MS - What was the most interesting session you've done, and why?
JC - That's a loaded question; I don't really know. I guess there was one session that was really interesting that comes up to my mind that I did, I think in 1971. It was interesting, because it was unplanned. All of a sudden it just kinda happened. It was about 4 o'clock in the morning at Wally Heider's studio, which is now Alpha Omega on Hyde Street. I went down to do a session on David Crosby's solo album (If Only I Could Remember My Name), and on that date, he happened to be busy doing vocals. So I ended up just hanging out.
Wally Heider's had four studios in one building, and three of them were going on that particular night, one of them was with Santana. Well, I was hanging out in the halls and Carlos came up to me and says, "Hey, man, you got a geetar (fakes Mexican accent)?" And I said, "Sure!" So, we went in and jammed, and it was a very loose session', and we did three basics starting about 4:15 or 4:30 in the morning with 10 people on it.
So it was four drummers, four guitarists, a bass and an organ. The lineup was Santana's four drummers; Michael Shrieve on traps, Chepito on timbales, Greg Enrico on congas, and then some percussion. Gregg Rolie was on organ, Mark Ryan was playing bass and the guitar players were myself, Carlos Santana and this young kid (which was the first time I met him) Neal Schon. I think he was 15 at the time. I met him in the lobby. He was calling home to his mother telling her to write him an excuse to get out of school the next day, and I thought, "Hmmm, who is this kid?" And the fourth guitarist was Eric Clapton, who showed up. That was just kind of a fun session, mostly because it was unplanned. It just kind of came about.
- Mike Somavilla (1989)