The guitarra of Carlos Santana

Music Europa Carlos Santana (morceau - 1976)
Fifteenth on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, Carlos Santana is considered one of the creators of Latin rock and a precursor of world music. An artist whose story begins in a small Mexican town.

“I’m honored to be Mexican and born here, but I don’t feel like that’s all I am. I am all the animals in the zoo. I identify with Paris and San Francisco. I identify with Bob Marley and Michael Jackson. And of all the artists at Woodstock, some are no longer here. But I’m here and I’m ready to take it to a whole new level.”

Carlos Santana at a press conference in Guadalajara in 2014

July 20, 1947, Carlos Santana was born in Autlán de Navarro, Mexico. A city of about 45,000 inhabitants at the time, it was the birthplace of the future international artist. Son of a musician in a mariachi band, he was introduced to the violin at an early age.

When his family moved to Tijuana in 1955, the young boy discovered the electric guitar. The instrument will accompany him all his life. In 1961, the Santanas moved again to San Francisco. It is here that the musician founded in 1966 the Santana Blues Band with Tom Fraser, Mike Carabello, Rod Harper, Marcus Malone aka “The Magnificent”, Gus Rodriguez and Gregg Rolie.

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Despite his incredible success story, the musician does not forget his origins. In 2001, he returned to Autlán de Navarro and was given the keys to the city on a day when he inaugurated an avenue and then a square in his name and discovered his statue and a sculpture of his guitar.

If the theft of the sculpture a few months later, quickly found, somewhat marred the joy of being recognized as “Autlán’s favorite son”, this did not prevent Carlos Santana from investing himself in the community. In 2005, thanks to donations from the guitarist, the first stone of a community health center was laid. Ten years later, the prodigal son returned to Autlán de Navarro to visit the center and gave a small concert for the inhabitants, during which he performed many songs, like the famous Europa.


The sculpture of Carlos Santana’s guitar disappeared for 19 days, from June 23 to July 11, 2001.

La Guitarra de Carlos Santana

Inaugurated on February 27, 2001, the monument to the glory of the child of the city, la Guitarra de Carlos Santana, was once stolen before reappearing.

During a short trip to his native land, Carlos Santana was given the keys to the city of Autlán de Navarro, inaugurated an avenue in his name, admired a statue of him and enjoyed a sculpture of his guitar. The imprint of his right hand is also present on the ground, in the middle of a star. The sculpture was inaugurated with great fanfare on Shrove Tuesday, February 27, 2001, but mysteriously disappeared in June of the same year. According to an eyewitness, two strangers, with a van with American plates, stole the instrument on June 23. After several days of investigation, the work was found three kilometers away, on the road to the El Roble ranch, on the morning of July 11, apparently hanging from a tree. Could it have been used for a strange ritual?

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By Damien Duarte

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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