Stanley Roberts was just doing his job as a producer for Bay Area news program KRON 4. But after airing one particular story, Roberts did more than bring awareness to his community over a civic issue—he helped reunite a homeless man with his long-lost, famous friend.
For eight years, Roberts has produced a segment for KRON 4’s news program called "People Behaving Badly." Back on Dec. 9, in a story for the series about illegal dumping in the streets of Oakland, Roberts talked to Marcus Malone, a homeless man who rummaged through some of the remnants.
During his interview, Malone made a claim Roberts couldn’t believe: He was once an original member of legendary rock star Carlos Santana’s band, playing the congas. "At one time I was with the Santana band, the original Santana Blues Band," Marcus said.
Roberts did his research to verify Malone’s story, and Santana himself, having seen the segment, also began to look for Malone. A message from Santana’s manager to Roberts asking for help finding him prompted a reunion, which aired on KRON4.
Malone, who can be heard on the album Live at the Filmore 1968, lost contact with Santana in 1969 after some personal troubles, including serving time at San Quentin. His timing could not have been worse. Soon after Malone left the band, Carlos Santana gave a historic performance at Woodstock that put him on the path to stardom.
Now Santana is talking about getting the original band together again to make a recording. Santana told KRON 4 that he's written a song for his long-lost friend called "Magnificent Marcus Malone" and wants the song’s namesake to play on it. Santana told KRON 4, "I want to offer him a place to stay in an apartment, get him some clothes and just get him out of the street." Santana says he will also get a pair of congas for Malone to practice "so he can get his hands hard again, because he hasn’t been playing the congas in a while."
Read more at KRON 4.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.