🎸 Jan 22 Sun or Jan 29 Sun: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Note: Carlos Santana plays with Michael Bloomfield (The Butterfield Blues Band), Jerry Garcia, Paul Kantner, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen and other musicians possibly on: Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl. Bill Graham, manager of the Fillmore Auditorium, invites him to play with his band in the near future. In his autobiography “The Universal Tone”, Carlos Santana says that the date of this show is October 1966, but the the real date is January 22 or 29, 1967 indeed.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): One Sunday afternoon in October, Stan did his thing and spoke up for me, and after that everything started to change. The Butterfield Blues Band was on the bill with Jefferson Airplane and Big Mama Thornton. (…) Stan and I could see Michael’s guitar onstage and noticed that no one was playing it. (…) I got up onstage. (…) I closed my eyes and hit it… bam. We finished the tune, and I was smiling. (…) Then Bill came up to me. “Here’s my phone number---call me. I have a couple of dates open.” That was it---we were going to play the Fillmore, and we’d be on those posters! Now we really need a band name. (p151-152)

Quote (http://www.mikebloomfieldamericanmusic.com/1966-1967.htm): Carlos Santana told author Bill Keenom that he sat in on a Fillmore jam session one Sunday afternoon when he was still working as a dishwasher. The occasion was a Paul Butterfield Blues Band Band gig (Charles Lloyd's group was also on the bill). Butterfield was present but did not play, “having been dosed with something” according to Santana. Carlos played Bloomfield’s guitar, and on the strength of his performance was offered a slot by Bill Graham as an opener for an upcoming show (Santana recalled that it was to be for the Steve Miller Band).

Jan 22, 1967 Poster BG 046 © Wes Wilson
Jan 29, 1967 Poster BG 047 © Wes Wilson

Early Feb: Santana Blues Band #1

Carlos Santana (g), Sergio “Gus” Rodriguez (b), Danny Haro (ds), Michael Carabello (perc), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo), Tom Fraser (rhythm g)

Note: After seeing Carlos Santana play with Michael Bloomfield at the Fillmore Auditorium in January 1967, Tom Fraser invites Carlos Santana to jam with his friend Gregg Rolie. Together, they form the original Santana Blues Band. After Bill Graham’s invitation to play at the Fillmore, the band needs a name to be put on the posters. Michael Carabello thinks that “Santana Blues Band” is the best idea.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): Around a week later I was washing dishes at the Tic Tock. (…) A young guy I’d never seen before put his head through the opening to the kitchen. “You’re Santana?” (…) I sing and play guitar with some guys, and we need a guitar player. (…) Tom Fraser was a singer and guitarist who had been looking to put together a band and was at the Fillmore Auditorium that afternoon. (…) Out at the farmouse I started plugging in, and the organ player came over and we started talking. His name was Gregg Rolie. (…) We clicked even before we started playing. (…) We jammed on “Comin’ Home Baby”. (…) Then we played “As The Years Go Passing By”. (…) I could tell he was a good singer, and we needed one in the band. (…) For the next months, we were a band. Gregg was our new lead singer, and we started adding songs he liked to sing. (…) Tom was a good rhythm guitarist, and he was into the blues, but even though he was the guy who’d brought me out, something did not work with us at the end. (…) But Tom gets the credit for being the catalyst that brought Gregg and me together for the first time. (p152-153-154-155)

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): Our name wasn’t even on the poster, but at least we had a name. It was Carabello who came up with the idea. Playing the blues was the thing we were most proud of, and the word blues was in the names of some our favorite groups. (…) He went through our last names. (…) He thought my last name had the most ring to it. Santana Blues Band became our name for the next year and a half. It wasn’t that I was suddenly the leader. We were a leaderless band. (p161)

🔔 Feb 26 Sun: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Note: Carlos Santana attends a B.B. King show for the first time.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): That’s what I remember most---diamonds and tears, sparkling together. I said to myself, “Man, that’s what I want. This is what it is to be adored if you do it right.” (p170-171)

Quote from Carlos Santana (John Milward. Crossroads: How the Blues Shaped Rock 'n' Roll (and Rock Saved the Blues) Northeastern University Press USA 2013): Carlos Santana, nineteen, was in the crowd and on his feet. “When he hit the note to bring the band in,” said Santana, “my whole life was changed. When I saw B.B. and I heard that note for the first time like that, I could see what Michael Bloomfield and Eric Clapton and everybody saw in him. There’s a room that you go to if you’re pitching a ball or if you’re playing basketball like Michael Jordan. There is a certain zone that you get in, to get a note like that.” (p75)

Poster BG 052 © John H. Myers

🎫 March 1 Wed: The Ark, Gate 6, Sausalito, CA

Note: Confirmed by Carl Kunstorff who attends this show on his 23rd birthday.

Quote from Corry Arnold (http://www.chickenonaunicycle.com/SF%20North%20Art.htm): The Ark, an old converted ferry boat (the Charles Van Damme) at Gate 6 in Sausalito, served as a sort of “after-hours” club for many of the San Francisco bands, much as The Sweetwater in Mill Valley did for the likes of Jerry Garcia years later. The Ark tended to have shows running from midnight to six in the morning, and rarely paid the groups playing. They were however all fed a complimentary huevos rancheros breakfast in the morning for in exchange for financial compensation. The Ark was run on a somewhat ad hoc basis, scheduling shows between 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. and then from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. (when breakfast was served) and occasionally weekend matinee shows from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Although there are lots of nice posters and handbills advertising the shows it was in many cases either wishful thinking or word of mouth that led to the artists named being included. As the Ark rarely had the money to pay performers, they were all fed a complimentary huevos rancheros breakfast in the morning (in exchange for financial compensation). As such it became very much an after hours club for some of the San Francisco bands (notably Moby Grape - who also used it as a practice venue during the latter part of 1966 and made their live debut there). The Ark also hosted “Battle of the Bands” contests for local High Schools (e.g. Terra Linda High, Tamalpais High, Marin High and Redwood High – who could forget the Wrong Way, Mainline Prosperity Blues Band, Blues Majority and Delphic Oracle). The posters, although often difficult to interpret, can be trusted for the smaller bands listed as appearing but not always for the name bands who sometimes found paying shows to play after the posters would printed. For some reason the Ark posters have never been particularly attractive to collectors.

🎫 March 17 Fri: Winchester Cathedral, Redwood City, CA

Note: The band is paid 75 dollars for this show. Their future drummer Michael Shrieve is in the audience and this is the first time he sees them. He tells his brother Kevin: “I really want to play with these guys!".


🎫 March 30 Thu: California Hall, San Francisco, CA


🎫 March 31 Fri: California Hall, San Francisco, CA

🔔 April: San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA

Note: At Mission High School, Carlos Santana is tested positive for tuberculosis. He is sent to San Francisco General Hospital and stays there for two months until his friend Ron Estrada takes him out. The first Santana Blues Band’s appearance at the Fillmore on April 14-15-16 (with Howlin’ Wolf, Country Joe And The Fish, Loading Zone) is postponed until June 16.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): The next day Ron came over, and I was still hiding. “Hey, man, how you doing?” I said, “Man, I need to get the hell out of here, and you guys are going to help me out.” (…) I left the hospital and moved in with Stan and Ron. (…) While I was in the hospital the people at Mission High knew where to find me. (…) They told me I could work with a tutor. I read the books and answered the tutor’s questions just well enough to graduate that June. (…) Staying out of the war was the third good thing that came out of getting sick. (p158-159)

Quote from Deborah Santana (Space Between The Stars. My Journey To An Open Heart 2005): Because I had tuberculosis in high school, I got deferred from going to Vietnam. (p164) I was in San Francisco General Hospital for two months. People were dying in beds all around me. Finally, I had to get out. Ron (Estrada) brought me clothes, and I put them on in the bathroom and walked out. I was afraid I would die if I didn’t leave. (p165)

🎫 June 16 Fri: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Incomplete: Chim Chim Cheree - Jingo - As The Years Go Passing By - Work Song

Note: Following Bill Graham’s invitation from January 1967, the Santana Blues Band’s plays its first show at this venue. The band’s name is not printed on the concert poster.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): My band had to wait for two months to play a show for Bill Graham while I got over the TB. (…) Our name wasn’t even on the poster, but at least we had a name. (p161)

Poster BG 068 © Bonnie MacLean

🔔 June 17 Sat: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Note: Bill Graham fires the band for showing up late at the venue. They won’t play this venue for a year, until June 16, 1968.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): Saturday night was terrible. We got to the Fillmore late, really late. Both Danny’s and Gus’s parents kept them late at work, and they were my ride. Man, I was so angry. But not nearly as pissed as Bill Graham was when we got to the Fillmore. (…) Anyway---the Santana Blues Band was on Bill’s blacklist. I couldn’t believe this happened. (…) A gig at the Fillmore in 1967 was a major thing for any musician, and it was the biggest thing in the world for me. (p162-163)

🔔 June 20 Tue: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Note: Carlos Santana meets Jimi Hendrix for the first time. The second meeting is in April 1970.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): Back in ’67, the week after our band was fired by Bill Graham for being late, Carabello had somehow got us into that Fillmore show to meet Hendrix. (…) They finally got it together, and we were backstage just before the band was going on, Jimi and I hadn’t said anything between us except hello, and suddenly everybody went to the bathroom---everybody. (…) I saw him around seven times total, and that night was great. But no Hendrix show topped the one I heard him do at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose in ’69. I never heard him do better. (p259-260)

Poster BG 069 © Clifford Charles Seeley

🎫 June 23 Fri: First Annual Synanon Street Fair. Folsom Street & 7th Street, San Francisco, CA

Note: This free street fair is taking place from Friday June 23 to Sunday June 25, and according to an eyewitness, the Santana Blues Band plays only on the first day (with Mad River and many other local bands), although Ralph Gleason’s Chronicle column of June 23, 1967 lists them to appear on June 24 or June 25.

Ralph Gleason's Chronicle Column June 23, 1967

🔔 June: Mission High School, San Francisco, CA

Note: Carlos Santana is graduating after his 3rd year at that school.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): The first half of ’65 went by fast. Suddenly my first year of high school was over. Many biographies that I have seen say I graduated from Mission High that year, but I graduated with the class of ’67. (p130)

Carlos Santana's Graduation Day

July: Santana Blues Band #2

Carlos Santana (g), Don Wehr (ds), Michael Carabello (perc), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo), Tom Fraser (rhythm g)

Note: After being fired by Bill Graham for showing up late at the show they were supposed to play at the Fillmore Auditorium on June 17, 1967, Stan Marcum requires from Carlos Santana that Sergio “Gus” Rodriguez and Danny Haro to be left out of the Santana Blues Band. For a few days, Sergio “Gus” Rodriguez is not replaced by any bass player. Danny Haro is replaced by Don Wehr for the show played at the Grant & Green Salon, San Francisco, CA.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): The summer of 1967 was the Summer of Love in most people’s minds. (…) For me and many musicians, this was also when we started to feel that the resonance of our convictions could change the world. For me, the summer of 1967 was also the summer of decisions. One day I saw the Grateful Dead stop by the Tic Tock in a limousine. (…) I saw them from the sink where I was washing dishes and said to myself, “I shouldn’t be doing this anymore.” (…) The other decision I had to make was to finally leave home. (…) Then I dropped LSD and had a bad trip. (…) I felt like I actually gave birth to myself that day. I went from believing the world was coming to an end to figuring out what I had to do to stop that from happening. (…) I felt like that the whole experience had given me power and brought me to my purpose in life. Stan and Ron listened to me talk. They heard the conviction. “We’ll be your managers,” they said. (…) Stan said one more thing. “You have to get rid of Danny and Gus---that’s the way it is, man. They are not bad people, but they’re not committed. They’re weekend musicians; you’re not. We can tell that. We’ll drop everything for you, but you got to drop them.” (…) I knew they were right, but Danny and Gus were my oldest friends in San Francisco. Making us late at the Fillmore kind of sealed it, but if anybody was going to tell them, I would have to be the one. (…) I said good-bye to Danny and Gus, and I finally said good-bye to living with my mom and dad and moved in with Stan and Ron on Precita Avenue. That was the nest that nurtured the birth of the band. (…) That really was the beginning of Santana right there. (p165-166-167-168-169)

🎫 July: Grant & Green Salon, 1371 Grant Avenue at Green Street, San Francisco, CA

Jingo (1)

W/David Brown (1)

Note: After the show, David Brown is asked to become the band's bass player.

Grant & Green Saloon

July: Santana Blues Band #3

Carlos Santana (g), David Brown (b), Rod Harper (ds), Marcus Malone (perc), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo), Tom Fraser (rhythm g)

Note: David Brown joins the band after the show played at the Grant & Green Salon, San Francisco, CA in July 1967. Don Wehr is replaced by Rod Harper. Michael Carabello is replaced by Marcus Malone. In his autobiography “The Universal Tone”, Carlos Santana says that Steve LaRosa joins the Santana Blues Band. In fact, his former Mocker Manor Blues Band co-member declines the offer because of family responsabilities.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): One night we played in a jazz bar. It was called Grant & Green because that’s where it was. A bassist jammed with us on “Jingo”. (…) David Brown was basically a silky person to be around. (…) We asked David to join us that same night. (p174-175)

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): We did gigs at street fairs and small clubs like the Ark in Sausalito with the bass player Steve De La Rosa, who was really good and very attentive to what the drummer was doing. Drummers went in and out for a while. There was Rod Harper, who was good on certain kinds of songs but not on others. (p174)

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): We started to look for another conga player, too. I’m not sure why we had to, but Carabello could be such a goofball sometimes, showing up late or not at all. (…) Anyway, we had to drop Carabello for a while. Then Stan was down listening to the congueros at Aquatic Park when he met this cat named Marcus Malone. He was really good---self-taught, a self-made showman. (…) I started hanging around with him more and more. (…) It only took a few weeks---but by July 1967 we had the foundation of Santana. (…) We continued as the Santana Blues Band---sometimes just Santana Blues---but as our music started changing we didn’t know what style to call it. (…) Carabello was still hanging with us. (p175-176-177)

Santana Blues Band #3. David Brown (b). Unknown Date

🎫 July 28 Fri: Carlmont YMCA, San Carlos, CA

Note: Supposedly last show with Tom Fraser.

Handbill © Dave Caplan

Aug: Santana Blues Band #4

Carlos Santana (g), David Brown (b), Rod Harper (ds), Marcus Malone (perc), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo)

🎫 Early Sept: Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA

Quote from Steve Hathaway (The Santanamigos Group on Facebook March 12, 2020): Santana Blues Band played Foothill College Gym, Los Altos Hills, CA early September 1967. It was a back to school dance with Heatherstone opening. My first exposure to Carlos' mesmerizing guitar playing.

🎫 Nov 10 Fri: Peace & Freedom Party Rally. Actor’s Workshop, 55 Colton Street, San Francisco, CA

Note: This location is currently a parking lot between Market & Mission, but at the time of this show, it is a loft, or small warehouse. Shortly after this show, the California Democratic Council moves in and rents this space. The Santana Blues Band plays at the very same place again two weeks later on Nov 24, 1967.

Quote from Bob Avakian (From Ike To Mao And Beyond: My Journey From Mainstream America To Revolutionary Communist: A Memoir 2005): A small core of people from the San Francisco Mime Troup volunteered to do agit-prop skits as part of this crew, and then I was the speaker. One guy had bought an old farmworkers’ bus and converted it for his own use, and he volunteered to drive us around. And we got a musical group to come with us too. We’d pull into an area and the musical group would get on top of the bus and they’d play music and gather a crowd. Then the Mime Troup people would do a skit about the CIA and Vietnam and things like that. And then I’d get up and give a rap, doing exposure about the Vietnam War and exposing the system, then calling on people to sign up for the Peace and Freedom Party to oppose all this. And so we’d go from town to town doing this. One of the interesting sidelights to this story is that the musical group who did this was actually Santana. This was just when they were starting out, and they volunteered to be part of this and they stayed with it for a few weeks under very difficult conditions. A lot of times we slept on the floor, or we slept in the bus, and they had to get up on top of a moving bus and play music. So I have to give them credit. They even felt a little badly that they finally had to leave, so then they did a benefit for Peace and Freedom later, which also contributed to getting it on the ballot. Of course, at the time, they were just starting out--so Santana, if you want to put it that way, wasn’t Santana yet. Carlos Santana and the band were literally there, but it wasn’t the Santana that it became. It was just starting out. So that was kind of interesting, too, and it’s another one of these thigs that you look back on later and recognize: "Oh, that was very significant."


🎫 Nov 17 Fri: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA

Note: First Santana Blues Band appearance at this venue.

Small Poster © McLellan

🎫 Nov 18 Sat: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA

🎫 Nov 19 Sun: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA

Note: Supposedly last gig with Rod Harper.

Nov 2?: Santana Blues Band #5/Santana #1

(left to right) Carlos Santana (g), Marcus Malone (perc), Bob “Doc” Livingston (ds) (seated), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo), David Brown (b)

Note: Rod Harper is replaced by Bob “Doc” Livingston (real name Robert Terry Livingstone). In June 1968, The Santana Blues Band changes its name to Santana, but keeps the same line-up.

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): Then we found Doc Livingston, who came from somewhere in South Bay. He had certain mechanics---he could play double bass drums, but the thing I most liked about him was that when he played with mallets he could create a kind of vortex to play in. (p174)

Quote from Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone 2014): The summer of ’68 was when everything started to roll for us. That was when we started calling ourselves just one word: Santana. You can see it on the posters from that summer. (p192)

Santana Blues Band #5/Santana #1
Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA © Coni Beeson

🎫 Nov 24 Fri: Peace & Freedom Party Benefit Dance. Actor’s Workshop, 55 Colton Street, San Francisco, CA


🎫 Nov 29 Wed: Peace & Freedom Party Rally. Fresno State College Amphitheatre, Fresno, CA

Note: The show is originally scheduled for Nov 28, 1967, but can’t take place because the tour bus breaks down. Postponed to the following day, the band Mount Rushmore (originally scheduled) is replaced by the Santana Blues Band. Between Dec 1 and Dec 15, 1967, the Santana Blues Band plays at various rallies in the Los Angeles, CA area.

Dec 1-15, 1967 Ad

🎫 Dec 1 Fri: Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Note: First Santana Blues Band appearance at this venue.

Handbill STGH 74 © Chris Braga

🎫 Dec 2 Sat: Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA

🎫 Dec 3 Sun: Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA

🎫 Dec 26 Tue: 2nd Annual Grope For Peace. Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Poster © Rick Griffin

🔔 ?: 145 Hartford Street, San Francisco, CA

Quote from David Avis (Facebook July 20, 2019): Carlos and the rest of Santana used to live in a house my mom and stepdad bought in February 1968, at 145 Hartford Street. The band was living there probably from mid to late 1967 up until they moved in August 1968. My mother was only charging them $60 a month. Stan Marcum would bring the rent sometimes but sometimes they didn't have it. My mom liked them, so some months they lived there for free. They used to open up the garage to play for the neigborhood. It’s located between Castro Street and Noe Street and between 18th and 19th Streets. It was built in 1880. Me, my mom and little sister lived there until late 1970.

145 Hartford Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
Santana Blues Band #5/Santana #1 on the front porch
145 Hartford Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
© Coni Beeson