METALLICA honors JON and MARSHA ZAZULA in touching tribute video
METALLICA celebrated the life, legacy, and achievements of Megaforce Records founder Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula and his wife Marsha Zazula with a special concert on November 6 in Hollywood, Florida.
Prior to the launch of the show, METALLICA showed a 10-minute video in which drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett honored the memories of the Zazulas, who signed the pioneering thrashers to their first record deal and released their first two albums, 1983’s “Kill ‘Em All” and 1984’s “Ride The Lightning”. Check it out below.
The gig, which took place at the 7,000-seat Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, saw the Bay Area metal legends play songs exclusively from their first two albums. Support at the concert came from British/American metallers RAVEN, who were also originally signed to Megaforce.
METALLICA’s setlist was as follows:
- Creeping Death
02. Ride The Lightning
04. No Remorse
05. Trapped Under Ice
06. The Call Of Ktulu
07. Phantom Lord
08. Am I Evil?
09. Metal Militia
10. For Whom The Bell Tolls
12. Fade To Black
13. Seek & Destroy
- Fight Fire With Fire
16. Hit The Lights
When the concert was first announced in September, METALLICA said in a statement: “Jonny gave us our first break in New York, released our first albums on his Megaforce Records label, and put us out on the road for our first real tour. With Marsha by his side, Jonny was a mentor, a manager, a label head, and a father figure to us all…. we would not be where we are today without the two of them. Sadly, we recently lost both Jonny and Marsha, just a little more than a year apart.
“We’ll be cooking up a special setlist for you full of songs from our days with Jonny and Marsha at Megaforce. Our main touring partner from that time, RAVEN, will be joining us to add to the celebration and bring back the memories.”
A portion of the proceeds from this show are being donated in Jonny and Marsha’s name to MusiCares, a safety net supporting the health and welfare of the music community offering preventive, emergency, and recovery programs to musicians and industry professionals. Additionally, All Within My Hands once again supported Feeding South Florida with a donation following the show.
Jonny Z died in February at the age of 69. Jonny died of complications of the rare neuropathic disorder chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP),chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and osteopenia, his family said. Marsha passed away of cancer in January of last year.
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.
Born in 1952, Jonny began his extraordinary journey as a renegade youth who went from living on the streets of the Bronx in New York City, to later working on Wall Street, and eventually (and unexpectedly) transitioning into the music business and discovering METALLICA, ANTHRAX and others.
After Wall Street, Jonny Z began selling records at a flea market store in 1981 to put food on the table for his family. Dubbed Rock N’ Roll Heaven, the store eventually blossomed into a major record store that influenced the heavy metal movement as we know it today. In the winter of 1982, Jonny Z received an unexpected demo tape from unsigned underground band called METALLICA. Eager and determined to have the music heard by the entire world, Jonny and Marsha founded Megaforce the following year and released “Kill ‘Em All”. Through this release, Megaforce cemented its position as the de-facto music label in America for heavy metal.
Jon’s acclaimed autobiography, “Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived By Jon Zazula”, was released in October 2019. The book tells the story of how the Zazulas ended up signing a band that shaped the sound of heavy metal for decades to come.
“It’s all a blessing when you work hard and you stay smart and you go into the game and then eventually something comes your way and you’re ready for it. And you’re able to jump upon it and ride it,” Jonny told Variety. “We were very fortunate, Marsha and I, that we have them to choose as a band that became the biggest band in the world. Not to mention a bunch of other great bands that made history.”