ensemble hits Tampa痴 Amalie Arena on Friday, he will preach this gospel of positivity like the supernatural shaman of rock 創 roll lovin he痴 become.

"We play music that is extremely and supremely spiritual and sensual, and we help people, we invite people, to validate your horniness but do it with honor and grace and respect," he says. "That is something they don稚 say at church on Sunday. Me being who I am, if I was a priest, a lot of people would be smiling at church, instead of feeling guilty. I would say, 賎o home and have wild sex, and do it in a spiritual way, so that when you finish, you say, "Hallelujah!" and "Thank you, God!" and 禅hank you, Jesus! and more.?"

Santana grew up in Tijuana, but came of age in summer-of-love San Francisco, idolizing American bluesmen and fusing their influence with heavy rock, jazz and Latin and African percussion. A show-stopping performance at Woodstock made Santana superstars, as did early-70s hits Oye Como Va, Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman.

Decades later, Santana found new fame a new generation with 1999痴 blockbuster album Supernatural. One of that LP痴 biggest hits has kept him relevant to this day: Maria Maria, the No. 1 single sampled on DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller痴 summer smash Wild Thoughts.

Santana enjoyed the sample ("It was fun, you know?" he chuckles), but he wants to return to pop radio on his own. He痴 working on songs he hopes will get there but only provided the path doesn稚 deviate from his life of soul and spirituality.

"Your spirit and your soul cannot be f---ed with you cannot scratch it or scar it or burn it," he said. "I知 immortal. I知 immutable. When it痴 my turn to drop this body, I知 already somewhere else, manifesting, because I love being ignited with creativity. I知 70 years old; however, I feel like I知 17 years old, in the backseat of a car in a drive-in movie, and I知 not watching the movie. I知 really busy with someone, you know what I mean? And I知 discovering sensations. I知 discovering smells and feelings, and discovering how to stimulate my innocence while keeping it spiritual and high."

How is that possible? As a guitarist, hasn稚 he played every note that he can play? Not just on the fretboard, but every sound, every sensation, every emotion he is capable of putting through his instrument hasn稚 he already done it?

"I don稚 think like that. Because see, when I wake up in the morning, every sunset, every sunrise and every time I make love, it痴 always totally brand new, all different and new. Nothing is the same. The only thing that痴 the same is predictable, boring, obnoxious, shallow, hollow, phoney-baloney music."

So today, when he picks up a guitar, what is he reaching for?

"Thank you for asking," he says after a pause. "I reach to see how many people I can ignite back into their own light. As much as possible, like John Coltrane, I want to remind people that your life is significant and meaningful, and no matter what gets in front of you, you have the capacity to create miracles and blessings. So roll up your sleeves and share your light and share your love. It痴 not complicated!"

In so doing, he said, you will see that the world isn稚 all doom and despair. There is more to life in 2017 than darkness.

"Remember what was given to you before you were born," he said. "You were made in light first, with a real brilliant, incandescent, luminous, radiant light. If you go back to closing your eyes, take a deep breath inside your heart, and remember your light, your light can transcend anything that gets in front of it because it痴 just an illusion. My light will see me through."

Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

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