Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula, the detailed, never before told story of how Jonny Z founded legendary New Jersey-based label Megaforce Records with his wife, Marsha, is officially available today.
“What a long strange trip it’s been, and now the book is finally out!” Zazula says. “I hope everyone enjoys reading these stories that contributed to this piece of heavy metal history.”
Born in 1952, Jon Zazula, known the world over as Jonny Z, began his extraordinary journey as a renegade youth who went from living on the streets of the Bronx, to later working on Wall Street, and eventually (and unexpectedly) transitioning into the music business and discovering Metallica and others. Jonny Z tells all about his incredible life in the brand new book that he describes as, “not a typical rock n’ roll book, but rather, a blue-collar success story.”
Heavy Tales details the stories of how Jonny Z worked miracles by managing and releasing albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Mercyful Fate, Raven, Overkill, Exciter, Stormtroopers of Death, Method of Destruction, Ace Frehley, King’s X, Ministry, Mindfunk, Nudeswirl, Warren Haynes, Disco Biscuits and others.
In the winter of 1982, Jonny Z received an unexpected demo tape from the underground, unsigned band Metallica. Eager and determined to have the music heard by the entire world, Jonny and Marsha, founded Megaforce Records in 1983, and soon after, released Metallica‘s debut album, Kill ‘Em All. Through this release, Megaforce cemented its position as the de-facto music label in America for heavy metal – but that’s just the start. The bands they would go on to work with released some of the most prolific and important albums in heavy metal history, giving it its Golden Era.
The stories told in Heavy Tales were captured and compiled by Harold Claros-Maldonado, a lifelong fan of heavy metal who originally contacted the Zazulas to write a report on early Metallica. After several discussions, Zazula felt Claros-Maldonado would be the ideal partner to help him tell his story in a book.
With a foreword written by Testament vocalist Chuck Billy, plus over 100 rare photographs unearthed from the MegaVault and photographer friends worldwide, Heavy Tales is the definitive American story of a family man with a dream, determined to prove to the world that heavy metal belonged on the stage, in your car, on the radio, and in your living room.
Hardcover and paperback copies of Heavy Tales are now available via www.jonzazula.com, as well as digital retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The ebook version of Heavy Tales will be released on Black Friday, November 29.
For more information on Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula, please visit, www.facebook.com/heavytales and www.instagram.com/thejonzazula
“Heavy Tales is a hard-rocking New Jersey epic – complete with supporting appearances by the likes of Metallica and Anthrax, now-legendary metal bands that the Zazulas gave vital support to in the early 1980s…In addition to being an essential document of a New Jersey chapter in music history, the book is also a testament to the power of the decades-spanning partnership between Jon and Marsha Zazula, a tandem that helped change the sound of the world. After years of not getting recognized, Jon said, Marsha is now getting her due. – Asbury Park Press
Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula will become a treasured piece of history for music lovers…Readers are taken on the journey of the metal scene in a way that gives an intimate glance into the behind the scenes world that is usually kept a closely guarded secret. Jonny Z has a candor and sense of humor that keeps you sucked in and reading along with anticipation as his, and his wife Marsha’s, lives unfold.” – The Rustbelt Chronicles
“…Zazula’s written story comes across like you’re having a one on one conversation with the man himself. There’s humor, emotion and undeniable love for the music he’s so intricately been a part of…and the generous section of photos alone makes this a must-have.” – Metal Temple
Photo: Eddie Malluk