As previously reported, Simmons confirmed that Roth is no longer the support act for KISS‘ rescheduled U.S. leg of the farewell tour.
When asked why David Lee Roth is not part of the tour in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Gene responded: “It bears noting that during Dave‘s heyday, nobody did what he did. He was the ultimate frontman. Not [Robert] 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.”
Then Roth took to social media to share a black-and-white photo of a little kid wearing sunglasses and sticking his tongue out with his middle finger extended, and he superimposed the text “Roth to Simmons:”.
And now, Simmons has clarified his original statement, telling US Weekly that his words were misconstrued.
“I am so sorry and ashamed, actually, that I hurt David‘s feelings,” Gene said. “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,” he continued. “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*ck’s the difference? You’ve been run over.”