The Universal Tone

Bringing My Story to Light

by Carlos Santana, Ashley Kahn

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."

  • Little, Brown and Company; November 2014
  • ISBN: 9780316244916
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Universal Tone
  • Author: Carlos Santana; Ashley Kahn (other)
  • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

In The Press

"In this frank and impassioned memoir, iconic, influential musician Santana, 67, known for fusing rock and Latin rhythms, weaves together the rhythmic, domestic and spiritual dimensions of his career. Generously reflective and well-balanced.... Charismatic and soulful.... An appreciative and unpretentious chronicle, this is required reading for Santana fans and devotees of classic rock legends."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


About The Author

Carlos Santana was born in Mexico and is one of the most important rock musicians of our time. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.