Jon Zazula, the legendary co-founder of the metal record label Megaforce has passed away on February 1. According to Blabbermouth, Zazula’s cause of death related to complications from the rare neuropathic disorder known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP. Jonny Z passed away surrounded by his family in Florida. The news of Jonny Z’s passing comes only a year after the tragic passing of his wife, Marsha Zazula, with whom he co-founded Megaforce Records in 1982.
Jonny and Marsha’s record label, Megaforce, is widely known as being the record label which jump-started the career of legendary thrash metal band, Metallica. In 1983, Megaforce published the debut album from Metallica, titled Kill Em All, followed by their 1984 album Ride The Lightning. After even Metallica parted ways with Megaforce, the record label was a home for various different legendary metal bands throughout the years, including Anthrax, Overkill, Stormtroopers of Death, Testament, Raven, and many others.
The daughter of the two metal legends, Rikki Zazula, posted on social media that “The world lost a true legend today… Our Dad lived a life as fast, hard, heavy, powerful, and, impactful as the music he brought to the world. His passion and persistence fueled the careers of arguably the most influential metal bands, and, industry greats of a generation. To us he was simply daddy… Our father and mother were a powerhouse partnership in love, life, and business. Together they believed in the unbelievable, their passion, rebel perspective, and persistence built an empire from a box of vinyl in a flea market…” She ends by stating that while he will always be missed by his family, his legacy will continue on, not only through his children and grandchildren, but “in every headbanger on this planet for all of eternity!”