Megaforce Records Co-Founder Marsha Zazula Dies at 68
Megaforce Records co-founder Marsha Zazula died on Jan. 10 at the age of 68.
The influential Marsha was born on April 21, 1952 and married Jon Zazula, known to many as Jonny Z. Together, they founded Megaforce, which helped legitimize the metal scene on the east coast while signing prominent bands from across the country and overseas.
In its earliest days, Megaforce Records issued now-classic albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill and many more after humbly getting their footing in the metal scene, running the Rock N Roll Heaven record store in New Jersey. The store dealt heavily in imported records, which helped raise awareness for the burgeoning worldwide metal scene in the Northeast.
"No man can ask for a partner like Marsha Zazula; someone who would stand by your side, support you, and believe in you to the extent of losing everything in order to make those dreams come true," reflected Jonny Z, who issued a tell-all book about his life and the label, Heavy Tales, in 2019. "She was a mother and mentor to many, a role model as a woman breaking the glass ceiling in an industry run by men. She had balls, beauty, brains, and vision."
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Variety, "Marsha was an incredibly selfless matriarch who had an enormous impact on my life and the lives of countless others... I will forever be grateful to her, Jonny and the entire Megaforce family for taking a chance on a gang of misfits and outsiders like ourselves and for helping connect us to a larger and like-minded audience."
In an Instagram post, Metallica affectionately remembered Marsha, writing, "Rest in Peace, Marsha. Thank you for everything. Much love to @thejonzazula & the Zazula family." The photo is of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Marsha, Jon Zazula and former Megaforce employee Maria Ferrero, which was captured in April 2016 when the band took a celebratory trip to their former home in El Cerrito, Calif., where the band lived from 1983 through 1986, to receive a proclamation from the mayor.
Anthrax, who were part of the Megaforce roster from their Fistful of Metal debut through the release of 1990's Persistence of Time, also shared an Instagram post remembering the late Marsha.
"It’s with much sadness that we hear of the passing of Marsha Zazula. A true pioneer along with Jonny Z. Those two were responsible for changing all our lives. Hard to put into words what a world this might be without their belief and dedication to metal and all of us. Our love to her family," stated the group.
"All of Exodus are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Marsha Zazula, one half of Megaforce records and legends to the entire early trash [sic] scene," added Gary Holt on behalf of Exodus. "We’ve known each other since the beginning and our most sincere condolences go out to Jon and the entire Megaforce family."
Loudwire extends our deepest condolences to the Zazula family and all who have been impacted by this tremendous loss. Rest in peace, Marsha Zazula.
Rockers We Lost in 2020
Rockers We Lost in 2020