Santana was formed in 1966 in San Francisco as the Santana Blues Band. At the group's first audition at the Avalon in the summer of 1967, promoter Chet Helms told the band that they would never make it in the San Francisco music scene playing Latin fusion and suggested Carlos keep his day job washing dishes at the Tick Tock Drive-In in the Mission.
But Helm’s rival promoter, Bill Graham, took a liking to the band as they appealed to his younger days where he spent long nights dancing to Latin music in New York City. He eventually became their manager and arranged for them to be placed on the bill at Woodstock, in exchange for Woodstock promoter Michael Lang getting several other San Francisco bands to appear. Santana’s first album was released in May 1969, a few months before Woodstock.