ABOVE PHOTO: Carlos Santana
By Nui Te Koha
Guitar superhero Carlos Santana says tragic icons Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Kurt Cobain were killed by their egos.
Santana, 65, told Confidential: “I practice things that keep my mind from self destruction and self indulgence – which is what killed Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. I could go on.
“There should be a book entitled ‘Please Help Me Get Over Myself So I Don’t Kill Myself.’
“You need to park yourself outside for a couple of hours and just acknowledge the beam of light that you are, not just this personality ego thing.
He added: “That’s what hurts you. A lot of musicians don’t know when to get off the stage.”
The legendary guitarist, who has performed for almost 50 years, has learned to keep his professional and personal lives separate.
Santana explained: “If you come to my house, there is no Santana at my house. There is just Carlos. There are no pictures of Santana, no awards, nothing. Santana works on the stage. After that, he is not welcome at my house.”
His controversial comments came as Santana prepared to co-headline the Deniliquin Blues and Roots Festival with Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak and Steve Miller Band this weekend.
He said musicians through the ages had failed to heed the lessons of famous rock casualties.
“They don’t listen to their soul when it says: ‘Get over yourself. If you don’t, you are going to OD on you.'”
Santana’s hits include “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Como Va,” “Smooth” and “Maria Maria.”
There are plans to reform the classic Santana line up including Neil Schon, Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello, Michael Shrieve and Jose Chepito Areas.
Santana and Schon are discussing ideas for an African-themed record.
He said: “Neil wants to do some songs with me because he knows in his heart right now I’m carrying a thrust, if you will.
“I’m connected with a lot of African music, musicians and songs. That is my source, sanctum, vibration, frequency, or whatever people want to call it.”
Santana has also made a love connection.
He married drummer Cindy Blackman, best known as Lenny Kravitz’s beatkeeper, three years ago.
His previous marriage lasted 34 years.
“Cindy is an incredible spirit – very soft, very gentle, very wise,” Santana said.
He also hinted at the unhappiness of the past.
“Living with her is not like living in prison and the warden has it in for you, and is constantly giving you a laundry list of things that you are useless, hopeless and helpless at.
“She brings the other part, where she sees what’s beautiful in you.”
Santana and Blackman did what he describes as “inner work” before they married.
He added: “We rose up to our fears and egos and told them to go. Neither one of us want to change psychological (nappies).
“We want to hold each others hands, walk into the rainbows and enjoy the sunsets.”