Rubén Martín/RCA RecordsA reporter for San Francisco-area TV station KRON has helped reunite Carlos Santana with one of his old band mates. While investigating illegal dumping in the Bay Area for a story for his "People Behaving Badly" segment, Stanley Roberts came across a homeless man named Marcus Malone rummaging through some garbage on the streets of Oakland who told him he had been a member of the Santana band during the late 1960s.
Roberts did some checking and it turned out to be true -- Malone played percussion in the group from 1967 to 1969, but wound up going to San Quentin prison shortly before Santana gave its famous performance at the Woodstock festival. Marcus has continued to struggle over the years, and lives a homeless existence while doing some landscaping work and composing music.
After the segment aired, Carlos unsuccessfully attempted to track Marcus down, then had his manager enlist the newsman's help in setting up a meeting between the old musical collaborators. This past Friday, Roberts surprised Malone at a trailer where he was staying, and told him he'd brought a friend to see him.
A video report that was broadcast on KRON showed the happy reunion, as Malone told Santana after the two embraced, "You don't know how I prayed to get to see you." Carlos, meanwhile, declared, "Marcus 'The Magnificent' Malone…it's an honor to be in your presence. I always cherished you, man."
After reminiscing for a bit, Santana promised Marcus he he would keep in touch with him and would bring him some conga drums. When Marcus mentioned that he'd love to get an apartment, the guitar legend responded by saying, "We'll do our best to take care of you."
When Malone was in the Santana band, the group would practice in his basement. Carlos told KRON that it was Marcus who introduced him to artists like John Coltrane, Howlin' Wolf and famed Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji.
"He turned me on to all this music that will forever be in my DNA," Santana explained.
Before their meeting came to a close, Malone told Carlos, "I've been writing some music that I know you would love," while Santana suggested that they would hook up again musically at some point.
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