He had used his own boat and crew, and travelled slowly down coastlines and across island chains from New England, down the east coast, through the Caribbean, along the coasts of Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina. He sailed through the Straights of Magellan, up Chile, Peru, Ecuador. Everywhere he went, every town with a marina or safe anchorage, he would find a small space, a nightclub, a restaurant, or a bar, just large enough for a hundred people or so, and he’d round up the best musicians in the town and they’d put on an acoustic show. No advertising, just word of mouth. One night of good music. One night of party and dance. Marcus didn’t ask for anything in return, many times he’d be the one to barter for party supplies. He would trade something valuable from his boat to provide food and drink for the event. Marcus didn’t headline the shows. He didn’t steal the spotlight. He always jammed with the musicians as equals and allowed the local talent to shine.
He did his world tour for years, up along the coasts of Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, playing music and bringing the astonished local people out to have a good time. It was an amazing thing to do in a post-disaster world. It gave the humans a chance to relax and be social during years that were generally challenging and often times scary. The crew would usually escort Marcus to his shows and Tommy Caine would more often than not have to defend his boat with firearms and booby traps. Banditos were thick along much of these post-modern coastlines. Marcus and crew would make their way back to the docks in the early morning to find his captain in full battle mode, shaking with too much coffee and too much excitement. The captain thrived on these wild west shootouts. If there was a night when he was too tired to properly defend his boat, he’d push off into deeper water and throw the hook.
Marcus loved bringing people out for the music.
He saw these years of bringing joy to complete strangers as the pinnacle of his life. If he ever had a purpose, this was it.
He made his way up the coast of Mexico, California, Oregon, Seattle, Vancouver.
He crossed the North Pacific in the middle of summer and visited Japan, Okinawa, and Korea.
He was the only musician to try.
He had visited the islands of Hawaii years back, before Ben Churchill began his presidency. There were a handful of our students who had gone to those shows as kids and for each of them it had been one of their bests nights since the electricity storm. Marcus’ international fame and hero status eclipsed anyone else in this strange post-modern world.
When the students of Kalaupapa found out the Ben Churchill had been an early member of Zion Figure, that’s how he was known. They heard that he was the current U.S. President, but it meant nothing to them. That he had written songs on the early albums, and was a lead vocalist on some of the classic tunes was way more impressive than his role as the U.S. figurehead.