Carlos Santana Reunited With His Old Drummer
More than four decades after Carlos Santana and his drummer Marcus Malone parted ways, the two were reunited on the streets of Oakland, California, where the talented musician has been living after falling on hard times.
The heartwarming encounter was made possible thanks to the efforts of local news reporter Stanley Roberts, who came across Malone earlier this month while reporting on illegal dumpsites for his segment ‘People Behaving Badly’ for the station KRON4. When Roberts first interviewed Malone, the unkempt, bearded man in a big red parka was rummaging through piles of garbage.
After boasting to the reporter that he had once found $800 in a pair of discarded jeans, the vagrant revealed to him that he was a composer and part-time landscaper who used to play with Carlos Santana’s original band. As it turned out, Malone was telling the truth: the drummer once nicknamed ‘Marcus the Magnificent’ was part of the Santana Blues Band until 1968. The two musicians, however, parted ways some 40 years ago when Malone was convicted of a crime and sent to San Quentin prison. Upon his release, Malone was unable to find a steady job and get back on his feet, and eventually became homeless. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana’s musical career skyrocketed, with his band’s appearance at the famed Woodstock music festival giving them the big break they’ve been waiting for.
In 1998, the band Santana (without Malone in it) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the multitalented guitarist and singer went on to sell 15million copies of his hit album Supernatural in the early 2000s. After Roberts’ segment aired on TV December 9, Santana allegedly travelled to Oakland to try and find his down-on-his-luck former percussionist, whose fiery rhythms had helped catapult him to fame all these years ago.
Being unable to locate Malone, Santana had his manager contact Roberts via Facebook and ask to set up a reunion. On Friday, Roberts returned to Pearmain Street in Oakland, where he had first encountered Malone, with some good news and an old friend in tow. A video of the surprise encounter shows a shell-shocked Malone being led to a black Ford pickup truck and coming face to face with his long-lost famous bandmate. ‘Man!’ Malone exclaims. ‘You don’t know how hard I prayed to get to see you.’ Marcus “the Magnificent” Malone,’ Santana responds as he emerges from the passenger seat and tightly embraces his prodigal drummer. ‘It is an honor to be in your presence, man,’ Santana tells Malone. ‘I always cherish you, man.’ Later, Santana said of Malone that his ‘spirit is indomitable.‘ It is not clear what, if anything, Santana plans to do to help his old friend, but in the video he talks about ‘hooking up’ with Malone.