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  GENE SIMMONS DROPS 'DEVIL'S HORNS' HAND GESTURE TRADEMARK APPLICATION
24th June 2017



rock meets classic

Gene Simmons has seen sense and abandoned his trademark application on the 'Devil's Horns' hand gesture that he originally filed on 9th June with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Simmons expressly abandoned the application on June 20th.

In his original applciation the Kiss vocalist/bassist claimed the gesture was first used in commerce on November 14th 1974, a date that corresponds with Kiss' 'Hotter Than Hell' tour.

Simmons was widely slammed by most music fans and commentators for the trademark request, saying the symbol has become ubiquitous and means different things to different people while Ronnie James Dio's widow Wendy also criticized Simmons for his attempt to trademark the hand sign. She told TheWrap:

"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."

Trademark attorney Michael Cohen of Cohen IP Law Group in Beverly Hills, who deal with trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases, told the Los Angeles Times that it would have been very difficult for Simmons's application to be approved because the gesture has become "genericized".

When asked if it was Ronnie James Dio who actually started the gesture, Simmons said:

"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'."

In 2004, Steve Appleford of LA CityBEAT conducted a "survey" of Heavy Metal musicians regarding the origins of the 'devil's horns' hand sign. Appleford said:

"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. 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."

When Appleford asked Lemmy about the source of the 'devil's horns' hand sign, noting the casual claims of Gene Simmons, Lemmy replied:

"Well, he would, wouldn't he? He is so eeevilll. Come on, gimme a fucking break."

Lars Ulrich of Metallica said:

"That’s got to be Ronnie James Dio. I remember Rainbow used to play in Denmark about every half hour, so I used to go see it every half hour. And Ronnie James Dio did a lot of that. Back in 75, 76, 77, it was all about Rainbow and Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy."

In a separate interview, James Hetfield said:

"I think Dio," before continuing with a smile: "I think Spider-Man originally. It's also 'I love you' in sign language. I don't know, I think it's 'Two more songs!' — you know."

So that's the end of that then. We're taking what Wendy said above as the final word on the matter.





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WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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