Odds & Ends: KISS, Glastonbury Legos, Elon Musk

It appears there may be something that Gene Simmons is not able to put his name on and try to sell after all. The KISS bassist apparently wanted to register a trademark for “A hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular,” as reported by Forbes

Gene Simmons of KISS
Chris McKay / ConcertShots.com
– Gene Simmons of KISS
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, N.C.

You know, the “devil horns” gesture used to summon dark energy on stage and kind of looks like this – \m/ – in text form.

Two weeks later, Simmons withdrew the trademark application he filed with the federal copyright office. It’s unclear why he changed his mind, but also likely he wouldn’t have succeeded.

According to trademark law, while drawings or depictions of hand gestures are potentially fair game, the actual gesture is not. And while it would be obviously impractical to “police the mark,” the gesture also means “I love you” in American Sign Language.  

Besides, if anyone should be able to trademark the devil horns, it would be the late Ronnie James Dio, who said his Italian grandmother used the sign to ward off “the evil eye.” Rock on, Holy Diver.

Theme park LegolandWindsor has gone all out for festival season, with its own mini version of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, complete with a mini version of festival headliner and known Lego enthusiast Ed Sheeran. 

Ed Sheeran Legoland
– Ed Sheeran Legoland
from Legoland Windsor

Celebrating the 48th year of the event, the Windsor, Berkshire, Legoland created a detailed festival scene with miniature porta-potties, tents, mud-covered festivalgoers and the famous Glastonbury letters that adorn the hillside. There’s even a 50-cm high Pyramid main stage.

Sheeran himself is a known Lego fan, saying that musical success allowed him to purchase Lego sets to his heart’s desire. He also has a song called “Lego House.”

And when he’s not busy trying to change the automotive world or send people into space, Tesla founder Elon Musk is apparently thinking about taking on Spotify and Apple  in the music streaming business.

Recode reports that the Silicon Valley electric car manufacturer has talked to major record labels about developing an in-house music platform for its souped-up dashboard.

The field is already pretty crowded, with Spotify counting 50 million users while 27 million Pandora listeners have integrated car systems. Tesla’s total customer count totals about 100,000.

 While Tesla has a strong reputation as an innovator, it would have to start from scratch and compete with services that have had years to fine tune their delivery of millions of songs on demand. It’s also unclear if or how Tesla’s service would function outside the vehicle.  

After acknowledging Tesla’s “allure as a top-tier innovative brand,” Emunds.com industry analysis director Jessica Caldwell told The Washington Post, “For someone who is trying to do so many things, this seems like a bit of a stretch.”