"Derek Forbes, the Big Dan himself, shotos straight from the hip and never regrets it. On a British
Airways Tristar flying from Toronto to London recently, he caused considerable confusion by barging into the First
Class section and asking if this was where the disco was happening. On being told to return to "the third class section",
he retorted that he was worth more than "all these bald-c**** put together" and threatended to sue the snooty
stewardess for assault."
"Derek hates class segregation. Anything else? Midge Ure perhaps? "I don't
really even hate Midge Ure," he admitted."
"Derek loves music, women, animals and history. He's also an expert on names. "I've told you before,
probably, how the name 'Forbes' was derived." Well, no actually. "Well, the Forbes clan used to rule all around
Aberdeen, a big section up in the north-east of Scotland, and 'Forbes' was a toast for Bess, Queen Elizabeth the
First - For-Bess." See?"
"('Kerr', by the way, is a completely Scottish name meaning sheep-thief from the border lands.)"
"We digress. Derek, of course, is responsible for those spine-rattlign bass riffs which form the
core of most of Simple Minds' songs. Equally adept on either freless or fretted bass,
Derek started his muscial career as a wild and flashy lead guitarist, and at one time or
another playing in groups with such names as Moby Dick and Big Dick And The Four Skins
("I was Big Dick but it was only a rumour")."
"Luckily he found a new home with Simple Minds and has never looked back. "It was great for me playing
with them 'cos it was totally different. I used to have an old white bass speaker called 'The Fridge', 'cos that's
what it looked like.""
""Simple Minds in the old days was pretty magical, to look back on it - maybe it wasn't if I'd been
able to watch us from the audience, but it was just a small pub in Glasgow and you'd never seen bands with lights
and all that and taking the time to put on a show.""
""That's how we became so hip with the make-up - I looked like a panda. I used to wear girls' sandals 'cos I
was a big New York Dolls fan. I even wore my grandmother's lurex top one night - it was metallic
"How do you feel about Simple Minds now Derek? "Is 'euphoric' the right word?""
New Gold Tour Programme
Derek Forbes' bass playing and resolute hooks were integral parts of early
Simple Minds. He wrote, and co-wrote, many of the band's earliest classics, including the
arena-stadium cross-over Waterfront.
Reasons for his sacking during the Once Upon A Time sessions have been
varied and may be irrelevant Ė Jim recently stating in a journal that a formal
warning may have been more appropriate and expressed regret at his departure.
RP: ... Now I'd like to hear, in your opinion, why you were dismissed from
DF: It was jealousy. This is from Jim's mouth. Jealousy. I had a girlfriend at the time - and it was stupid of me, it was my
Yoko Ono moment and took her everywhere with me - and Jim didn't like it. It was taking me away from the band. Although I
loved the band - when I was out that was a plane crash to me. That was like I lost my family - where is everybody? It was a killer. That's basically that's what it was.
DF: I got called in to see the manager, Bruce Findlay. Charlie and
Mick were there and Paul Kerr, Jim's brother. And
Paul Kerr was there and he was angry - because he was angry with Jim because it was Jim's decision.
The two of them - Charlie and Mick - were in tears - sitting there and watching. I walked in
and Bruce Findlay usually takes about an hour and a half to say something to get the point over and I walked into the room
and just went "What is it? Am I sacked?" And he just went "Yeah." [Laughs] That was it. It was pretty traumatic for me.
DF: They did regret it. They all regretted it.
Derek Forbes: Early Days Simple Minds To Leaving The Band
He went on to join Propaganda but work with Simple Minds was never far away. There were
notable guest appearances at live shows and uncredited work on Live In The City Of Light.
He was even offered the chance to pick up the bass again after John Giblin's
departure, but declined, feeling that Street Fighting Years was "too muso"
for his liking.
He briefly rejoined the band in 1995 for two tours and the recording of Neapolis.
Reuniting old comrades didnít work and he wasnít involved in the subsequent recording of
Our Secrets Are The Same nor of the reboot of Simple Minds in 2001.
discography: mainstream albums
Simple Minds #5
Simple Minds #6
Simple Minds #7
Simple Minds #8
Simple Minds #9
Simple Minds #10
Simple Minds #11
Simple Minds #20
Simple Minds #21
Simple Minds #23
Simple Minds 1978
Life In A Day tour
Real To Real Cacophony tour
Empires And Dance 1980 tour
Empires And Dance 1981 tour
Sons And Fascination 1981 tour
Sons And Fascination 1982 tour
New Gold Tour
Tour Du Monde
Festival Tour 1997