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Carlos Santana’s Reunion With Homeless Drummer Will Warm Your Wintry Heart

Carlos Santana Homeless Drummer Marcus Malone

Thanks to a San Francisco TV newsman, Carlos Santana has been reunited with his homeless former percussionist, Marcus “The Magnificent” Malone. The latter was part of the Bay Area rock legend’s original outfit, the Santana Blues Band, and played congas on the group’s self-titled 1969 debut (he has a songwriting credit on “Soul Sacrifice”). But he was incarcerated the same year, shortly before Woodstock, and upon release couldn’t find steady work.

KRON 4’s Stanley Roberts creates a recurring segment called “People Behaving Badly,” and earlier this month was working on a story about illegal dumping when he came across a man rummaging through trash. In the interview that followed, the man mentioned that he used to play with Santana — that the band used to jam in Malone’s mother’s garage, in fact — so Roberts checked out the story and confirmed it. Then he brought Santana himself to Malone’s Oakland camper.

Seen above, the two have a warm reunion. The Associated Press misquotes Malone as saying, “You don’t know how afraid I am to let you see me,” but he actually quite clearly says, “You don’t know how hard I prayed to get to see you again.” He in fact doesn’t seem the least bit ashamed, and Santana greets him like any old friend, without an ounce of pity. “It’s an honor to be in your presence,” the star says. “I always cherished you. You and your family were so gracious to us.”

Santana had evidently gone looking for Malone after seeing the original December 9 segment, but reached out to Roberts after having no success.