Gene Simmons is trying to trademark the hand gesture commonly known as “Devil Horns”. The outspoken KISS bass player, also known in his KISS alias as “The Demon”, has never been one to shy away from outrageous claims or controversial statements…and this is certainly no exception. Simmons applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday in an attempt to take credit for and profit from the “Devil Horns” gesture.
The “Devil Horns” hand gesture is usually made by holding up a hand, extending the index and pinky fingers and tucking in the middle and ring fingers under the thumb. This version can be seen used by John Lennon on the cover of The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” single released in 1966, and was also used often by Ronnie James Dio throughout his career. Dio began using the gesture in the late 1970’s during his stint with Black Sabbath, and he has stated that he adopted the gesture from his Italian grandmother who learned it as a traditional ward against the “evil eye”.
Simmons version is slightly different, with the thumb, index and pinky fingers extended. He claims to be the first to use this version commercially in 1974, even though there are more than a few examples of it being used previously, such as Spider-Mans’ signature web slinging motion in comics starting in the early 1960’s. The specific hand gesture Simmons claims to have invented has also been the ASL symbol for “I Love You” since at least the early 1970’s.