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Kiss frontman Gene Simmons wants to trademark "devil horns" gesture

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By Robert Hackwill
Kiss frontman Gene Simmons wants to trademark "devil horns" gesture

The wife of late Black Sabbath frontman Ronnie James Dio has hit out at Gene Simmons for his bid to to trademark the “devil horns” hard rock hand gesture.

The Kiss mainman claims he was the first performer to make the two-fingered salute, but other members of the rockistocracy may think about making some two-fingered salutes of their own at Simmons, as the origins of the gesture are disputed.

Bassman Simmons claims he first made the sign on Kiss’s “Hotter than Hell” tour in 1974, when Kiss were a mega-band selling millions of records.

However in 1969 the long-forgotten Coven, one of the first hard rock groups to dabble in the occult, posed flashing the sign on the cover of their album
“Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls”, and in 1966 the still squeaky-clean Beatles John Lennon flashed the horns on the cover of the “Yellow Submarine” single.

Simmons’ move has been condemned by many and is being lampooned mercilessly on social media, and it has been noted that Sabbath’s Ronnie James Dio, when replacing Ozzy Osborne, wanted his own style to replace Ozzy’s double peace sign, and chose a well-known gesture used by his Italian mother. However in Italy, it is a sign meaning “you are being cheated on”.

It is highly likely Simmons’ bid will fail, despite his previous successes in monetising non-musical aspects of Kiss, so the attempt to cash in may well be he ends up with egg all over his makeup…or worse.