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Is this your homework, Larry?

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"He lives in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-N-Out Burger."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – So, I’m in a room with roadies and tour people and band guys and a man claiming to be Carlos Santana – yes, that Carlos Santana – is telling me about getting the old 1971-and-earlier lineup back together (which is actually true! The original Santana line-up has reunited, recorded a new album Santana IV (his 23rd studio album, in fact) and is on tour in Europe as I write this).

But as I’m sitting there talking to “Carlos,” who is wearing a straw hat and Caribbean-styled clothes, he looks up at me and it is obvious this is not Carlos Santana. It looks like a leaner, more sinister Dolph Lundgren.

Actor Dolph Lundgren pretending to be Carlos Santana? (

I look right in this guy’s face – and then over at some logoed merchandise that feature a sort of “Black Panther Party”-styled logo on it, rather than the tiger or lion.

“You are an imposter!” I yell at this faker. He’s not Carlos Santana. Not by a long shot. It all feels like the set of a Coen Brothers film. In fact, as fans of The Big Lebowski know, after The Dude and Walter confront teen car thief Larry Sellers at his home – and the Dude’s car is wrecked by an angry neighbor – they are shown driving from the In-N-Out Burger as their version of Tito Puente's “Oye Como Va" plays in the car. The Dude is feeling very un-Dude-like at this point in the film as things are falling apart around him. Larry's homework was crammed in between the seat of his "rust-colored" automobile. A piece about the Louisiana Purchase, if I recall correctly ...

The real Carlos Santana (via the Santana band website)

What does this mean? It’s hard to say. Perhaps the Santana reunion and recent sync discussions of their hugely popular 1970 album Abraxas, with its fusion of Afro-Cuban, jazz, blues, salsa and rock sounds bewitched a generation (and it sounds amazing today).

As the Santana Wiki page notes, the cover of Abraxas is quite stunning and is a painting by Mati Klarwein from 1961 and called Annuciation.

In Hermann Hesse’s Gnostic and Jungian-inspired book, Demian, which is quoted on the back cover of the Santana record album sleeve, it reads: “We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it: We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas...." Hesse wrote it under the pseudonym "Emil Sinclair." Curiously, as Twilight Language's Loren Coleman and I discussed the other day, the "Sinclair" gas station dinosaur at the Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies shop featured a red version (not the usual green) of the Sinclair dino and a rooster - a cock. As Eddie Lin has noted, the Abraxas is "a Gnostic Deity. "The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. The God’s name is Abraxas." Perhaps the "back to the egg" syncs I've been having link back to this as we approach the year of the "red fire rooster."

The Hermann Hesse quote on the back of Santana's Abraxas album. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

Some say “Abraxas” has a link to the word “abracadabra,” which has been coming up a bit lately as well in random conversations as well. This album, by the way, also features Peter Green's (Fleetwood Mac) song "Black Magic Woman." Peter Green syncs back to my "Sleepwalk (Gnik nus)" Dust Devil Dreams post linking to another bird - the "albatross." The song "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac inspired The Beatles' "Sun King," recorded backwards as "Gnik Nus" for the 2006 LOVE compilation. All link back to Santo & Johnny's instrumental "Sleep Walk."

A world of illusion. And most are sleepwalking right through it.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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