The co-founder of Megaforce Records, Marsha Zazula, has died at 68. The label released the first few albums for bands like Metallics, Anthrax and others. Cancer has been reported as the cause of death of the unfortunate demise as she passed away in her Florida home on January 10th.
Megaforce came as a joint venture by Marsha and husband Jon, founded in 1982. The couple had humble beginnings in their music career, at the New Jersey flea market, as they began selling vinyl imports and picture discs. Founding Megaforce turned out to be huge for the couple as it became the imprint for a few now-iconic heavy metal bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Testament and Overkill.
MRI founded in 1995, is Megaforce’s sister company that helped flourish a business that allows artists to access more control in their management and their music distribution. Following this, the Zazulas left Megaforce in 2001 selling their stakes in their predominantly metal label to Missi Callazzo, its former radio director. The label went on to acquire the acclaimed blues/jazz label, Palmetto Records by 2009.
Tributes Come Pouring In!
Among many people that are mourning the death of Zazula, the label, her husband and daughter have released statements.
Her husband, Jon said in a statement, “No man can ask for a partner like Marsha Zazula, someone who would stand by your side, support you, and believe in you to the extent of losing everything in order to make those dreams come true”
“She was a mother and mentor to many, a role model as a woman breaking the glass ceiling in an industry ran by men. She had balls, beauty, brains, and vision.” Jon added about Zazula.
Rikki, daughter of Marsha also shared a post expressing a heartfelt message after her mother’s death, on Facebook. She wrote, “RIP Mom April 21, 1952 -January 10, 2021, Your love, Your strength, Your memory and Your music has changed lives and will continue to FOREVER”.
The label also shared their thoughts about their co-founder, in a statement. “The world of music owes a debt of gratitude to Marsha Zazula, who along with her husband Jon gave birth to some of the most musically significant artists, Marsha was one of a kind and taught the world to be fiercely independent. Megaforce and our artists will never forget her. In our hearts she will always be a guiding force.”, they said.
Metallica’s first two albums, “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride the Lightning”, were released by Megaforce. The rock band paid tribute to Marsha Zazula on Instagram.
“Rest In Peace, Marsha. Thank you for everything. Much love to @thejonzazula & the Zazula family.” Read the caption accompanying the picture.
Another band whose intial records were released by Megaforce was Anthrax. The band also shared a post on Instagram in remembrance of Zazula. “It’s with much sadness that we hear of the passing of Marsha Zazula. A true pioneer along with Jonny Z. Those two were responsible for changing all our lives, Hard to put into words what a world this might be without their belief and dedication to metal and all of us. Our love to her family.”, the group wrote.
A detailed documentation of the fairy-tale journey of Megaforce to the top is available to read in Jon Zazula’s autobiography. The book came out in 2019, titled “Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness.” Something Marsha is surely proud of!
Ask Jon about running a business with his life partner and he has this to say: “Well, Marsha and I had some doozies of adventures in fighting. After about 27 years of marriage, we realized that there’s only one way to not fight anymore, it’s very simple: Tell your wife she’s right. We’re married 40 years now.”
Now that is one fairy-tale of a journey, personally and professionally and we are totally digging it. Stay tuned to our page, for more updates. RIP Marsha Zazula.
By: Aatira Kakroo