David Lee Roth gives Gene Simmons the middle finger - 18 times

David Lee Roth and Gene Simmons
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

David Lee Roth has reacted in his own imitable style to a perceived slight from Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.   

The online collision between two of rock's loudest mouths started when Simmons was asked why the former Van Halen frontman appeared to have been dropped from Kiss's End Of The Road Tour upon its resumption earlier this month. 

Simmons told Rolling Stone, "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."

Roth had originally been the main support act on North American leg of the tour, up to and including the final show before lockdown in March 2020, at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Now Roth has responded, by taking to Instagram to post 18 identical photos of a young child giving to camera the middle finger. And, in case there were any doubt as to the target of his vexation, the message "Roth to Simmons" has been added to each.

Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley then contributed a more conciliatory note to the debate, taking to twitter to say, "Speaking of David Lee Roth... I remember seeing him in the 70s with Van Halen at MSG and thinking to myself 'There’s a new sheriff in town'. Just amazing what he had evolved into in a few short years. On stage he’s still Diamond Dave!"

We suspect there may yet be mileage in this to-and-fro.

On a more earthbound note, Kiss's show at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, on Sunday night was postponed as Hurricane Henri brought severe weather conditions to the area. It was originally rescheduled for this evening (Monday), but will now take place at an as-yet-unannounced date in the future. 

The End Of The Road Tour is due to resume on Wednesday at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.      

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Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.