This week brought word of Gene Simmons’ attempt to trademark the devil’s horns hand gesture. As the Kiss frontman tells it, on November 14th, 1974 he became the first person ever to stick out his thumb, index, and pinky fingers in one simultaneous motion and, as such, he believes he has the right to trademark the hand gesture for his own financial benefit. But there are many instances of that same gesture being made in the years prior to 1974, such as by John Lennon on the cover of 1969’s Yellow Submarine and by Coven on their 1969 self-titled album. Ronnie James Dio was also an early adopter of the gesture.
In a new interview with TheWrap, Dio’s wife, Wendy, slammed Simmons’ trademark bid, calling it “disgusting.” “To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting,” Dio told TheWrap. “It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”
Dio noted that her late husband also shouldn’t be credited as the gesture’s originator, as “he adopted the hand gesture from an old Italian sign that he picked up from his grandmother, which is used to either ward off evil or give the evil eye, depending on how it’s employed,” TheWrap explains.
“When it comes to Simmons’ claim, “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself,” Dio added. “It’s disgusting; what does he want?”