A surprise schedule change could have spelled tragedy for a tripping Carlos Santana, but he and his band managed to pull off an astounding set on Day Two at Woodstock on August 16, 1969.
Santana had expected to take the stage at 8 pm that day, so having arrived at 11 am, he allowed himself a personal "mescaline party."
"I said, 'Hey, I think I'll take some psychedelics, and by the time I'm coming down, it'll be time to go onstage and I'll feel fine,'" Santana told Rolling Stone in 1989. "But when I was peaking around two o'clock, somebody said, 'If you don't go right now, you're not gonna go on.'"
Santana opted to perform in his, um, altered state, and although viewers can clearly see he is hallucinating at times — he famously admitted later that he thought his guitar was a snake — the San Francisco band delivered a career-making performance.
Check it out here...
The band on that day included Santana, Gregg Rolie (vocals, keyboards), Jose "Chepito" Areas (percussion, trumpet), Mike Carabello (congas), David Brown (bass), and Michael Shrieve (drums).
The 45-minute set served up these songs:
(2) Evil Ways
(3) You Just Don't Care
(7) Soul Sacrifice
(8) Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries
The band was followed by John Sebastian at 3:30 pm.
Santana's debut album was released the same month, so Woodstock was
pretty much the first national exposure for the Latin-rock act. The late Bill Graham was their manager at the time, and he was responsible for getting Santana on the bill.