Metallica’s Memorial Posts to Megaforce Co-Founder Marsha Zazula Will Break Your Heart

Photo via Metallica's Instagram.
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Yesterday, the metal community was heartbroken to learn that Marsha Zazula, who’d cofounded Megaforce Records and helped discover Metallica alongside her husband Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula, had died. Without Marsha, thrash metal as we know it might now exist, and Metallica certainly wouldn’t have gotten the start they did. Now, the members of the band have paid tribute to Marsha on social media, and, well, get ready to knuckle some tears from your eye.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking of these is the statement James Hetfield shared via the band’s Instagram, saying, “Marsha Z is the Metal Matriarch of the East Coast. She was our mother when I had none. She made great sacrifices for Metallica to grow. Thank you Marsha. Love and positive energy to the Zazula family” (It’s important to remember that James lost his own mother to cancer when he was a teenager).


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On his own Instagram, drummer Lars Ulrich wrote, “Thank you Marsha for making it happen…

“For supporting us, for encouraging us, for advising us, for sheltering us, for feeding us, and most importantly for cheering us on and along with your husband Jonny, believing in the possibilities of how a gang of misfits and outsiders like ourselves could connect with a larger and likeminded audience…

“You were an incredibly selfless matriarch and we’ll be forever grateful for the impact you had on our lives.

“Rest In Peace.”


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Alongside her husband Jon Zazula, better known in the metal community as Jonny Z, Marsha helped set up Rock N’ Roll Heaven, a New Jersey record store that quickly became a hub for the burgeoning heavy metal scene on the east coast. When she and Jonny first heard Metallica’s demo No Life ‘Til Leather, Jonny started Megaforce Records specifically to release their debut album, 1983’s legendary Kill ‘Em All. With no music industry experience, Jonny flew the band to the east coast to record that album, and was infamous for setting up their earliest east coast tours, as well as bringing acts like Venom and Raven to the United States to play their first east coast dates.

“…the best part of my life was the 40 years I spent with Marsha,” Jonny Z told Kerrang! last year when discussing his book Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music.l The Madness. “Imagine telling your wife after hearing this cassette that you were going to a phone booth to call this band, and you’ll bring ​em over here and make ​em a part of your life?”

Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Marsha’s family, friends, and coworkers during this difficult time.


Words by Chris Krovatin