Gene Simmons‘ desire to trademark the devil horns hand gesture is not sitting well in at least one rock ‘n’ roll quarter.
Wendy Dio, the widow and manager of Ronnie James Dio, has expressed outrage over Simmons’ registering the gesture with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, telling The Wrap that, “To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting. It belongs to everyone — it doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s public domain. It shouldn’t be trademarked. It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly. I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.”
The late Dio became associated with the devil’s horns during his tenure with Black Sabbath and his subsequent solo career. Simmons is claiming the trademark based on using it during the tour promoting 1974’s Hotter Than Hell album. But he’s also being taken to task by the group Coven, whose members made a similar hand gesture on the cover of its 1969 album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.