Gene Simmons has issued an apology to David Lee Roth following comments the KISS bassist made about the singer in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Simmons was asked about Roth not being the opening act on KISS’ rescheduled farewell tour dates, despite originally being slated as the band’s opener. Simmons confirmed Roth wasn’t on the tour and said, “…it bears noting that during Dave’s heyday, nobody did what he did. He was the ultimate frontman. Not Plant, not Rod Stewart, nobody. He took being a frontman way beyond anything. And then, I don’t know what happened to him… something. And you get modern-day Dave.”
He then added, “I prefer to remember Elvis Presley in his prime. Sneering lips, back in Memphis, you know, doing all that. I don’t want to think of bloated naked Elvis on the bathroom floor.”
Once that quote started making the rounds, Roth then responded via Instagram by sharing a black and white photo 18 times to his feed of a child wearing sunglasses and giving the finger with a caption on the photo that simply states, “Roth to Simmons:”
Simmons apologized to Roth in an exclusive to US Weekly (below) where he said, “I am so sorry and ashamed, actually, that I hurt David’s feelings. I’m the guy, actually, that saw [Van Halen] in a club [in their early days], signed them to my production company, Man of a Thousand Faces, flew them to New York, produced their first 24-track, 15-song demo and championed the band…And in the course of an interview… You hear me talking — I just sort of stream of consciousness… I don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, and every once in a while, diarrhea of the mouth comes out.”
He continued, “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 Jagger, not anybody. He was the king.’ And then somehow there was a segue to Elvis bloated on the ground and fat and naked and I don’t wanna see that. I wasn’t talking about David, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is I hurt David’s feelings, and that’s more important than the intent. So I sincerely apologize 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.”
Simmons was then asked if he thought Roth took such offense to his comments because he values and respects his opinion. Simmons responded, “Nah. I don’t think anybody gives two shits about what I think, and that’s the way it should be — treat everybody sort of on an equal plane. This is gonna get me in trouble too — even the Pope poops every day. You know, this kind of the humanity of it all. I’m not better than you; you’re not better than me and everything. And feelings — that includes the Pope, who’s a good guy and everything — feelings are human. And anybody can hurt your feelings. I mean, you can be the king of anything, and a kid can come over and say, ‘Eh, you stink,’ in front of everybody else, and it can hurt your feelings. So, for that I’m really sorry about. I never meant to hurt his feelings. But in the way the words came out, yeah, I could see where that was the impression. Not my intention.”