KISS manager Doc McGhee says the reason for David Lee Roth not returning to KISS’s “End Of The Road” was simple – Roth had other plans.
McGhee recently appeared on The Rock Experience with Mike Brunn and cleared the air regarding Roth’s departure from the tour.
“It was just a year and a half later [after KISS returned from COVID-19]. [David] had commitments that he had to do,” said McGhee. “And we just, ‘We get it [David]. You’ve got stuff that you have to do.’ We talked about it eight months ago. And I said, ‘Listen, don’t worry about it, David. If you’ve got things that you have to do, that you wanna do, this has been a year and a half later, don’t worry about it.’ And he said, ‘Thanks.’ We really, really enjoyed having David out [on tour with us].”
As we now know, Roth’s plans included a series of shows in Las Vegas beginning on New Year’s Eve. He also announced shortly after that these will be his final shows as he will retire after the five concerts.
McGhee then addressed the headline making comments made by Gene Simmons to Rolling Stone in August. Simmons said, “[Roth] 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.”
A week after his comments Simmons apologized to Roth and clarified his original statement during an interview with the California radio station 95.5 KLOS.
“It doesn’t matter if somebody misunderstood what I meant; it only matters if I hurt somebody,” he said. “So I’m deeply sorry I hurt Dave’s feelings. Obviously, that was not my intention, because privately and publicly I’ve always said nobody touched David in his prime — not [Mick] Jagger, not Robert Plant. Nobody. He changed what a modern frontman was. And then the subject went onward to other subjects, and Elvis came up. The point was if a truck runs you over, it doesn’t matter if the guy says, ‘I’m sorry I ran you over,’ because what’s the difference? You’ve been run over. So Dave’s feelings were hurt. I’m profoundly sorry I hurt his feelings. That was certainly not my intention.”
McGhee told Brunn that the whole “Roth vs. Simmons/Simmons vs. Roth” storyline was the media’s fabrication of Simmons’ comments.
“The press drives me crazy, because they sensationalize every fucking thing you say or do, and they take things out of context to make it more sensational than what it is,” said McGhee. “In no way did Gene or anybody say — would say anything against David Lee Roth. Actually, if you ask Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons, in the ’70s and ’80s, the best front guy in the entire world was David Lee Roth — by far, hands down. [He] blew everybody away. There wasn’t anybody that didn’t look up to David Lee Roth and go, ‘Holy fuck.’ Robert Plant, anybody — I don’t care who it was. That guy [Roth], he was the shit. So we have all the respect in the world [for him]. I loved listening to all the Van Halen stuff [when David was performing it on the KISS tour]; I really did. I had a good time with it.”
Below is video of McGhee’s comments on Roth during his appearance on The Rock Experience with Mike Brunn: