Jon Zazula

Jonathan Zazula (born 1952),[1] also known as Jonny Z, was the owner of New Jersey's Rock'n Roll Heaven record store and founder of record label Megaforce Records. Zazula's record store in East Brunswick, New Jersey made him a central figure of the East Coast metal scene, regularly playing demo tapes sent to him through his underground tape-trading network which included the likes of Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records, Ron Quintana (the editor of Metal Mania magazine), and producer Mark Whitaker. He was also somewhat of a mentor to Eddie Trunk.


His central role in the East Coast metal scene would later be an essential factor in launching the career of Metallica. Zazula offered the band their first opportunity to play in the New York area and organized their first tours with Raven, one of the leading metal bands from the UK at that time. After hearing the demo tape No Life 'Til Leather, he founded the label Megaforce Records to release their work. Zazula released Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All and set up an East Coast tour with private funding.[1]

After the success of Kill 'Em All, Zazula signed and worked with other artists including: Disco Biscuits, Warren Haynes, Testament, Tad, Overkill, Frehley's Comet, King's X, Ministry,[1] and Anthrax.[2]

In 2019 Jon released an auto-biography titled Heavy Tales.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Marsha Zazula, Jon's second wife, was partner/co-founder of Megaforce Records. Jon has three daughters, one with his first wife and two with Marsha.[1] Jon and Marsha were married from 1979 until the latter's death on January 10, 2021.[4][5][6]

Zazula is Jewish.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography". Heavy Tales. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ Ian, Scott (2014). I'm The Man. Boston, MA: De Capo Press. pp. 47–50. ISBN 978-0-306-82334-3.
  3. ^ "HEAVY TALES". HEAVY TALES. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  4. ^ "Jon Zazula: I Knew Metallica Would Be as Big as Led Zeppelin". 2019-11-04. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  5. ^ "MEGAFORCE RECORDS Co-Founder MARSHA ZAZULA Dies At 68". 2021-01-10. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  6. ^ "Marsha Zazula, Co-Founder of Metallica's Early Label, Megaforce Records, Dies at 68". Variety. January 10, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  7. ^ Perry, Jessica (2005-08-09). "Open ForumCensorship in the Music Industry Has Gotten Out of Hand". NJBIZ. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  8. ^ "Rare: Hear the First-Ever Recorded Rap-Metal Song 'Metal Rap'". HD-Radio Network. 2020-06-16. Retrieved 2020-07-05.

External linksEdit