Gene Simmons Apologizes to David Lee Roth for Perceived Slight: “I Am Ashamed That I Hurt His Feelings”

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Gene Simmons is sorry — and he’d like David Lee Roth to know that.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone in which the KISS figurehead discussed his band’s late 2021-early ’22 Las Vegas residency, Simmons was asked about the former Van Halen front man not being included in the new Vegas dates (as he had been attached to some shows with KISS prior to the pandemic).

Simmons’ reply, after confirming that Diamond Dave was not part of the new bill:

“But 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.”

Seemingly miffed by Simmons’ words, Roth went to his Instagram page and shared an image of a child wearing sunglasses and extending his middle finger, accompanied by the words “Roth to Simmons:”

To make his point abundantly clear, Roth posted this photo 18 times:

Blabbermouth has since followed up on this story with a transcription of some new words from Simmons to US Weekly, and he’s apologetic for this situation in the first place — and also critical of how his words were presented in the original context:

“I am so sorry and ashamed, actually, that I hurt David’s feelings,” said Simmons, as quoted by Blabbermouth. “I’m the guy, actually, that saw [VAN HALEN] at a club [in the 1970s], signed them to my production company, flew them to New York, produced their first 24-track 15-song demo and championed the band. And, actually, we took David out as our opening act on the [KISS ‘End Of The Road’] tour. 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.”

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

“I don’t know. 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 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.

And finally:

“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.”

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