The Story Behind Carlos Santana On LSD At Woodstock


The legendary guitarist, Carlos Santana's most famous performance was WOODSTOCK in 1969. He was just 22 years old. Did you know he was HIGH on LSD during the performance?

It's a legendary story to a legendary performance.

The group Santana was flown in by helicopter to Max Yasgur's farm, which was the site of WOODSTOCK in August of 1969. It was just months after Carlos was playing bars in Tijuana. Now, he was just about to play to 400,000 people.

When Carlos got out of the helicopter around noon he found his way backstage to say he was ready to play. He was told he probably wasn't going to go on until after the Grateful Dead. He sees his friend JERRY GARCIA and Jerry says they aren't going on for another 12 hours or so which would be about 1am. Carlos expected that he would most likely get on stage at 3am.

So, there he was stuck at Woodstock when Jerry Garcia said, "Carlos, take this!" The drug of choice at Woodstock was LSD (ACID). Carlos popped it in his mouth and soon after he started tripping out. When I say he started tripping out, he started tripping out like seeing things and feeling like he was floating around and flying over people.

All of a sudden, it's time to play and Carlos is ready to perform to a crowd of people that didn't know who he was just yet. Carlos was on the eve of his success, but this performance that was just about to happen at Woodstock, would catapult him to stardom.

As you watch the video of SOUL SACRIFICE. Carlos is tripping out as he is playing. He has said many times that it felt like the neck of his guitar was slithering around like snakes. He would close his eyes and trust his fingers to just play. He didn't want to stare at his guitar neck, because it would freak him out. So, he would make these odd faces and close his eyes and trust the gift of his fingers to remember where to go.

Carlos would pray while playing at WOODSTOCK and asked God to please let him play well and if he did, he would never touch drugs again. Well, Carlos did play well, but I don't think he kept his promise to not get high anymore.

As you watch this performance, just know Carlos and his entire band is high as a kite on LSD.

SANTANA is coming to Chula Vista on June 19th of 2020 with Earth, Wind, and Fire.

We can assume, the LSD days are over, but Carlos can still play like he did when he was 22.

Enjoy the video.

Photo Getty Images