Rock and roll isn't full of nice guys, that wouldn't be very metal. And KISS bassist Gene Simmons? His rep is even more hard-nosed than most. He leaned into that recently when he put in a bid to trademark the classic "horns" gesture symbolic of rock badassery the world over.
In his application Simmons said "no other person, firm, corporation or association has the right to use said mark in commerce, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance." He also declared it was first used on KISS tour in 1974.
Naturally, others had some pretty negative opinions about Simmons's claim—like Wendy Dio, the widow of metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
Reached for comment by The Wrap, Dio said that for Simmons to "try to make money off of something like this is disgusting."
She also pointed out her husband, who provided one of the most distinctive voices in metal history to Black Sabbath and other bands, didn't originate the gesture. According to Wendy Dio, the late singer was actually using an Italian gesture meant to either give or defend against the evil eye.
About Simmons's effort Dio also told The Wrap that "It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly...I think he’s made a complete fool of himself."
Who knows whether Simmons will succeed at basically owning the gesture?
Only one thing is certain: aging rockers pulling publicity stunts for attention will always fade away, but rockers—and their families—talking smack about each other for whatever reason will never die.
h/t The Wrap