Cover image for The universal tone : bringing my story to light
The universal tone : bringing my story to light
Santana, Carlos, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
Physical Description:
viii, 535 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
An intimate account by the rock music artist traces his hardscrabble youth in Mexico and early days as a promising guitarist through his influential collaborations with fellow Latin stars.
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Popular Materials-Biography
Audubon Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Clarence Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Clearfield Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Crane Branch Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Kenmore Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Lancaster Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Niagara Branch Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Hamburg Library ML420.S22 A3 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The intimate and long-awaited autobiography of a legend

In 1967 in San Francisco, just a few weeks after the Summer of Love, a young Mexican guitarist took the stage at the Fillmore Auditorium and played a blistering solo that announced the arrival of a prodigious musical talent. Two years later -- after he played a historic set at Woodstock -- the world came to know the name Carlos Santana, his sensual and instantly recognizable guitar sound, and the legendary band that blended electric blues, psychedelic rock, Latin rhythms, and modern jazz, and that still bears his name.

Carlos Santana's unforgettable memoir offers a page-turning tale of musical self-determination and inner self-discovery, with personal stories filled with colorful detail and life-affirming lessons. The Universal Tone traces his journey from his earliest days playing the strip bars in Tijuana while barely in his teens and brings to light the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as husband, father, recording legend, and rock guitar star; his indebtedness to musical and spiritual influences -- from John Coltrane and John Lee Hooker to Miles Davis and Harry Belafonte; and his deep, lifelong dedication to a spiritual path that he developed from his Catholic upbringing, Eastern philosophies, and other mystical sources. It includes his recording some of the most popular and influential rock albums of all time, up to and beyond the 1999 sensation Supernatural, which garnered nine Grammy Awards and stands as arguably the most amazing career comeback in popular music history.

It's a profoundly inspiring tale of divine inspiration and musical fearlessness that does not balk at finding the humor in the world of high-flying fame, or at speaking plainly of Santana's personal revelations and the infinite possibility he sees in each person he meets. "Love is the light that is inside of all of us, everyone," he writes. "I salute the light that you are and that is inside your heart."

Author Notes

Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American musician known for his signature guitar stylings. He helped pioneer a fusion of rock, blues and Latin American Music, both as a member of the eponymously named band Santana, and as a solo act.

He was born in Jalisco, Mexico on July 20, 1947, and would eventually settle with his family in San Francisco, California. Among his many honors, he has won 10 Grammy Awards, been a recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Award, and of Billboard Latin Music Awards' 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor.

In 2014, Santana published his memoir, The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Rock guitar legend Santana relates his journey from a small, impoverished Mexican town to musical superstardom in a narrative that combines rags-to-riches rock biography with the mystical philosophy for which he is well known. Santana comes across as fearless and honest, discussing his first gigs at Tijuana strip clubs, his survival of sexual abuse, and his friendships with music legends such as Miles Davis and promoter Bill Graham, as well as finding stability as a family man and philanthropist. Throughout, Santana uses music as the map to his spiritual path and explains his belief in a "universal tone" that joins all humanity. Reader Jonathan Davis gives his narration a faint Spanish accent to suggest Santana's voice while keeping Miles Davis and other significant characters distinct and individualized. Santana himself reads the introduction. VERDICT recommended for fans of rock biographies and of Santana.-Jason Puckett, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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