The co-founder and bass guitarist of KISS, Gene Simmons has spoken about personal thoughts on Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth, as well as praising the overall musical talent of the late legend, Eddie Van Halen.
During his latest conversation on the Jeremy White Podcast, Gene Simmons has reminisced about the David Lee Roth era of the California-based iconic band, Van Halen. Simmons compared the undeniable starlight of Eddie Van Halen with Jimi Hendrix, admitting that when Eddie came along, nobody played like that.
In addition to the late guitarist, Gene raved about the energetic lead vocalist of the band, David Lee Roth. Simmons said Dave completely took the frontman to the next level with his unforgettable performances and proved that he was ‘the king.’ As he shared his opinions about the iconic lead singer, Gene claimed that even The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger would be like a ‘sixth-grader’ standing next to Roth.
While evaluating the musical success of Van Halen, Gene Simmons also revealed a little-known fact about the co-founders of the band, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen. Simmons said that Alex and Edward actually started off playing on each other’s instruments. He unveiled the fact that Alex was the guitar player, and Edward was the drummer.
Here’s what Gene Simmons said about Van Halen during the chat:
“When Eddie came along, nobody played like that. And I’m not even talking about the quality of the songs, or Dave’s completely taking the frontman to the next level. I mean, at that time, Dave was the king. There was nobody.
If Mick Jagger stood next to him, it would be like a sixth-grader. And he really took it all the way. The whole band — the musicianship, the songwriting.
But when Edward would get in front of that stage and start tapping and stuff — which I’d never seen before; apparently it had been done by jazz musicians and everything — your jaw drops. Clearly, no one since Hendrix had that kind of impact.”
“The brothers, Alex and Edward, many people don’t know actually started off playing on each other’s instrument. Originally, Alex was the guitar player; Edward was the drummer.
And imagine the talent in that family that they switched and Edward actually was an accomplished keyboard player. The ‘Jump’ keyboards and stuff, that’s Edward.”
Check out the full conversation below.