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Neither Ronnie James Dio Nor Gene Simmons Were The First To Do The Metal Horns

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With the latest controversy around Gene Simmons apparently filing an application last week to trademark our beloved metal hand gesture we were prompted to help set the record straight about the origin of the “metal horns“.

Simmons claimed in the application that the hand gesture was first used in 1974 during KISS‘s Hotter Than Hell tour and then again on the cover of Love Gun in 1977. This may be true but it was Ronnie James Dio that is most known for popularising the symbol during live shows with Black Sabbath from 1979.

During a video interview Dio explains where the idea comes from:

But it wasn’t Dio nor Simmons that first started using the “sign of the horns” in relation to music. In 1969 an American psychedelic rock band called Coven displayed the symbol on their album cover titled Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls which was released in 1969.

And… There’s also this on The Beatles 1968 Yellow Submarine album cover. See the John Lennon’s raised hand at the top? It looks like a \m/

Besides Dio’s Grandmothers use there is another use for the symbol. It is used in sign language.


Personally, we think Simmons can take the advice from Nikki Sixx.

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