Derek Forbes

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Derek Forbes
Born (1956-06-22)22 June 1956
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Rock, alternative rock, new wave
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar
Years active 1977-present
Associated acts Simple Minds, Big Country, Propaganda, Oblivion Dust

Derek Forbes (born 22 June 1956, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish bassist and sometime guitarist, best known for his work with Simple Minds (with whom he played from their 1979 debut album, Life in a Day until shortly after their 1985 hit, "Don't You (Forget About Me)").

He was sacked from the band, although no official explanation has been given, prior to the release of the global success of Once Upon a Time. Forbes has cited he wrote on 60% of the album, yet remained uncredited. Assuming he would quickly be asked to re-join the band, no legal action was taken. Forbes reunited with the band briefly during the recording of Néapolis and was again sacked from the band after touring for Néapolis, again no official explanation given. But Forbes was cited that he wasn't happy with the final mix of the album. Forbes and Mel Gaynor appeared at the Scotland Rocks for Kosova in 1999 performing Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, whilst Simple Minds also appeared on the bill with Mark Kerr on drums and Eddie Duffy on bass.

After Simple Minds, Forbes went on to play in number of other bands, including Propaganda (Germany) and Oblivion Dust (Japan). He also played in Fourgoodmen, a Scottish new wave covers band between 2005-2007 and Ex-Simple Minds.

In 2009, Forbes was voted 'Scotland's Greatest Ever Bassist' by the readers of Dear Scotland,[1] and his life and work is the subject of a biography in both print and film by writer/director Ethan Dettenmaier.

Forbes is now the bass player with Scottish band Big Country, replacing long standing Tony Butler who retired from the band.


  1. ^ Vote for Scotland's Greatest Ever Guitarist, Dear Scotland, 9 December 2009

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