Theft of the Dial: Tony M. of The New Power Generation

Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Theft of the Dial: Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
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Tony Mosley — aka Tony M. of Prince's band The New Power Generation — joins The Current's Derrick Stevens for a Theft of the Dial to tell stories and to play some of his favorite music.

Tony M. describes growing up in music-filled North Minneapolis, from which emerged the Minneapolis Sound. "A lot of people wonder, 'How did this sound emanate from this small community of African-American brothers and sisters?'" Tony says. "I grew up watching Spike Moss have his Battle of the Bands or his Summer Jamboree at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center … he'd bring in national acts, you'd watch the Time … you grew up around it, you grew up around live music."

Talking with Derrick, Tony M. describes how he first got involved with Prince during the filming of Purple Rain. "We got our first break with P probably around '83," Tony says. "They were looking for extras for Purple Rain. Damon Dickson and I, we had a little group — that was the break-dancing days. That's where it all started, from the dancing."

Tony would eventually work with Prince as an instrumentalist and rapper in The New Power Generation; notably, Tony's time in the band included Prince's embrace of hip hop. "He gave me an opportunity to pen a few songs," Tony says, "and before I knew it, I had three or four songs on Diamonds and Pearls."

Looking back on his time working with Prince, Tony remembers the creative energy, the professionalism and the musicianship. "[Prince] surrounded himself with masterful musicians, and we worked all the time, but it was fun," he says. "We didn't think about all the hours we were putting in."

Listen to the full session to hear more from Tony M., and to hear him spin and talk about some of his favorite artists and songs.

Tony M. Theft of the Dial Playlist


1. Prince & New Power Generation - Gett Off
2. James Brown - Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)
3. Earth Wind & Fire - That's the Way of the World
4. Parliament Funkadelic - Flashlight
5. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 - The Message
6. Public Enemy - Fight the Power
7. Sly and the Family Stone - Everyday People
8. New Power Generation - 2gether

Resources


The New Power Generation (Facebook)

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center - official site

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4 Photos

  • Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
    Derrick Stevens (left), The Current's Production Manager, with Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
    Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
    Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation
    Tony Mosley, aka Tony M. of the New Power Generation (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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