Vegas Staple Carlos Santana Dishes on His Top 4 Sin City Tips (Including Skip the Gambling!)

Christopher Patey
Carlos Santana photographed at Foundation Room in Las Vegas on Feb. 12, 2015.

For this rocker, the Vatican has nothing on the entertainment capital of the world.

During the past seven years, the legendary bandleader Carlos Santana, 67, has become a Las Vegas staple, most recently with multiple strings of dates at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues (next up: May 22-31). He has been able to ­capitalize on the city's skyrocketing appetite for entertainment -- tickets at the 1,800-capacity venue include $375 table seats and $750 VIP packages -- while still leaving time to finish recording Santana IV, which he will do in April. Santana has a few words of advice for entertainers (and others) heading into the desert.

Carlos Santana: 'It's Time to Commit Career Suicide Again'

1. AVOID GAMBLING
"I don't have any desire for that sensation, temptation or stimulation. I don't believe in luck, chance or fortune; I believe in grace. I'd rather invest my emotions into something that is a sure shot, which is music."

'Smooth' at 15: Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas Reflect on Their Billboard Hot 100 Smash

2. GET OFF THE STRIP
"My wife, Cindy, just got me a bicycle. I'm leery about trying that after what happened to brother Bono, but she said that was different because it happened in Central Park. In the desert you might hit a coyote, but that's it."

Betting On Vegas: The Billboard Photo Shoot Featuring Wayne Newton, David Guetta & More

3. SEE CIRQUE
"I don't see many shows, but the one I'd like to go to over and over again is Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: One. I've seen it three times because every person in there excels with it."

Santana Debuts At No. 1 On Top Latin Albums Chart

4. HIT THE HOUSE OF BLUES
"The first time I came here, I said, 'Oh, they love Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters' -- everything that I love; the first music that I loved from America. So when I come to a place and the first thing I see is the pictures of these beloved people, I'm like, 'I want to be here.' I'd rather be here than the Vatican."

This story originally appeared in the March 21st issue of Billboard.


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.