KISS’s Gene Simmons, who’s had his house searched by investigators through a warrant, is seeking to trademark the “love” sign hand gesture, which is very similar to the devil’s horn hand gesture, and many other musicians are not happy of the attempt. In this gesture, the thumb, index and pinky finger are sticking out.
The artist claims that he is the first one to use the gesture on November 14th, 1974, during the Hotter than Hell tour, and because of this he believes he has the right to trademark the hand gesture for his benefit. But there were other situations before this time where an artist had used that sign such as John Lennon’s cover of 1969’s Yellow Submarine, Coven on their self-titled album in 1969, and Ronnie James Dio, who’s mainly credited for the sign.
According to Loudwire, In response to Simmon’s action, Coven’s vocalist Esther Dawson, also known as “Jinx”, posted on Facebook saying “Our FB’s have been bombarded, so here is my answer to Gene Simmon’s claims … I did the Sign of the Horns when Coven started in late 1967(see BW photo). Again this sign was pictured on our 1st album released in 1969, and on our 1971,1974,2013 albums. This information is in more than 25 books. Also mentioned at our Wikipedia Coven page. I never trademarked MY sign because it was meant for all to do, tho it is legally ‘grandfathered in’ to me for use in music by all the history. Gene does not even DO the sign properly. He is doing the deaf sign for ‘love’. I think Gene and The Hollywood Reporter should get their story straight…Write the Reporter and tell them what YOU think. If he dares to go through with his application, I shall sue on behalf of us all…I suggest to write the Reporter your opinion on this matter…https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodReporter/ And please leave me your comments……..Horns Up and Many Hails to you all…Jinx for the Coven \m/”. With this statement, the artist posts three pictures of the band using the hand gesture in different album covers.
According to Consequence of Sound, in a interview with TheWrap, Dio’s wife called Simmons’ tradmark action “disgusting” as she said ” “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.” She also later added that her husband should not be credited for the gesture as it was explained that “he adopted the hand gesture from an old Italian sign that he picked up from his grandmother, which is used to either ward off evil or give the evil eye, depending on how it’s employed”.
Other artists have been posting on social media proof that Simmons was not the first one to use the gesture. Chuck Nowlin on Twitter had one tweet saying “I believe Ronnie James Dio first did that,” adding a link of the news story that Hollywood Reporter posted. Another tweet was posted of Nowlin saying “I will see your grainy G. Simmons and raise you one J. Lennon on the cover of the Yellow Submarine single 1966. #NoTrademark” with an attachment of the cover of the Yellow Submarine cover with John Lennon holding up the gesture.