It began with a “People Behaving Badly” segment on illegal dumping in Oakland featuring Marcus Malone, fallen on hard times, homeless and rummaging through piles of trash. Malone told KRON 4′s Stanley Roberts that he used to play with the band Santana.
Malone was forced to quit the band in early 1969 when an arrest sent him to jail, before their big breakthrough at Woodstock.
The footage found its way back to Santana, and after 40 years, the two were reunited on camera, just days before Christmas.
You don't know how hard I prayed to get to see you," Marcus told Santana.
“God has a way,” he responds.
And now that they've found each other again, Santana doesn't plan on letting Marcus get lost again.
"I want to offer him a place to stay in an apartment, get him some clothes, and just get him out of the street," he told CNN.
“I want to offer my brother Marcus Malone an opportunity to record on the next album with the original band, with Greg Rolie,” Santana says. ” We wrote a song for him called ‘Magnificent Marcus Malone.’ We want him to play on it and we’re going to start, Lord willing, in January or February. So I would like to get him some congas so he can get his hands hard again because he hasn’t been playing the congas in a while.”
Santana says he offers his “heart’s gratitude” to Stanley for starting the process that led to the reunion.
“I’ve been at KRON 4 a long time,” Stanley said. “This is the biggest story I’ve come across. It all happened by happenstance, being at the right place at the right time. I firmly believe there is a reason for everything and I want to see Marcus perform with the band again.”
You can hear the Magnificent Marcus Malone in his prime on Santana’s Live at the Fillmore 1968, an amazing double album with original drummer Bob Livingston that premiered most of the material that would appear on the band’s groundbreaking debut LP. The closing 30-minute rave on “Freeway” is simply magnificent.