Silver Laughter’s Mick Orton Meets Santana… Sort Of

Carlos Sanatana

Carlos Sanatana

One of the benefits of living near a beautiful city like San Francisco is that a lot of the stars live close by. Through the years I have gotten to talk to Robin Williams. A long time ago I sat at the bar of a  San Anselmo club and drank with Dewey Bunnell (of America). There was was the story I told of performing in front of Gregg Allman for this website. In fact, I even accidentally swung a suitcase at actor, Peter Coyote, while getting a bag off the conveyor at SFO.

So imagine my surprise yesterday as I came from the restrooms to go pick up luggage from our San Francisco flight to New York’s JFK Airport only to see my wife standing with Carlos Santana. We was polite enough to allow the ladies who were talking to Janis get a picture standing with him.

Should I have told him that The Contents Are: used to play “Evil Ways”? Or should I have asked him if he remembered sitting outside the Mill Valley Music Store (now out of business) on a bench with a young girl (my Angela) waiting for it to open?

I have always had a problem promoting myself when running into stars. I probably shouldn’t be so timid, but I suspect they are approached by every nut in the world, and I would hate to have myself lumped in with those crazies. So if Silver Laughter ever gets any recognition, it will be on our own merits.

Mick Orton

Note: After I published this, Ken shot me an e-mail reminding me of another close encounter. During my first years out here I managed a car wash in Novato. One of our regular customers was Greg Rolie (formerly of Santana as well as Journey) who would bring in his yellow Rolls Royce to be cleaned. He knew I was a musician and let me sit in his car as it went through the wash while listening to a demo he had recorded earlier that day! But I also remember Ken pouring gas all over George Lucas’s sports car during a fill up at the San Rafael wash, owned by the same people who owned the one where I met Rolie.

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