Gene Simmons Apologizes For Comparing David Lee Roth To “Bloated, Naked Elvis”

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Gene Simmons Apologizes For Comparing David Lee Roth To “Bloated, Naked Elvis”

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Over the weekend, David Lee Roth sent 18 middle fingers to Gene Simmons through his Instagram account after Simmons made some seemingly unflattering comments about the Van Halen lead singer in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Simmons has now apologized for those comments.

Roth was the opening act for KISS’ End Of The Road farewell tour before it was called off for the pandemic last year. When KISS returned to the road earlier this month, Roth had been replaced. When asked about this in the Rolling Stone interview, Simmons started off by complimenting Roth but ended with comparing him to a “bloated naked Elvis on the bathroom floor.”

In a new interview with Us Weekly, Simmons apologized for the comments and chalked it up to something that got lost in translation from a conversation to the written word.”In the course of an interview — you hear me talking, I just sort of stream-of-consciousness,” he said. “I don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, and every once in a while diarrhea 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 Jagger.’ And 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,” Simmons continued. “But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I hurt David’s feelings, and that’s more important than the intent. It reminds me of the guy who gets out of a truck and says, ‘I’m sorry, buddy, I didn’t mean to run you over.’ And what’s the fuck’s the difference, you’ve been run over.'”

Here’s Simmons’ original quote for posterity:

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. 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.

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