Gene Simmons has apologized to David Lee Roth for an interview in which he was perceived as comparing the modern-day Van Halen frontman to the bloated, end-career version of Elvis Presley. The comments led to Roth taking to social media, posting 18 photos to Simmons of a child flipping the bird. Some believe Roth’s message was a subtle dig to Simmons — his fellow Jewish brother — with the number 18 symbolizing “C’hai” — which translates to “life.”

Earlier this month during a chat with Rolling Stone, Simmons was asked if David Lee Roth would or would not continue opening for Kiss on the band’s current leg. Gene Simmons said “Not. But 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, y’know, doing all that. I don’t want to think of bloated naked Elvis on the bathroom floor.” 


  • Even though Gene Simmons discovered Van Halen back in the day and financed the band’s first professional studio time — he and David Lee Roth never dug each other. 
  • There are several well-known accounts of the pair pulling stunts to embarrass the other. There is NO DOUBT in our mind that Rolling Stone DID NOT misquote Gene Simmons and that he got his message across.
  • Look, everyone knows that “Diamond Dave” is FAR from the top of his game — and even if it was stated in a completed different part of the interview, talking about David Lee Roth and “Fat Elvis” draws the EXACT parallel to Roth’s current act.
  • Gene got what he wanted, and all he had to do was apologize a little bit. We’re guessing it was more than worth it for him.

CHECK IT OUT: Gene Simmons apologizes to David Lee Roth: