SANTANA: Santana Claus
This has been a very emotional month for Carlos Santana. First he was presented with the Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, D.C. Then a week later he was in his native Mexico for an all-star Latin show in support of his next album, Corazon. And now he has been reunited with Marcus Malone, the conga player in the original Santana Blues Band who played on their self-titled debut.
Malone, who was jailed for manslaughter just before Santana played Woodstock and made it onto the national scene in 1969, is homeless and living on the streets of Oakland. Reporter Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV in San Francisco did a story on illegal dumping in Oakland when he met Malone rummaging through garbage. He asked Malone what he used to do before becoming homeless and he told him about his time in Santana, which got its start in his mother's garage. Carlos happened to see the report and took to the streets of Oakland in an attempt to find his friend. When his search failed, he turned to Roberts, who brought the two together last Friday.
Carlos told Malone that he cherishes him, and promised to bring him a set of congas and to help him get on his feet by getting him an apartment and clothes. He also told him that Santana band member Gregg Rolie recently wrote a song about Malone called "Magnificent Marcus Malone" and that he wants Malone to play on it when members of the original line-up record it, hopefully early next year. Carlos went on to say, "We all have people in our family who get misplaced, not lost but misplaced. A lot of people all over the world are connecting with this story. They in return will do something for someone that will bless them."
Royalty checks for Malone from that first album have been going to his sister. Malone co-wrote "Soul Sacrifice," which was arguably the highlight of their set at Woodstock.