Kiss Frontman Gene Simmons Wants To Trademark The ‘Devil Horns’ Rock Gesture
Kiss frontman and bassist Gene Simmons is reportedly attempting to trademark the “devil horns” rock hand gesture. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons filed an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 9. Simmons claims that he is the first person to popularize the heavy metal salute during Kiss’ “Hotter Than Hell” tour back on Nov. 14, 1974.
Gene is attempting to secure the mark for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.” Rock fans are furious with Simmons since most correlate the popular rock gesture to former Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio. He was synonymous with heavy metal devil horns and his music career started in 1957.
“I would see my grandmother, when I was a little kid, holding her hand, walking down the street, she would see someone and make the devil horns,” Dio said of the devil horns. “I learned it was called the malocchi. Someone was giving us the evil eye, so [with the horns my grandmother] was giving us protection from the evil eye. So, did I invent it? No, but [did I] perfect it and make it important [to metal]? Yes, because I did it so much, especially within the confines of Sabbath.”
In fact, Dio loved the devil horn gesture so much that his tomb had hands “throwing horns” on flanking urns when he died in 2010.
However, it may not have been a heavy metal rocker to introduce the devil horns to music. John Lennon is seen making a similar gesture on the cover of The Beatles’ 1966 single, “Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby.”
The Church of Satan seems to disagree with Gene over his assumption that he created the devil horns hand gesture and posted a photo of Anton Szandor LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan.
LaVey is said to have been doing the devil horns as early as 1967.
Gene Simmons is filing for a specific hand gesture where the thumb sticks out, which might be his loophole.
The “sign of the horns” dates back to the 5th Century BC by Buddhism founder Gautama Buddha and is also the gesture for “I love you” in sign language.