According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons filed an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office last Friday (June 9). The star claims to have first popularised the now-ubiquitous salute during Kiss’ Hotter Than Hell tour in 1974.
Simmons is seeking to trademark the gesture for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
However, it has been noted that use of the gesture – or something similar – appears to predate Simmons’ timeline. John Lennon, for example, is seen making a similar gesture on the cover of The Beatles’ 1966 single, ‘Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby’.
Late Black Sabbath frontman Ronnie James Dio is also credited as popularising the gesture. In a 2001 interview, Dio said: “I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That’s like saying I invented the wheel, I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark.”
Meanwhile, Kiss recently cancelled a gig at Manchester Arena following last month’s terror attack at the venue.
Bandmembers Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer released a joint statement about the cancellation, saying that they were “heartbroken” by the terrible events.
“We are heartbroken by the atrocity committed against the innocent victims of Manchester,” the statement read. “We sadly will not to be able to play Manchester Arena on the 30th May. We have always looked forward to these shows and our local fans, but in light of recent events a cancelled rock show seems of such little consequence.”