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Santana at Woodstock- What Amp?


Colonel of Truth
Great story behind Carlos at woodstock. He did some peyote/mescaline and the called for the band to come onstage 4 hours early. He was not where he wanted to be with his trip, he was in the heart of it instead of starting to come down. Great story, I wish I could recall the descriptions of what the guitar neck felt like to him while tripping. It was basically like he was having the feeling that he had to hang on to the neck because it felt like it was taking on different forms in his hands.

He was quoted in a recent interview as saying the neck of his guitar turned into a snake, and that if he could just keep that snake under control, he'd be OK.

After Woodstock, he also was quoted as saying that "Once you play Woodstock on acid, everything else is a piece of cake."

I guess he was right...:bong
At Woodstock, Carlos used a prototype Gallen-Krueger (with either 6 10's or 8 10's). It was a solid-state amp. He plugged his SG Special straight into the amp. My friend knows one of Carlos' original roadies and that's what he said that he used.

He said, although Mike Matthews claims that Carlos used a ''pre-Big Muf" this is totally untrue.


Yep, I heard The Dead dosed him (well, he went along with the idea) but I think he was called to stage more like 8 hours earlier than planned.

General story is certainly true, details vary. Hilarious story, regardless.


Heh heh. We hiked into Woodstock Saturday morning, found a spot and waited for the music to start- Oh Boy!- The Dead, The Who, CSNY, Hendrix, Airplane, etc. etc. So they get ready to go and introduce.... Santana???? I'm not sure their first album was even out, I'd never heard of them. I'm thinking "Oh swell, twenty great bands, 400,000 people waiting, and they STILL have to throw in a "warmup band..". We thought they were pretty good.... for a warmup band. :)
I was reading a forum and Santana mentions that; "At Woodstock, I used this amp made by Gallien- Kruger that had no tubes. I never really liked that tone other than it was loud and it really projected, but I figured if we’re going to play at Woodstock I needed to project, so that’s why I used it".

TBH I quite liked the tone at woodstock... I thought It was really chunky sounded fine to my ears.
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Platinum Supporting Member
I was reading a forum and Santana mentions that; "At Woodstock, I used this amp made by Gallien- Kruger that had no tubes..

It wasn't Gallien-Krueger at that point in time but what was to eventually become G-K. I think they may have been called GMT or something like that, but Bob Gallien was certainly involved and it was a large solid state amp and probably similar in nature to what Acoustic (Control Corp) was doing at the time. The wattage was probably a bit misleading too. I doubt it was louder than a typical 100W Marshall Super Lead of that era.
To me that early Santana tone was his best, more than his Boogie or Dumble eras. I know this is not the TGP approved opinion, but I feel like that more raw tone he got highlighted the phrasing and feel of his fingers and pick. The other amps erased some of that raw goodness for me. Too smooth. I know calling Santana too smooth is heresy. I like unvarnished Carlos. It's messier in a good way. His mess was very musical to me. I really like to just hear his hands most of all. I think all this smooth stuff is unnecessary for him. His hands say it all.


I'm an old guy who has listen to him from the beginning and have always felt the same as you.
Good job of describing it.
https://s1.manualzz.com/store/data/011115380_1-4057634cfeec32252cb5391eceb3c365.png Carlos Santana used an early Gallien Kruegger GMT 226A guitar with 226w, reverb and tremolo... at the Woodstock he used a prototype of a Big Muff.


I dont have much to add to this other than that Carlos is the MAN. I love love love love all the late sixties to late 70s stuff he produced. Just amazing music with big sound and intentions.

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