Dave Margen (Santana)

Courtesy of Santana Com

By Thomas Semioli


Playing bass since his early teen years, Dave Margen gravitated towards the sounds of James Brown and funk and never looked back. Dave studied with John Knight in his native Bay Area, whom he cites as a major influence. His teacher often snuck the under-age Margen into the various Broadway Street clubs in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood to hear such local luminaries as Tower of Power.  Soon Dave would become part of the scene, jamming with bands and establishing himself as an in-demand player.


Dave commenced his career with Santana in 1977 on the live/studio twofer Moonflower and played brilliantly on somewhat lesser known Carlos slabs including: Inner Secrets, Swing of Delight, Oneness Silver Dreams Golden Reality, Marathon, and Havana Moon – as well as the guitarist’s massive comeback hits Zebop, and Shango in the early ‘80s.


As I was witness, Dave’s remarkable bass solo composition “Runnin’ was a highlight of Santana gigs of that era, fusing Latin, jazz, funk, and blues rhythms and themes.


Dave also waxed seminal sides with The Dramatics, Gregg Rolie, Joe Walsh (The Confessor), and Coale Johnson, among others. Dave’s weapons of choice include Fender Precision, Fender Jazz, and Yamaha basses.


Dave Margen Sound & Vision – with Santana


“Runnin” https://youtu.be/KybZb0kmEow


“Jharna Kala” https://youtu.be/tbUPbyvz-cI


“The Nile” https://youtu.be/MBemfKbjZYw


“Winning” https://youtu.be/0FmPg4lrBKc


Santana Live at the Oakland Coliseum 1977 https://youtu.be/7v5t8tNqf3o