Release of "A History Of Santana-The River Of Color And Sound"
Virgin Megastore, San Francisco, CA
Wednesday February 12, 1997

Original release on CD-ROM (Philips/Cube Art/GraphixZone USA GZ11050)
Sections: The Electric Church - History - Live Performance - Influences - Guitar Lesson - Vusic The Screen Raver/Screen Saver
For more than an hour, Carlos Santana signs autographs to dozens of fans. The winner of the PRS guitar drawing, Phillip Retamoza, is lead guitarist of a local band named Orquesta Gitano.



Carlos Santana & Phillip Retamoza

Phillip Retamoza 1997
Hello, my name is Phillip Retamoza, and I am the one who won the Carlos Santana model Paul Reed Smith Guitar in San Francisco on Wednesday February 12, 1997. First of all, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Santana management and to Graphic Zone for putting on the event, and of course for allowing me to win! Carlos has been a big part of my life ever since I was about 12 (early 70's). I used to spend hours listening to his songs like "Europa" and "Samba Pa Ti", and learn them note for note. I've been playing the guitar ever since. Everone in my life knows about my admiration for Carlos, whenever he's is on TV or has an upcoming event. My Mom, my Sister, my Brother or a friend will always call me and let me know because they all know what he means to me. As a matter of fact, our (me and my wife) good friend Rose Lopez was the one who called me and told me about the CD-ROM signing where I won the guitar, so I must thank her as well. I also must thank my friend Oscar Moreno who noticed the drawing for guitar as he passed by the window. When we went up there, we didn't even know about the drawing, we just went up there to see Carlos, and to get an autograph. Last but definetly not least, I would like to thank my Mom and Dad, Rodrigo and Juana Retamoza who have always been there for me. And of course my wife Eleanor, because if it wasn't for her I never would have won. She wanted to go but could'nt make it, so I filled out an entry form for her for good luck, and her name was the one that was picked! I could not believe it! I just wish she could have been there with me. It was funny because on the drawing form, there was'nt enough room to spell our last name on the line, so I had to write over the next question. It was kind of hard to read, so when Carlos drew the ticket and started to read "Eleanor R....." My heart started pounding as I walked closer, still not sure. He couldn't make out the last name so he started reading our address, that is when I flipped I said "She's my wife!" the crowd started yelling no! no!, No one believed me. Then the M.C. asked me for my phone number to verify. Then he said come on up! On my way up another guy asked me for my I.D. to further verify but Carlos told him "They already verified it" I just said "YES!".
I looked up at Carlos and the guitar, and I remember thinking "No, this is not really happening, it's just a dream". Once I made it to the top of the stairs, Carlos gives me a hug then handed me the guitar, (Oh yeah, I'm dreaming). I remember Carlos telling my how great the guitar sounds through a fender twin. I knew I was gonna wake up from this dream at any minute, but it was real! After a few pictures, me and Oscar were walking out when Micheal Rios had asked if he could see the guitar, and that was another honor to meet him. On my way home I called my wife and told her what she had won. She couldn't believe it. She said "No... Really.. Oh my God! Carlos drew my name?!" I said "Yes". On my way home I also called my Mom, my brothers and sisters I couldn't wait till I got home. I also thanked God because I know he had his hand in this. I never miss Santana's concerts when he plays at the Shoreline Amphitheater, and at one time or another I've had almost all of his albums or CDs. To call myself a fan doesn't seem right because it's much deeper than that. That's why when I won the Guitar I honestly thought I was dreaming. If somebody asked me if I could have any guitar available today, which one would you choose, I would have said "that's easy, the Carlos Santana model Paul Reed Smith!". To have it given to me and signed by Carlos himself. Man, I still can't believe it! I had to open the case every once and a while to make sure it really happened. I have had many dreams that I have met him and were just kinda hanging out, so that's when I won, I was sure that it was all a dream. When I was up there accepting the guitar I even told Carlos "pinch me man, I think I'm dreaming". He just looked at me kinda of funny. I play in a band called "Orquesta Gitano". On our CD, I play bass, and also guitar on "Fantasia" and "Sirena". I also did the artwork on the cover, and sang backup vocals. We are a salsa, latin jazz, fusion band that has been together for around 15 years. We also play some Santana tunes like: "Europa", "Samba Pa Ti" ,and "Moonflower". It's kind of funny because when we play those tunes people ask me "man! did Carlos teach you himself!" and I just say "yes, in a way he did". I don't try to sound like him, it just happens. There can only be one Carlos Santana, he is the creator of his style and I am just a follower. This whole thing is too perfect. You're probably not going to believe this, but for the past year or so, I have been working on a song called "Gracias Carlos". It's an instrumental guitar song that is my tribute to the man (Carlos). I am trying to express my thanks and emotions through a song . I can now record it with my new Carlos Santana model PRS!!!! I get goose bumps just thinking about it! It will be on our next CD. Since then I have made many new friends, among them Kitsaun King from the Santana management, and of course Karim, who I met later after he told me he had videotaped the whole event. He is the most knowledgeable Santana fan that I know and I value his friendship. This is my story, and truly a dream come true.

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