Gene Simmons has apologised for comparing David Lee Roth to “a bloated, naked Elvis”

The KISS bassist said he "didn't mean to hurt" Roth's feelings

Gene Simmons has publicly apologised after David Lee Roth took offence to comments Simmons made about the Van Halen frontman in a recent interview.

Last year, Roth opened for KISS on their ‘End of the Road’ farewell tour before it was called off due to the pandemic. When the tour recommenced earlier this month, Roth was not present, and Simmons went on to confirm he was no longer on support duties in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“It bears noting that during Dave’s heyday, nobody did what he did,” he said. He went on to add that Roth was once “the ultimate frontman,” but suggested the singer was no longer up to scratch.


“I don’t know what happened to him… something,” said 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 via Instagram a short time later, sharing the same black-and-white image of a child with their middle finger up 18 times alongside the caption “Roth to Simmons.”

Now, in a new interview with Us Weekly, Simmons has apologised for his remarks, attributing the incident to his “stream of consciousness” talking style. “I don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, and every once in a while, diarrhoea of the mouth comes out,” he explained.

“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. 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 fuck’s the difference? You’ve been run over.”

Watch the full interview with Simmons below:

In other KISS news, the band recently announced the details of their upcoming Las Vegas residency, which is set to kick off in December.

It marks the band’s second residency in the Nevada city, having embarked on a nine-date run at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in 2014. That stint was released as the Kiss Rocks Vegas concert film two years later.

During a recent interview, Simmons also revealed that he is in favour of vaccine mandates at concerts. “We are not allowing roadies or anybody else to be anywhere backstage unless they’re vaccinated and the masks are on the whole time,” he added.

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