Commonly known as Mystical Markus, the Street Wizard, Markus Hegman is a club DJ and an endearing presence around town. He recently opened up Red Square, a small shop at 1360 S. Wells Ave. (formerly Spectre Records), which sells new and used music, miscellaneous thrift store items, and other oddities. Hegman also hopes the store will become something of a community center.
Where did those come from?
These snakeskin sneakers came from Skip Gillette. He grew up across the street from my childhood home. He was the drummer in Quiet Riot before “Cum On Feel the Noize” hit, and then he was actually in Montrose. And he was the only one who wasn’t sober. And he went on The Ed Sullivan Show, and they said, we prefer that you not play on weed, and he played, and it was just terrible. He’s a good guy, though. Interestingly enough, the reason that this store exists is because I’m trying to bring an awareness to suicide, because I’ve lost too many people. I feel that everyone somehow knows someone who’s died by that way. So I just want to become open and say, “Hey, we should be able to talk about that—it’s not a taboo.” … It’s become more prominent. There’s a lot of despair. People are apathetic because of opiates or whatever is going on, and it’s easy. The thing is that some people look at people taking their own lives as cowardice—like they weren’t strong enough to handle it—but no one knows what they’re going through. I just say, try to be available for your friends. I think this digital age has made us think that it’s OK to just send a message and be impersonal. … The space is small—trying to fill it out. I definitely want to have music—because music is a big part of my life—and fashion and of course art. But, more or less, my idea was to have a community space.
All used stuff?
I’ll carry some new stuff. I already have new music I’ll sell on my own. I already have so much. It’s time to release it to the masses. It’s kind of funny because even people who don’t know me know that I’m really good at going to thrift stores and finding things. I just put in a lot of work and it kind of comes to me. The kicker with my trip on my birthday was—the final countdown was—I found a nine of spades. … And I turned over the card, and it was Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on Broadway and Myrtle in Brooklyn, New York. Some people want to refer to me as the street wizard, but I think I’d like to call myself a street missionary. Because I really do have compassion for the homeless, especially the youth.
People call you Mystical Markus, the Street Wizard. Where did that name come from?
Jammal Tarkington created Mystical Magical Markus, the Street Sorcerer. And Trevor Leppek just made it the Street Wizard. My Instagram is wizardofstreets_redsquare now because I incorporated the store with it. … The name means that I have magic in my life. When someone wants to manifest something it comes through me because it just works that way.
It’s funny that the name is Red Square but the logo is a triangle.
One thing that I learned in New York is that when you find yourself someplace you were meant to be there. I do appreciate our population, but I’m not opening my store to the masses. I’m opening it to the few that find it. So it’s kind of a cloak-and-dagger thing.