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Simmons says he took devil’s horn gesture from Spider-Man

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons (Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Gene Simmons has caused controversy over recent days for attempting to trademark the devil’s horns hand gesture associated with rock and metal fans.

The Kiss star filed an application at the US Patent and Trademark Office to register a hand signal “with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular.”

That’s drawn criticism from Ronnie James Dio’s widow Wendy and Coven’s Esther “Jinx” Dawson who have both called out the Kiss star saying the gesture is in the public domain.

And in issue 196 of Classic Rock Magazine, Simmons revealed where he got the inspiration for the action – saying it was a homage to Spider-Man and the way he shoots webs from his wrists.

Simmons told Classic Rock: “We laid down the templates. When you see bands rocking out in sync, that’s us. When you see bands putting up that two-fingered devil horn salute, that started with Kiss.”

When asked if it was Ronnie James Dio who actually started it, Simmons replied: “Well, I’ve heard Ronnie say that to my face and I said, ‘God bless you.’ I mean him no ill will, but I think he’s wrong.

“Mine came from Spider-Man doing his hand signal, as a homage to him. If you see me in photos, I’m sticking out my thumb. That’s the sign in sign language which means ‘I love you.’

The trademark application has been accepted by US Patent and Trademark Office but has not yet been assigned to an examiner.

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Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.