By the way…
Jonathan Zazula, known the world over as Jonny Z, has lived an intense life. Born in 1952, he began his extraordinary journey in the Eastchester projects of the Bronx, NY. Always different, it wasn’t until his aunts gifted him with his first 7” 45 singles that he found out Music was where he belonged. Unlike so many of his peers instead of collecting baseball cards and playing stickball, Jon built a monumental record collection and constantly attended concerts. His music and self-discovery were symbiotic. As he ventured into the city to legendary venues for the sounds of up and coming acts such as; Stevie Wonder, Mitch Ryder, and the Detroit Wheels and the Young Rascals he quickly became a music devotee and a regular at the historic Fillmore East and experienced the rise of groundbreakers Led Zeppelin, The Jeff Beck group and the Cream. His life was changed when he claimed to have lost his hearing for 3 days from Jack Bruce’s bass.
It was the 60s and along with the rising revolution of youth gone wild psychedelic drugs and music Jonny’s self-discovery grew to new heights. Always searching for the next, new and exciting artist he called the streets of Manhattans Greenwich Village home. The abstract sounds of Captain Beefheart, Jefferson Airplane, lyrics penned by Dylan, The Dead along with Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western opuses became his soundtrack.
It was even music that brought him his true love and life partner, Marsha (from Brooklyn). They were instantly inseparable from the start. Their intellectual prowess and passion for Avante Garde music helped foster American Metal scene that would eventually take over the world.
Within the pages of HEAVY TALES, Jon exposes his erroneous experiences on Wall Street which eventually led to a career in the music business. The journey from a small record stand at a New Jersey Flea Market (opened out of desperation to earn enough money to put food on the table) to become one of the largest and most influential Metal establishments in the Northeast.
From here the Zazula’s began to promote concerts bringing bands like Anvil, Raven, Venom, Manowar and others to the stage for the first time. It was at this historic location that a customer returning from a trip from the Bay Area brought Jonny at tape with the insistence to play it on the stores beat up stereo that instance. As legend goes Jonny flipped out before the first song even ended. After listening to the rest of the tape he was immediately convinced that this was something he wanted to get involved with.
A phone call was made from a pay phone outside the flea market entrance to a name visible on the tape and the rest became history.
In July of 1983 in order to bring Metallica ‘s first album release Kill ‘Em All to the public MegaForce Records and CraZed Management we’re born. Jon and Marsha would continue to release and work with artists such as Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Ace Frehley, Violence, Ministry, Blue Cheer, Venom, Mercyful Fate. S.O.D., Exciter, Manowar, Raven, KINGS-X and even Warren Haynes and the Disco Biscuits.
There’s more but these are the standouts. In 2001 MegaForce was sold but Jon stayed with his fingers in the business , promoting several concerts and in 2014 he took a stab at managing several acts with his lifelong friends and business associates Metal Maria and Testaments Chuck Billy.
After working with Venom Inc and other projects near to his heart Jon decided to permanently call it a halt in 2018 Jon and Marsha had the distinguished honor of being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award into the Hall of Heavy Metal History in January of 2019 for their work in reshaping American Heavy Metal during its Golden Era.
Together, Jonny and Marsha built a musical dynasty out of modest beginnings unmatched by any other underground Heavy Metal label, a partnership that has stood the test of time, deaths, egos, and grunge.