Even more than the KISS makeup, his novelty-sized tongue or the gravitas he brought to the character Velvet Von Ragner in Never Too Young to Die, the most recognizable part of Gene Simmons’ schtick is that he’s a business-minded a**hole that wants to add more revenue streams to his empire not matter the questionable taste level. (To be fair, he’s the one that self-identified as an a**hole back in 2004 for the title of a solo record.) As a result, it wasn’t that surprising that news bubbled up with Simmons filing to patent a hand signal resembling rock’s infamous “devil horns.” Tasteless yes, stunning no.
The wife of late metal legend Ronnie James Dio is calling Simmons out over the move and she says the gesture belongs to the people, not The Demon. Dio is considered the originator of the metal horns (something he famously borrowed from his grandmother which was used for Evil Eye related purposes) and Wendy Dio is understandably frustrated by Simmons trying to crank dollars out of the gig go-to.
“To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting,” said Dio when speaking with TheWrap. “It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”
Like the celebrated Rainbow and Black Sabbath frontman would note during his career, Wendy Dio stresses that they make no claims of coming up with the gesture first. It’s something that predates Dio’s use and doesn’t have a known inaugural entry into the rock/metal gesture canon.
“It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly,” she explained. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.”
Please consult a patent lawyer before your future use of the horns just to be on the safe side.