Megaforce Records founder Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula has died at the age of 69. He passed away yesterday (February 1) in Florida surrounded by his family. Jonny died of complications of the rare neuropathic disorder chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and osteopenia, the family said.
Jon‘s wife Marsha, with whom he founded Megaforce, passed away of cancer in January of last year.
Zazulas‘ death was confirmed by his daughter daughter Rikki, who wrote on social media: “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 – into a multi platinum selling record label, management company, and publishing house.
“Although we are devastated he is gone, they are finally reunited. And it feels impossible to imagine a world without him in it. For all of us who knew and loved him … by the way… keep it heavy! RIP daddy you will truly be deeply missed, but, never forgotten…your LegaZ will live on forever, not only in us and your grandchildren, but, in every headbanger on this planet for all of eternity!”
Megaforce is widely credited for launching the career of METALLICA by releasing the band’s first two albums, 1983’s Kill ‘Em All and 1984’s Ride The Lightning, before METALLICA landed a major label deal with Elektra. Megaforce‘s roster has also included such artists as ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, Ace Frehley, MINISTRY, KING’S X, STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH and RAVEN.