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After their End of the Road farewell tour was put on hold last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, KISS is set to relaunch the trek on Thursday in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth was the tour’s original support act, but in a new Rolling Stone interview, KISS bassist/singer Gene Simmons confirms that Diamond Dave is no longer part of the outing.
While Simmons doesn’t explain specifically why Roth isn’t touring with KISS anymore, he says, “[I]t 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.”
It’s worth noting that Roth did open the first run of KISS dates in early 2020 before the pandemic began. The support act for KISS in 2021 will be rock painter Garibaldi.
Meanwhile, with COVID-19 continuing to be an issue in the U.S. and around the world, Simmons has a message for fans coming to his band’s shows.
“I would highly recommend for everybody to get two Pfizer or Moderna shots, please — for the rest of us,” he says. “Even if you believe the Earth is flat, it’s not.”
Gene adds, “The entire road crew must be vaccinated twice. Nobody gets backstage or onstage without wearing masks, and everybody stays at a safe distance and you’ve got to wash your hands and do everything else the CDC says.”
Check out KISS’ full concert schedule at KISSOnline.com.
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