Jon Zazula. who grew his music business from a New Jersey flea market into a multimillion dollar record label, management company and publishing house, died Tuesday in Florida. He was 69 and no cause of death was given.
“He was a mentor, a manager, a label head and a father figure to us all,” Metallica wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday. “Metallica would not be who we are or where we are today without Jon Zazula and his wife, Marsha.”
The husband and wife team cofounded Megaforce Records in 1983. Together, Jon and Marsha Zazula were an American success story, rising from humble beginnings at a flea market record store to create a pioneering record label.
Megaforce is credited for launching the career of the multiplatinum band Metallica by releasing its first two albums, 1983’s Kill ‘Em All and 1984’s Ride the Lightning. The label’s storied roster included such important heavy bands as Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Ministry, King’s X, Stormtroopers of Death and Raven.
The Megaforce story started in a New Jersey flea market record store, Rock N Roll Heaven. Legend has it that the couple received a tape of an unsigned band called Metallica, which led Marsha and Jon to found Megaforce.
No details were immediately available on memorial plans.
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