INTERVIEW

Santana Part 3

Featuring: Neal Schon
Time: 2:12 minutes
Excerpt:"And before you knew it, I was up at Wally Heider's here in San Francisco while they were cutting the "Abraxas" record, and hanging out with Herbie Herbert when Herbie was Carlos's guitar roadie."
full transcript

OK, yeah.  I grew up basically down in the peninsula in San Mateo with my mother and my father.  My dad was a jazz musician, and played around a lot in the Bay Area with a local band called Old Davis, who, the bass player was friends with Michael Shrieve and Gregg Rolie, and so when we were playing down in Palo Alto one night at this place called the Poppycock, these guys came down to check me out.  [Nanyer?] had told them about me, and "Come see this kid play guitar," and they came in, and we met, and I remember the club owner closed the club and we sat there and we jammed until about 4:00 in the morning.  And that was my initiation to the early Santana band was Michael Shrieve and Gregg Rolie that night.  And after that I started hanging out with Gregg a lot, cutting school every day, "Come pick me up."  I'd go to his father's apartment;  it was down in the peninsula there in Burlingame, and he had a piano in there, and I'd bring a guitar and we'd just sit there and jam for hours.  And before you knew it, I was up at Wally Heider's here in San Francisco while they were cutting the "Abraxas" record, and hanging out with Herbie Herbert when Herbie was Carlos's guitar roadie.  He's going to love it that I said that!  (laughter)  It's the truth, though!  And you know, I was playing records, playing off on the side of the room, you know, sort of learning things from records like I did in those days, and, you know, it was always Cream or Jimi Hendrix or Jeff Beck or Zeppelin or something like that, or some great blues guitar players, Bloomfield, that I was listening to, or B.B. King or Albert King, Albert Collins, and I was always just trying to emulate them.  And almost made it on the "Abraxas" record;  when Carlos was having some trouble with one solo, I remember Gregg sort of pushing me out in the studio --  "Mother's Daughter" I think the song was -- and I went out and played one, and all of a sudden he miraculously came to life!  (laughter)  So it was short-lived, you know, my outing on that record.  But that was the beginning of my, you know, relationship with that band.  And pretty amazing, that's probably one of the highlights of my career, definitely.