Gene Simmons apologises after seeming to compare Van Halen’s David Lee Roth to a ‘bloated, naked Elvis’

‘It reminds me of the guy that gets out of a truck and says, “Hey I’m sorry, buddy, I didn’t mean to run you over.” Well, what the f***’s the difference? You’ve been run over’

Louis Chilton
Thursday 26 August 2021 12:44
comments
Van Halen performs Panama at Billboard Awards 2015

Gene Simmons has issued a public apology for comments made about Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.

The Kiss singer had seemed to compare Roth to a “bloated, naked Elvis” in a recent interview.

Back in 2020, Roth opened for Kiss during the rock band’s End of the Road tour, before it was aborted due to the pandemic.

The tour kicked off again earlier this month, but Roth was no longer featuring.

Simmons confirmed that he was no longer serving as the band’s support act in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“It bears noting that during Dave’s heyday, nobody did what he did,” said Simmons, describing Roth as once being “the ultimate frontman”.

“I don’t know what happened to him… something,” continued Simmons. “And you get modern-day Dave. I prefer to remember Elvis Presley in his prime. Sneering lips, back in Memphis, y’know, doing all that. I don’t want to think of bloated, naked Elvis on the bathroom floor.”

Roth responded to the interview on social media, repeatedly sharing a photo to Instagram of a child extending their middle finger, alongside the caption: “Roth to Simmons.”

Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth

Speaking to Us Weekly, Simmons apologised for his remarks, saying: “I don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, and every once in a while, diarrhoea of the mouth comes out.

“I read that quote, and somehow, the way they put it together, I think I said something like, ‘Nobody touched David in his prime. Not Robert Plant, not [Mick] Jagger. He was the king.’ Then somehow, there was a segue to, ‘Elvis, bloated on the ground, fat and naked,’ and ‘I don’t want to see that.’

“I wasn’t talking about David, but that doesn’t matter,” he continued. “What matters is I hurt David’s feelings, and that’s more important than the intent. So, I sincerely apologise for that. I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings. It reminds me of the guy that gets out of a truck and says, ‘Hey I’m sorry, buddy, I didn’t mean to run you over.’ Well, what the f***’s the difference? You’ve been run over.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments