Just when you thought you had heard it all, a band like Mac Sabbath comes along and changes everything. The heavy metal quartet looks like something out of Mad magazine, but sounds something like Ozzy Osbourne.
The band is a mockery of the inhabitants of McDonaldland; those classic characters that started showing up as McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, fiberglass PlayPlace statues and as the stars of TV commercials in the early 1970s. This was right around the same time Black Sabbath started touring the United States. Mac Sabbath members stress that it’s no coincidence the two share a place on pop culture’s timeline.
For the last year, the Los Angeles-based band has toured the country, playing their renditions of popular Black Sabbath hits, while dressed like mutant, supersized versions of Mayor McCheese, Grimace, The Hamburglar and Ronald McDonald. Joined by costumed cronies Slayer MacCheeze, Grimalice and The Catburglar, Ronald Osbourne leads Mac Sabbath.
During each show, the rock band blasts through songs about burgers, fries and shakes to the tunes of popular Ozzy songs. Their parodies include takes on “Iron Man” (“Frying Pan”), “Paranoid” (“Pair of Buns”) and “Never Say Die” (“Never Say Diet”). However, concertgoers shouldn’t expect any greasy food at their concerts.
“As much as Mac Sabbath is a part of the fast food culture, the idea here is to warn you of the evils of fast food, not to endorse it,” said Mac Sabbath manager Mike Odd. “So, the founders of drive-thru metal won’t be condoning any actual driving-thru.”
Like their act, the band’s behavior offstage can seem strange. Mac Sabbath refuses to be interviewed, communicating exclusively through their manager, who spins tall tales about the creation of the band. According to the mythology, Mac Sabbath originated when Ronald Osbourne time traveled from the 1970s to warn us about the current state of sustenance, in an attempt to bring back us back to a time when both fast food and rock n’ roll were great.
Just like costumed shock rockers Gwar and Kiss, the members are committed to their characters and their surrounding mystique.
Odd says Mac Sabbath concerts are a feast for the senses. Giant laser-eyed clowns, an oversized smoking grill, inflatable burgers bouncing on the crowd and birthday party clown magic tricks are typical.