Dream Giver - Simple Minds Online Unofficially Rehab Interview

The Scottish Sun

Hard habit to break: original Simple Minds members and former rock wild boys Derek Forbes, Mick MacNeil and Mel Gaynor are back playing together again as Rehab.

My Love Of Women Got Me Sacked
Simple Minds bass player Derek Forbes may have been the group romeo - but his love of women cost him his dream.

Derek, 41, now admits he only had himself to blame after frontman Jim Kerr finally kicked him out of the band in 1985. And it was all down to his addiction to the opposite sex.

Talking for the first time about his wildman past, he said: "I was completely bonkers most of the time.

"I was the oldest and seemed to have the gift of the gab. I'm a bit of a natural comedian.

"I was always sent out to bring the girls back - chatting up the ladies came naturally. But it got to the stage where I got too involed with the women, so they started to come before the band.

"I would have this totally separate life from the rest of the band and that caused pressures and tension.

"It wasn't my decision to leave. I had to. That's when I realised what I lost. Simple Minds were everything to me.

"The boys were my life. That was my rehab. I had to get my act together. My self-confidence was shattered. It was like a bereavement.

"There they were with a number one single and album and I was sitting at home with no job.

" He was replaced by top bassist John Giblin but, despite a number one hit with Alive And Kicking(sic), he didn't fit in.

Derek threw himself into his music and settled down with wife Wendy.

He went on to join German band Propaganda and later Spear Of Destiny and Japan.

Derek returned to Simple Minds in 1995(sic) - but things were never the same. Three years later he and Mel were dropped.

He said: "Actually we're still waiting to be told we're not in the band any more."

Derek admits most of his escapades could not be printed in a newspaper. He said: "Jim recently told how I tried to get off with Joan Collins on a flight. Well that was true, she was pretty tasty even then, but she didn't take me on and I ended up pals with her son Sasha instead!

"But that's not as bad as the time Britt Ekland came backstage at a gig and told Jim he was much better looking off-stage. He shot back: "I can't say the same for you!"

"We'd have fights we water pistols in our van too."

"One day Mick skooshed this truck driver through his window and he came after us. It was full of workmen. They caught up with us at teh lights and hurled this huge metal fitting at us."

Derek regrets how it all ended with Simple Minds and would love to see the original line-up back together.

Seeing U2 still going strong after all these years makes him realise what they lost. Both drummer(sic) Adam Clayton and bassist(sic) Larry Mullen have regularly gone off the rails.

Derek said: "I suppose I'm the Simple Minds version of Adam, but the difference was the rest of the band stuck by him when he had problems.

"But a lot of water has gone under the bridge. Strip it all away and what you come back to is that we are really a bunch of pals.

"We would do anything for each other. Even supposing we weren't speaking to each other. That's what U2 have never lost."

Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes
The Sun Interview
19th October
By Georgina Reid

Meeting of true Minds
Bono's the key as bust-up trio unite and woo Kerr

Simple Minds legend Mick MacNeil knew he'd been out of the music business too long when he watched U2 wow 10,000 fans in Glasgow in August.

As he watched former rival Bono still performing at the peak after all these years, he thought: "If we came back, we'd whip your ass!"

Simple Minds' original line-up dissolved amid bitter squabbles over money, womanising and fame.

But now, on the eve of their 25th anniversary, the door is open for an amazing reunion for Scotland's biggest-ever rock phenomenon.

Original keyboard player Mick has formed a new band with fellow ex-Minds Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor.


And he has also patched up his long-running feud with Minds front-man Jim Kerr after the pair turned up together at U2's sell-out SECC gig two months ago.

In an exclusive interview with the Scottish Sun, Mick and Derek revealed how:

  • Derek's musical dreams were wrecked over women.
  • Mick struggled to clean up after years of abuse on the rad and
  • The original band was torn apart because of their macho egos.
The most significant move was Mick's decision to bury the hatchet with Kerr, who carried on the Simple Minds name with Charlie Burchill after the original trio departed.

Mick admitted: "It was definitely a breaking of the ice. Jim and I going to see U2 together. Jim had asked before if I'd be interested in going on tour with Simple Minds again, and I've always said no.

"But sitting there watching U2 I got such a thrill.

"It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and all I could think of was 'why isn't that us? I want to be where they are. We could whip their ass!'

"I could see it in Jim's face too. I know he wanted to be up there.

"Maybe the time is right, the past is in the past and we should live for today."

And if he needed any more encouragement it came from Bono when Mick and Jim were ushered backstage. His first word left the pair speechless as he said: "Oh, please don't tell me you lot are getting back together again!"

In a tragic irony Bono and Mick both lost their fathers in the same week.

Mick said: "They were adamant they wanted to see us. They'd been trying to contact us.

"I was so surprised that Bono recognised me. It's been a long time.


"We had a great chat and they were really pleased to see us. Bono asked if I'd heard about his dad and I told him my own dad had passed away.

"It turned out that we buried them on the same day."

Dad-of-two Mick added: "Charlie's the only one I haven't really seen recently. He stays in Ireland at the moment. But it would be great fun to get back in touch with him.

"The really exciting thing is what we would do as a whole machine again, the same bunch of guys back together, what would we do, what kind of songs would we write?"

MacNeil, Forbes and Gaynor admit they re-wrote the manual on sex, drugs and rock' n' roll during their years at the top.

And in a cheeky dig at their former lifestyle, they've named their new band Rehab.

They joke it's just like having their own group counselling sessions.

They have teamed up with Beat 106 dance DJ Ewan McLeod who brough the three together this summer.

Mick said: "This will be the first time since around 1989 that the three of us have lined up together. It's been brilliant fun and even the idea of touring live is exciting again."

Rehab are now preparing to release their first single - Everybody Wants 2 Be Here.

It's already going down a storm on the London club scene.


Mick's aready known as a trance godfather and in their early days Simple Minds were club dancemasters along with bands like Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk.

Mick said: "Over the past year or so we've been hearing so many remixes of Simple Minds hits in the clubs.

"We just thought 'why not try it ourselves?' After all, they're our songs, why shoudln't we give it a shot ourselves? Suddenly it seemed we would get a demo through from the likes of EMI every single week asking approval.

"Really they're doing what we did way ahead of our time."

"I didn't think I'd feel like this but it has fired up all my enthusiasm again to the point where I'd even look forward to going back on the road and that's something I vowed I would never do."

Dad-of-two Derek - who has left and re-joined Simple Minds twice over - said "The simple fact is that it's comfortable.

"Me, Mick and Mel work so well together in Rehab because we have so much history.

"It used to be like that with Simple Minds and we lost sight of that fact.

"Basically what it comes down to is five guys who are the best of friends, who would do anything for each other.

"But Simple Minds' problem has always been not being able to talk to each other. For me, getting back together would feel like putting on an old pair of slippers, just completely natural.

"It's up to Jim and Charlie but at least we're all talking again and the doors are open."

Derek and Mick reckon the tongue-in-cheek name for their band is perfect for three former wildmen.

But they know they are lucky to have survived the drink and drugs rollercoaster of their wild days.

Mick said: "I have looked at my life very seriously."

"I've made some huge changes from the mid-90s when I was pretty messed up.

"It's taken me a long time. Having children was the start of it for me."


"I took stock of my life and I tried to clean it up and now I am pretty clean because I choose to be."

Mick added: "When we hit the big time it was ridiculous. We could do anything, drugs, drink, women. But I never took heroin - none of us did.

"At the end for me, it wasn't how much we took, but how important it had become to us just to function.

"We couldn't do it to excess becuase you just couldn't function, like go on stage and perform night after night if you were half sozzled.

"It didn't have to be coke, it could be a wee joint. But it did get to the stage where you needed a little something before you went on stage.

"We were just young guys, doing our stuff, going round the world. We were rock stars, a bit bolshie, you know.

"But now the old excitement I used to feel has come back and hopefully I would now have the sense to stay relatively clean because I'm older and wiser and can recognise the signs. I think I'd really enjoy it now."