While the question of who invented the heavy metal ‘devil horns’ hand gesture will always be contested, most fans are content to attribute it to infamous metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Dio was world-renowned for throwing the metal horns onstage as much as possible, and continued to do so even as nu-metal grit pressured so many bands to switch the horns out for the middle finger. Now, the Bloodstock Festival have honored Dio by commissioning a custom guitar shaped like the devil horns — and damn is it cool!
The ax comes via artist and musician Oliver Andrew AKA Cynosure, who designed the custom piece for Bloodstock.
“Ronnie James Dio was one of the most prominent figures in rock’n’roll and metal history, and absolutely pioneered the shaping of the genre itself and also what goes along with the music – the imagery, and the lyrical content,” Cynosure told Music Radar. “He was an iconic figure who created a whole mythology around rock and metal.
“Paul [Raymond Gregory] and I had a back and forth about things, but I guess everything came down to what Ronnie James Dio was really known for, and essentially the guitar is a 3-D carved representation of the iconic hand gesture which he helped popularize.
When asked about making the guitar’s unique shape, the artist said, “It was a pain in the bloody arse! Ha ha! It was exceptionally difficult, but we could not think of anything more iconic and synonymous with Dio. It’s instantly recognizable. If you walk into a gallery and see this guitar on the wall, you don’t need to be close to recognize what it is. But in terms of playability and ergonomics, it was a complete pain!”
Check out the guitar below:
Everyone at The Pit throws the horns Cynosure’s way for doing RJD justice with this badass piece.
Words by Chris Krovatin