Metal-focused public relations firm Adrenaline PR is remembering metal/hard rock music industry icon Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula following his passing on February 1.
Said Adrenaline PR CEO and original employee of Zazula Maria Ferrero in a press release:
“I am gutted, but have nothing but gratitude and love and appreciation for Jonny Z and Marsha, their whole family and our extended heavy metal family around the world. None of us would be here if it were not for Jonny and Marsha. Rest in Peace my dearest friends. The Zazulas taught me everything about love, life, tenacity, perseverance, forgiveness and more. I thank them for allowing me to be me.”
Zazula founded Megaforce Records and CraZed Management with his wife Marsha in 1982 as a way to record and distribute Metallica’s debut album ‘Kill ‘Em All. During his tenure with the label (he sold it in 2001), he helped bring albums from many of metal’s biggest names to the world including Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Ace Frehley, Vio-Lence, Ministry, Blue Cheer, Venom, Mercyful Fate. SOD, Exciter, Manowar, Raven and Kings X, among others. As a manager, he promoted the likes of Shattered Sun, Exodus and Soilwork.
For their contributions to the genre, Jonny and Marsha were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hall of Heavy Metal History in 2018. In 2019, Jonny released his memoir HEAVY TALES The Metal, The Music, The Madness.
Tributes to Zazula from members of the metal community have been pouring in since news of his passing broke. “Heavy music lost one of its great champions today when Jonny Z left this world far too soon,” wrote Metallica in an Instagram post. “In 1982, when no one wanted to take a chance on four kids from California playing a crazy brand of metal, Jonny and Marsha did, and the rest, as they say, is history. He was a mentor, a manager, a label head and a father figure to us all… Metallica would not be who we are or where we are today without Jon Zazula and his wife, Marsha.” Wrote Anthrax on Facebook, “We are all gutted by today’s loss of Jonny Z. If it weren’t for Jonny, there might not have been an Anthrax. His commitment, his guidance, his passion, and his friendship were integral in the success of the band, and he was a lifelong, much loved friend. Jonny loved metal, and he was truly a pioneer, and as he left an indelible mark in heavy music, his absence will be greatly felt.” Raven, Soilwork, Overkill, Anvil, Exodus, radio personality Eddie Trunk, Geezer Butler, Decibel Magazine and Megaforce Records, among others, have also paid tribute.
Jonny Zazula is survived by his daughters Danielle, Rikki and Blaire and five grandchildren. Marsha Zazula passed away in January 2021.
Tags: Adrenaline PR, Jon Zazula
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