×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light
     

The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light

5.0 3
by Carlos Santana
 

See All Formats & Editions

"One of the most articulate rock memoirs ever." --San Francisco Chronicle

In 1967 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, a young guitarist played a blistering solo that announced a prodigious talent. Two years later he played a historic set at Woodstock, and the world came to know Carlos Santana by name.

THE UNIVERSAL TONE is a tale

Overview

"One of the most articulate rock memoirs ever." --San Francisco Chronicle

In 1967 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, a young guitarist played a blistering solo that announced a prodigious talent. Two years later he played a historic set at Woodstock, and the world came to know Carlos Santana by name.

THE UNIVERSAL TONE is a tale of musical self-determination and self-discovery. It traces his journey from his teen days playing in Tijuana, and the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as husband, father, and rock star; and his recording of some of the most influential rock albums of all time. The book abounds with a fearlessness that finds humor in the world of high-flying fame, speaks plainly of personal revelations, and celebrates the divine and infinite possibility Santana sees in each person he meets.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/13/2014
Although Santana first captivated the world at his Woodstock performance, his intimate relationship with his guitar had long sustained him. Now, for the first time, the elusive guitarist tells his story in prose that is by turns ragged and sparkling. As he does with his music, Santana uses words to paint pictures, describing the streets of his Mexican hometown of Autlán, his earliest gigs at the El Convoy bar in Tijuana, and his move to San Francisco as a teenager, where his career first took off, with the help of, among others, famous rock promoter Bill Graham. Santana also discusses the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, perpetrated by a neighbor, and his parents’ efforts to downplay the incident. He strikes the perfect chord when he traces his ongoing spiritual evolution, attributing his success and the beauty of his music to what he calls the “universal tone”: “The story behind the stories, the music behind the music.... With it you realize you are not alone; you are connected to everyone.” For him, it all comes back to the music: “It’s the fastest way of getting away from the darkness of ego.... It’s a blessing to be able to play from your soul and to reach many people.” (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-09-28
The Mexican-American classic guitar legend (and 2013 Kennedy Center honoree) shares his life before and beneath the rock 'n' roll spotlight with the assistance of Kahn (The House that Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records, 2006, etc.) and Miller. In this frank and impassioned memoir, iconic, influential musician Santana, 67, known for fusing rock and Latin rhythms, weaves together the rhythmic, domestic and spiritual dimensions of his career. A meager, rocky childhood was spent traversing southwestern Mexico to Tijuana and finally San Francisco, all while being greatly influenced by a disciplinarian mother and a romantic, violinist father who "lived to play, and he played to live…what musicians are meant to do." Generously reflective and well-balanced, Santana's memoir glides across autobiographical anecdotes of his joyful immersion in music theory and guitar lessons yet also addresses the intense, emotional pain and confusion of being molested as a boy. Santana's burgeoning career as a blues-appreciative guitarist bloomed through decades steeped in Bill Graham-produced shows at the legendary Fillmore venue, admiring Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Doors and the Grateful Dead, then into the psychedelic Summer of Love and the first formation of his Latin rock group Santana Blues Band in 1967. Complementing the uproarious stories of the band's tours are reflections on his personal life, his 34-year marriage and subsequent remarriage, and an exhaustive listing of his friendships with rock luminaries. Charismatic and soulful, Santana writes with the benefit of what he calls a "celestial memory," whereby only the blessings and beauty of life are measured and celebrated. Even readers skimming for tabloid dirt may be swayed by the respectful purity of Santana's recollections; his moments of struggle and frustration are handled with the same dignity and grace as his many triumphs. An appreciative and unpretentious chronicle, this is required reading for Santana fans and devotees of classic rock legends.
From the Publisher
One of NPR's Best Books of 2014

"One of the most articulate rock memoirs ever."—Felix Contreras, co-host of NPR's Alt.Latino, "NPR's Best Books of 2014"

"In this frank and impassioned memoir, iconic, influential musician Santana, 67, known for fusing rock and Latin rhythms, weaves together the rhythmic, domestic and spiritual dimensions of his career. Generously reflective and well-balanced.... Charismatic and soulful.... An appreciative and unpretentious chronicle, this is required reading for Santana fans and devotees of classic rock legends."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist's book is perhaps the most musically generous of the fall's memoirs. Santana doesn't pull punches...."—Brian Mansfield, USA Today

"Santana [writes] with the same searing intensity and blatant honesty displayed throughout his 45-year career in music.... The Universal Tone is a book examining a lifelong quest for knowledge and some sense of divinity... Santana deals with both in the same unflinchingly honest and dignified tone."—Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News

"The Universal Tone doesn't follow the usual well-trodden path of other rock star tell-alls... Santana sidesteps salaciousness for spirituality while taking readers through the touchstone moments of his remarkable life and career."

"A compelling and uplifting journey through his life and career."—Joe Bosso, Music Radar

"Entertaining and enlightening.... Santana's journey from obscurity and abject poverty to affluence and superstardom is expressed eloquently via an informal conversational style that captures the cadences of his speaking voice."—Charles Waring, MOJO Magazine

"Universal Tone is every bit as tantalizing, succulent, and satisfying as the cactus fruit, roasted peanuts, and carne asada the author savored as a boy. And the sense memories peppering its pages are as frequent and visceral as the notes comprising his best guitar solos. Carlos doesn't merely tell us about his past; he lets us hear, smell, and taste it, too."—Peter Roche, Cleveland Music Examiner

"Passion, soul, and that elusive thing called sabor come through the music of Carlos Santana. His is always a surprising sound, ahead of its time -- true world music before the term was even invented, but uniquely American in its multicultural reach....Santana is an artist who transcends musical genres and touches the heart across all generations." -- The Kennedy Center

"One of rock's true virtuosos and guiding lights." -- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"A thread runs through his multicultural, crossgenerational music: the unifying power of the human spirit." -- John Roos, Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316244923
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
11/04/2014
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

Meet the Author

Carlos Santana was born in Mexico in 1947. He is a guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Santana. He has recorded or appeared on more than ninety albums. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, the drummer Cindy Blackman.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
DinoDP More than 1 year ago
There are 3 key take-aways from this book from my perspective: 1) 'The Story': Carlos tells the story of his life in a way that brings all readers to a common understanding of how his career developed. I found the timelines and anecdotes highly illustrative and 'visual.' As a fan of 43 years I am no longer missing pieces of the story. Some gaps were filled in nicely for me; 2) 'The Influences': Carlos dedicates a large portion of his autobiography to his influences - be they musical (Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Gabor Szabo, etc.), professional (Bill Graham, Clive Davis, etc.), or personal (friends, family). There is a level of selflessness in this as many rock stars would shine the light solely on themselves. Carlos acknowledges that who he is today was largely influenced by others; 3) 'His spirituality': This is the differentiator. One can see the connection between the music and his divinity. There's a bigger purpose to what he does on stage and that story needed to be told. To know his music brings joy; to understand his spirituality brings enlightenment. I've seen Carlos 40 times in concert and am ready for #41 to be something special now that I've read The Universal Tone. And Carlos, there are congas in heaven.......
BretM1958 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read!!! As a long time fan of Carlos since Abraxas & follower of his musical & spiritual path I recommend this to anyone who loves Carlos solo or with every band he's had to date!! I felt as if I was on this journey with him. He's a national (Mexican-USA) treasure who became a global sensation with good reason. He has integrity & leaves no stone unturned in sharing his personal & musical life!! VIVA SANTANA!!! May he give us pleasure for years to come!!!
Onemoreday More than 1 year ago
This book that Carlos has written speaks volumes to many of us who want to see the BEST of THE HUMAN RACE come forth and show it self. Great Book on your life. The conversation with Harry, on WORLD WSRE was a moment I heard thoughts echoed out loud to a point where we do need to pull Humans up right.