Megaforce Records co-founder Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula has passed away at the age of 69.
According to Variety, Zazula died earlier today (Tuesday, February 1) surrounded by his brother, daughters, granddaughters and friends in Florida.
Megaforce is known as the label that launched the career of METALLICA by releasing their first two albums, 1983’s “Kill ‘Em All” and 1984’s “Ride The Lightning”, before they signed with Elektra. Some other notable acts who were with the label include ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, Ace Frehley, MINISTRY, KING’S X, STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH and RAVEN.
Zazula chronicled a lot of the infamous label’s history in his book, “Heavy Tales: The Metal, The Music, The Madness.”
The Zazulas retired a few years back and eventually settled in Florida, yet stayed involved in music, with Jonny hosting a radio show titled “Jonny Z’s Defcon 4” on Cranium Radio.
Jon’s wife Marsha, who is also the co-founder of Megaforce, passed away from cancer in January of last year.