Local Current Blog

Fire devastates home, gear of New Power Generation keyboardist Morris Hayes

The interior of Morris Hayes home, including his home studio, was destroyed in a recent fire (photo via Morris Hayes on Facebook).

Yesterday, New Power Generation keyboardist/musical director Morris Hayes shared an Instagram post that reveals the devastating effects of a fire that burned through his home. The photos show the interior of Hayes’s home, with property including his recording equipment scorched and reduced to rubble.

View this post on Instagram

Hello all. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m hardly at a loss for words. I’m close to that now. While I was in Mpls. to do the Maple Grove show w/The NPG, my house burned. It went from getting setup to chaos. I just saw it yesterday. I have mentioned it to a few but word is moving around so I wanted to address it. I am okay and thank God I wasn’t there. I want to thank everyone concerned for me and for your well wishes. I’m going to be on social media a bit less to deal with this, so please don’t feel slighted at a nonreply for the moment. I appreciate the prayers and positive energy. Be safe and love on everyone close to you. You never know. 🙏🏾♥️ #mrhayes #npg4life #morrishayes #ws4p #studiofire #getinsurancenow!

A post shared by Morris Hayes (@hayes.morris) on

In the post, Hayes wrote that he was not home at the time of the fire. He was in Maple Grove, performing with the New Power Generation at the city’s “Concert on the Lawn” music festival. When Hayes returned home, he discovered the damage.

“Anyone that knows me knows that I’m hardly at a loss for words,” the post reads. “I’m close to that now.”

The first photo was taken before the fire, and shows Hayes’ home studio crowded with recording equipment including a keyboard, a computer monitor and hard drive, speakers, and audio interfaces. The next shot is taken from the same angle, but the desk is caved in and the equipment that sat atop it is either blackened or turned to ash.

“Be safe and love on everyone close to you,” Hayes wrote. “You never know.”

Hayes took over for Jimmy Jam in the Time before joining the New Power Generation and contributing to over a dozen Prince albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Last year, he sat down with The Current’s Sean McPherson for an extensive interview about Prince’s 1995-2010 discography.

Hayes played keyboards in New Power Generation, and told McPherson that even before he played with Prince he was a “real tech geek.”

“I work with keyboards to the point that I can listen to anybody’s record and be like they used this, that and the other,” said Hayes. “I could hear the sound associated with the keyboard company that the sound came from, for the most part, unless it was like a boutique type.”

This morning, fellow New Power Generation member Tony Mosley (a.k.a. Tony “M”) and his wife Deanna Mosley created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $15,000 to help Hayes “bring the funk back.”

“As some of you know our beloved ‘NPG’ family member lost all his possessions in a house fire this past week,” Tony and Deanna Mosley wrote in the description of the campaign. “Let’s come together and help him bring the funk back!”

Colleen Cowie runs the blog Pass The Mic.