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It's Just Business

KISS' Gene Simmons Files Trademark For "Devil Horns" Symbol, Does It Wrong

Posted by on June 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm Follow on Twitter | Follow on Instagram

Photo by Jeffery Chan

KISS bassist Gene Simmons is never one to turn down an opportunity to make money. From overpriced masks to wine, to caskets and urns to disturbing looking condoms, to fucking AIR GUITAR STRINGS (that would be an empty plastic bag), Simmons has shown a business acumen to make as much money as possible on absolutely anything, and now he's trying to file a trademark on a hand symbol.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Simmons has filed an application to copyright a hand symbol for goods and services for the devil horns, and included a drawing. Notice something wrong:

Has Simmons never seen this meme?

Clearly he hasn't, because he's been doing the sign language symbol for "I Love You" for years, parading it around like the devil horns. For many years, Simmons claimed he invented the symbol, first appearing on the cover of Love Gun, although many others credit Dio with popularizing the gesture. Dio credits his grandmother for first introducing him to the gesture in an interview for Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, saying she would do the symbol to protect from the "evil eye." He describes it better than I do.

Many others credit Dio as well. Blabbermouth put together a compilation of quotes over the years:

"Gene Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography that it was his accidental invention, the inadvertent gesture of a great man, repeated at concerts and picked up by fans," Appleford said. "Not likely. Former BLACK SABBATH shouter Ronnie James Dio also takes the credit, first raising the horns before joining the band in 1978. And he's expressed alarm over the image of Britney Spears fans raising the sign at concerts by the dancing diva of lip-synched pop."

When Appleford asked Lemmy about the source of the "devil's horns" hand sign, noting the casual claims of Gene Simmons, Lemmy replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he? He is so eeevilll. Come on, gimme a fucking break."

Lars Ulrich of METALLICA had no doubt at all: "That’s got to be Ronnie James Dio. I remember RAINBOW used to play in Denmark about every half hour, so I used to go see it every half hour. And Ronnie James Dio did a lot of that. Back in '75, '76, '77, it was all about RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH and THIN LIZZY."

No word yet on what Simmons plans to use the hand symbol for, but I doubt the trademark will get approved.

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