Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is not above trying to make money on anything, and that includes selling literal bags of air dubbed "air guitar strings." So the uproar over his trying to copyright the "Devil horns" hand gesture isn't exactly a surprise, though it's also comedic considering his application showcases the wrong gesture.
Simmons says he invented the gesture, though a ton of metal fans disagree and say Ronnie James Dio was doing it before Simmons did, and is the rightful inventor. Now Wendy Dio, Ronnie's wife/window, is speaking out in an interview with TheWrap, saying what Simmons is doing is "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 also says his attempt is "a joke," is "laughable," and "he's made a complete fool of himself." Wendy, we couldn't agree more.
Dio characterized Simmons’ effort to trademark the hand gesture as “a joke,” and noted, “It’s just crazy.”
“It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly,” Dio said, likening Simmons’ trademark bid to trying to trademark the bird or the peace sign. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.”
“It’s disgusting; what does he want?” Dio added.
Finally, Wendy added beyond her late husband, the band Coven was using the gesture on its 1969 album, and John Lennon also appeared to have done it on The Beatles' 1969 album Yellow Submarine. (evidence below)
Y'know, for someone who proclaimed that "rock is dead" as vehemently as Simmons did, he's sure as hell looking to cash in on it. Meanwhile, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx also stated his intent for a new trademark, with some grade-A shade:
Thinking of trademarking “🖕🏽”
— 🖤Nikki Sixx🖤 (@NikkiSixx) June 15, 2017