Metallica has announced a show honoring Megaforce Records founders Jon “Jonny Z” and Marsha Zazula at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida on November 6. The concert will be opened by Metallica’s old friends from earlier tours, Raven, and the set list will consist mostly of the band’s early work. We’d also like to see Dave Mustaine on stage. Metallica made the following 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 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.
Tickets for the 7,000-seat show will be available starting September 30.
Jonny Z, founder of the Megaforce Records label that opened Metallica to the world, died early on February 01, 2022, in Florida surrounded by his brother, daughters, granddaughters and friends. His wife Marsha, with whom he founded Megaforce, died of cancer last January.
Jonny Z began selling records on the market in 1981, a business that eventually evolved into a major music store, Rock’n Roll Heaven, which influenced metal music at the time. In the winter of 1982, Jonny Z received a demo tape from the then young band Metallica. Wanting the music to be heard by the whole world, Jonny Z founded the Megaforce label the following year and released the band’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All”. With this release Megaforce cemented its position as America’s go-to music label for heavy metal. In 1984 the second album “Ride The Lightning” was released, before the band signed a contract with the major label Elektra.
The famous 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 Jon eventually signed with the band that shaped the sound of heavy metal for decades to come:
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.
Other bands on the label include Anthrax, Danzig, Exciter, Mercyful Fate, Ministry, Overkill, and Testament.