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?"
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Derek Forbes (born 22/6/56). Bassperson, cartoonist, life-saver, animal lover, painter and decorator. Possesses large repertoire
of unprintable one-liners. Football fanatic.
Goals in life: "My ultimate aim would be to get something like a lion or a tiger or a black panther or something like that. Just take it into the
street and frighten the shit out of people, it would be amazing."
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