By Jim Johnson

Carlos Santana celebrates a milestone birthday today (Thursday) as he turns 70.

It comes at a good time in his schedule as he’s on a break from his summer tour, which starts up again on August 4th in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Next week, he releases a new album, Power of Peace.

Carlos has had a legendary career with numerous awards, including being the only artist in history to win both Record of the Year at the Grammys (for “Smooth” in 1999) and the Latin Grammy (for “Corazón Espinado” in 2000). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, but at the end of the day, it’s not the awards that keeps him going.

Carlos Santana on receiving awards:

“I do what I do and if they give me something that’s a nice surprise you know. But it’s not something that I tripped on because it really doesn’t mean that much to me. What means a lot to me is everyday I go into a concert and making people receive a spiritual orgasm. That’s what I’m into. The other stuff I’m grateful but I’m not really tripping on it.”

While it may not be important for Carlos to receive awards, he certainly gets joy in being able to reward others.

That was the case on July 10th at Red Rocks outside Denver when he spotted a young girl in the audience
playing air guitar. He invited Gabby Rankin to the stage where he gave her a pick and had her pluck some strings on his guitar.
Later in the show, during “Soul Sacrifice,” he stopped playing, motioned her back up to the stage and gave her one of his signature guitars. In a surprising coincidence, Gabby’s grandfather used to run the stage lights at the Fillmore in San Francisco, site of many Santana shows.

santana medium Carlos Santana: 70 Years Young Today

Photo and details courtesy of Santana road manager Paul “Skip” Rickert


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