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Santana says Jerry Garcia got him “higher than an astronaut’s butt” ahead of Woodstock performance

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When Santana played Woodstock in 1969, they were a relatively unknown band that shot to superstardom after their performance. But according to Carlos Santana, it’s surprising the set went off as well as it did.

In a new interview with People, the guitar great, whose documentary Carlos premieres at the Tribeca Festival on June 17, says he was high as a kite during the performance thanks to the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who handed him some hallucinogens right before he took the stage. 

“It was a real test, and the test was, ‘You are higher than an astronaut’s butt right now with whatever Jerry Garcia shared with me,'” Santana says. “When I came out onstage, I was like, ‘Oh my God, am I going to be able to play? I can’t even touch my nose.'” 

Santana says, “It was like being inside a kaleidoscope. And then somebody told me, ‘Trust in God. Just ask him to keep you in time and in tune.’ So I said, ‘God, I really believe in you. If you help me right now, I won’t poo my pants in front of everybody.’ Next thing I knew, we hit the notes and the people went, ‘Wooo!'”

And Santana certainly thinks he and the band pulled it off, telling the mag that while Sly Stone’s set was the “absolute best,” followed by Jimi Hendrix, “Anybody else had to fight for number three with me and with our band.”

He says, “When I look at the video, and even though I was there, it was Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Santana, and then there was everybody else.”

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