Michael Shrieve had actually a moment, one of those “big star” moments, when he to be just twenty years old. It to be a moment—well, nine-and-a-half minutes, actually—that resonated together it happened, made a large impact the complying with year, and also has ongoing to have repercussions for decades.

You are watching: Who played drums for santana at woodstock

Shrieve to be Santana’s drummer, play alongside percussionists Michael Carabello and also Jose Chepito Areas, and the gig was a 45-minute, midday collection at the wood storm Music & arts Fair in august 1969. He to be the second-youngest musician on stage during the whole three-day run.

It was guitarist Carlos Santana’s band, certainly. Yet when documentary manager Michael Wadleigh cut the film, what he determined to to mark from Santana was really much the group’s percussionists, special their prolonged jam throughout “Soul Sacrifice.” Movie audiences in your seats to be whipped into the same kind the Latin-rock frenzy that had actually stunned the standing, sweating crowd at the festival.

“The endure was something the was irreplaceable,” states Shrieve, ~ above the phone indigenous his Seattle home, in our interview from September 2016. “It to be a milestone. When we acquired there—aside from hearing the the highway to be closed, next from flying in in that helicopter and also seeing that amount the people—the suffer of law it was actually rather surreal due to the fact that nobody knew united state at all. We didn’t even have a document out.”

Watch Shrieve’s Woodstock drum solo, start at about the 3:05 mark…

Related: Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”: Behind the Song

And the wasn’t prefer Shrieve to be a grasp of Latin rhythm. “I had a book that i did part practicing out of, a very basic Latin rhythm publication by a man named Ted Reed,” that says. “But I had actually no endure whatsoever and you have the right to hear that in the music, because I play for this reason inauthentically. I just tried to fit in through them in a way that felt good. Even when we perform Latin rhythms, I’m constantly swinging prefer a jazz drummer on the cymbals. So, it’s different than a Latin player and also in retrospect the what produced the sound of our rhythm section. It was a mix of facets that had its own feeling.”

Santana’s eponymous debut was taped in may of ’69 and also did no hit document racks till that August. “That was yes, really something that we gained over prefer that,” Shrieve says, sound still rather amazed. “I can only number that that was sort of a tribal element in the music and also the tribal feel of the audience, yet we yes, really connected. The was yes, really an remarkable experience and then when the film come out the was a whole other dimension: an initial of all, seeing ourselves prefer that in a theater—we hadn’t seen any rough cuts or noþeles so see it was yes, really amazing and also then, that course, the way that has actually imprinted in people’s hearts and minds and also stayed that way over every this time is amazing.”

Beyond “Soul Sacrifice,” the AM and progressive FM standard rock radio hits—“Jingo,” “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Coma Va”—kept coming, making Santana among the major rock bands that the era.

The downside to Woodstock, the movie?

“For the longest time, for numerous years, I simply kept trying come tell people about what i was doing aside from Woodstock,” claims Shrieve. “Because it was so impactful, so many civilization asked around it. The was my lot in life. It was like being Shirley holy place or something. I was constantly like, ‘Have girlfriend heard my latest record?’

“At a certain point, i think ns was around 35 year old, I said , ‘You understand what, just shut up and also be grateful. You’ve done something that way so much to for this reason many. Just keep doing what you do, and change your attitude and just have actually gratitude.”

Related: What came to be of the woodstock performers?

Shrieve stayed with Santana with 1974, play on 5 albums. Shrieve talked around the toll the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, the medicine specifically, took. Looking back, the says, “I deserve to see certain periods and also I have the right to just view it top top the faces of everybody. That terrible. Yet we’re alive and also we’re kicking and also thriving and we’re grateful for that.”


Michael Shrieve through Santana IV in 2016. (Photo: Chad Tasky, courtesy of Michael Shrieve)

Shrieve was energetic after that left Santana in the mid-’70s, through the bands automatic Man and Go, the last a prog-rock/jazz supergroup with Steve Winwood, Stomu Yamashta, Tangerine Dream’s Klaus Schulze and Return to Forever’s Al Di Meola. Shrieve also played percussion top top the rolling Stones’ Emotional Rescue album.

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Carlos Santana, the course, walk on to lot success under his own name, using both his full name and the “Santana” surname at times because that billings. The group was inducted right into the Rock and also Roll hall of call in 1998, and reunited for the occasion. The complying with year, Carlos Santana’s Supernatural album, with its numerous collaborators—including Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews and also Rob Thomas, who sang the struggle “Smooth”—sold numerous copies, and that success spiraled into the early aughts.

In 2013 Carlos reconnected v the guys in the “classic” lineup—Shrieve, singer-guitarist Neal Schon (who joined in 1971), singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie (both trip men) and percussionist Carabello. (Timbales player areas wasn’t invited; Benny Rietveld joined on bass and also Karl Perazzo top top percussion.) The reunited team recorded Santana IV, exit in April 2016.

Related: BCB’s review of Santana IV

Life—and playing music—is different from when you’re just barely the end of her teens and when she in your seventh decade. “I’m 67 now,” Shrieve told us in 2016, “so what was also interesting was preparing because that these shows. Going over music the you played once you were two decades old and also playing at this age, through this band, yes sir a physicality to it the is a whole other story. That’s one real apparent situation the demanded rather a little bit of attention due to the fact that even if you’re play , it’s different when you’re play Santana music. The pretty intense and it’s loud. Those men are loud now!”

To acquire in element shape, Shrieve – born on July 6, 1949, says, “I literally visited physical treatment three time a main for five weeks, working on stuff v my forearms, juicing and also going to the gym, going come the set with the heater on, like warm yoga. That course, mentally, yes, we’re every different, but we have an understanding that what we proficient as young men, what we created as young men, way a lot come each one of us, individually, therefore we lug that gratitude through us to the table once we obtain together, that acknowledgement and also recognition. Us don’t argue as much. Us all put our ideal foot forward and shot to do the music as solid as possible.”

“For part years there had been talk of this walk on,” Shrieve says, of a potential reunion, “and it lastly happened a couple of year ago, once we lastly got in a room together and also played. We’d all remained in touch, however to go and also play, that was a various thing. It was without congas and bass—it was just Gregg Rolie and Carabello and Carlos and also myself. That was simply to see if that initial chemistry to be still there.

“The impressive thing was how much it was there, the there yes, really is together a point as chemistry and what we carry out together has a pressure of that is own. And then, the an imaginative process to be pretty fast as well. We had actually a many extra stuff. Even though the was drawn out, everything went quite quickly. Ns think the document sounds great and we have actually a DVD coming out of a present that we did in ras Vegas.”

“We rehearsed one night and then we played at home of Blues . And we did three gigs ~ above the eastern Coast and they to be all good too. The only disappointment with those performances to be that we didn’t take it ~ above the road over the summer.”


The Santana IV lineup (L-R): Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello, Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, Michael Shrieve

So will “Santana IV” struggle the roadway again?

“There are no plans,” states Shrieve, “not that I recognize of. It’s approximately Carlos. Over there was claimed to be some gigs through Journey and there was one 2 days ago at the Forum in L.A. And there was a huge one in ~ at&t Park and also we were supposed to it is in on that however Carlos simply opted come go v his consistent band. Ns don’t know what the reason is and there there is no been lot communication.”

It baffles Shrieve. The album went optimal 10, the days they walk play go well. And, let’s face it, also best-selling documents barely offer a portion of what they offered to and musicians make their money touring.

“The record’s done relatively well,” says Shrieve. “I can not hide the fact that ns disappointed that us didn’t walk out.”

Shrieve isn’t sure if the door is open up or closeup of the door on Santana IV. “The point is, i don’t know and it’s a tiny bit odd, I should say. There was a huge buildup and it was a an excellent experience playing through the guys again in ~ Madison Square Garden and also the various other dates and then … nothing. Ns don’t understand quite what come equate the with, however it was like a big buildup and also then it was gone.”

It’s no that Shrieve is sitting approximately waiting because that the call. Currently, the plays through a five-piece group in Seattle, Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder, including Hammond B-3 organist Joe Doria, guitarist Danny Godinez, bassist Farko Dosumov and trumpeter Raymond Larsen. They have actually two albums, the first Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder Live in ~ Tost and the second, just Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder.

“The music is different and also I bring one more sensibility come it than I execute to Santana,” states Shrieve. “You have to find the center within yourself. The significance of myself is still there yet it’s get an impressive in means of wisdom and also I method it that way. Ns sit down to the north in a method I have musical control over. It’s more like floating under a river, much much more of a Zen technique I take to the whole thing. It’s important music. It’s not ‘out there’ and also it’s not esoteric.

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Watch Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder performing live

“I’ve got one more record called Drums that Compassion where I’m stand up playing 16 toms in a semi-circle. It’s practically like a mediation record, yet it’s likewise got some great Jack DeJohnette and Airto top top it and I perform a piece with Amon Tobin and Trey Gunz so i’m excited around that as well.”


As a high school baseball player cultivation up in Maine, I offered to pump myself up for games by playing Raw strength by Iggy & the Stooges –the ultimate adrenaline rush. My friends and team mates didn"t quite get it. They favored Chicago (the band). But that was OK: the punk rock transformation was about the corner, and that"s wherein my musical taste locked in with numerous others, bored with corporate rock. Yes, I had actually Slade, Mott, Bowie and Roxy to obtain me there, too. The punk (and post) duration was a time of too much excitement (friction, joy, conflict) that influenced me to write around what i loved. And also it opened up the doors come even much more worlds. I wrote around pop music and other arts because that the Boston world for 25-plus years, with an ext than 10,000 stories to mine credit before leaving in 2005. Due to the fact that then i have freelanced for the Boston Phoenix, Boston Herald, where magazine, Boston Common, Yankee newspaper online, Time out Boston, us News & human being Report, the Cape ko Times. I hold the XFINITY on demand music/interview present “Boston Rock/Talk,” and also write and also edit www.jimsullivanink.com, i beg your pardon serves as a an important guide come arts and events approximately metro Boston.