INTERVIEW

Santana Part 1

Featuring: Michael Carabello
Time: 2:21 minutes
Excerpt:"We had to do this song. I had to take a bite out of "Fried Neck Bones," and brought it to the band, and we did it, and we kind of owned up to it."
full transcript

I took a liking to Spanish Grease, Willie Bobo, for the distinct, distinct sound of Victor Pantoja, who was the conga player.  There was a producer named Creed Taylor who did a lot of the albums back there and was producer or whatnot.  He got a conga-timbale sound like nobody's ever got it, I've ever heard to this day.  I don't know what he did or how he mic'd it or what he used on it or what kind of medicine he put into the machine to make it sound like that, but those albums, Spanish Grease, the conga drumming on that and the percussion is out of this world.  I've never heard it, I've never heard it duplicated or since that.

And this is, and this is how, this is how I got, I got influenced by Victor Pantoja a lot is I could really, really hear the congas and the timbales and what they were saying, and they had a different, a different tone, a different, a different tuning, a different way they played.  You couldn't hear any drums because it was just the both of them, but it was very simplistic and very tasteful, and they weren't like players that played all over the place.  They were very much, you know, holding a groove.  For some unknown reason, "Fried Neck Bones" became, like, we had to do this song.  We had to do this song.  I had to take a bite out of "Fried Neck Bones," and brought it to the band, and we did it, and we kind of owned up to it.  There's been some recordings out on it, but it was a Willie Bobo song. 

I also brought "Oye Como Va" to the band, and I hadn't heard anything like that until Chepito played me a Eddie Palmieri song, you know.  "Oye Como Va" was on because of Tito Puente, you know, and that.  And I said, "You know, we should give this a try, we should give it a try, it'll sound really good."  So I kind of had an ear for what we could try as far as the Latin stuff went, you know.  Gregg brought, you know, the Fleetwood Mac thing and the blues thing to the band, and Carlos brought that along with it, but I was one of the major influences as far as picking like Latin songs and stuff like that.