KISS Rocker Gene Simmons’ Insulting Remarks Prompt Fiery Response From David Lee Roth

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)

David Lee Roth left nothing to the imagination in his response to Gene Simmons’ comment that former Van Halen lead singer was past his prime.

Roth was opening for KISS last year before the coronavirus shut down the tour. But when the End of the Road tour returned to the road earlier this month, David Lee Roth was no longer part of the show. Oddly, the opening act is now performance painter Garibaldi, according to Yahoo. You can see what a performance painter does, here.

When Rolling Stone asked Simmons about the line-up change, he took a shot at Roth. The candid and controversial KISS bassist compared the legendary frontman to Elvis — in the worst way possible.

“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,” Gene Simmons said. “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.”

In response, David Lee Roth posted a photo of a little boy giving the middle finger to the camera. And in case that wasn’t clear enough, he wrote “Roth to Simmons” at the bottom of the photo.

David Lee Roth isn’t known for his subtlety. But he is known for his feuds.

Sammy Hagar: ‘I Can’t Respect David Lee Roth’

One of David Lee Roth’s most famous fights was with his former bandmate Eddie Van Halen. The two went from making up to breaking up over and over again during their rocky friendship.

Their toxic relationship was one of the major reasons Roth decided to leave Van Halen in 1985. The band replaced him with Sammy Hagar. Hagar would have his own issues with Eddie Van Halen and leave Van Halen in 1996. Though they reconciled shortly before Eddie Van Halen’s death last year.

Roth and Hagar had respect for one another at one point. They even worked together for a time. But Hagar made it clear recently when speaking with Washington Post that those days are over.

“I’m not trying to be a celebrity and trying to be a big star – I’m about being a good enough artist that they accept me in the celebrity world,” Hagar said. “That’s the way I approach my whole thing, and (Roth) does it all differently.

“I think it’s just all about being a celebrity, it’s all about, you know, having something that gets attention. It’s a whole different style, and I don’t really respect the way he does it.”

Hagar added that David Lee Roth once had a great voice, but had no work ethic and lost it.

“He doesn’t sing well anymore,” Hagar said, “but on the early Van Halen records, he was great, he sounded great, I loved the way he sang his attitude and his persona.”