Wendy Dio has slammed Gene Simmons‘s attempt to trademark the “horns” hand gesture as “laughable.”
The widow of deceased singer Ronnie James Dio, who’s widely credited with popularizing the symbol — a staple at rock concerts for decades — told TheWrap about Simmons‘s trademark application: “To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting. It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”
“It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly,” she continued. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.
“It’s disgusting; what does he want?” Wendy added.
Ronnie James Dio, who reportedly didn’t start using the hand gesture on stage until after joining BLACK SABBATH in 1979, himself declined to take credit for the symbol, explaining in a 2001 interview: “That’s like saying I invented the wheel. I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable.”
Dio ― who said he got the gesture from his Italian grandmother ― also took issue with Simmons.
“Gene Simmons will tell you that he invented it,” Ronnie once said. “But then again, Gene invented breathing and shoes and everything else.”
According to Simmons, this hand gesture was first used in commerce Nov. 14, 1974. That appears to correspond with Kiss’ Hotter Than Hell tour.
Simmons is claiming the hand gesture mark for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
“Gene Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography that it was his accidental invention, the inadvertent gesture of a great man, repeated at concerts and picked up by fans,” Appleford said. “Not likely. Former BLACK SABBATH shouter Ronnie James Dio also takes the credit, first raising the horns before joining the band in 1978. And he’s expressed alarm over the image of Britney Spears fans raising the sign at concerts by the dancing diva of lip-synched pop.”