Heavy Tales, available Tuesday, October 29, is the detailed, never-before-told story of how Jonny Z founded legendary New Jersey-based label Megaforce Records with his wife, Marsha, and built a dynasty unmatched by others – forever changing the scope of heavy metal.
In the winter of 1982, Jonny Z received an unexpected demo tape from 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 the release of Kill ‘Em All, 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.
Heavy Tales details the stories of how visionary Jonny Z worked miracles by releasing the first records by Metallica and also by managing and launching the careers of metal and rock giants 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, and how one night in 1984, he embarrassingly created the persona of rap metal guru The Lone Rager and penned a classic rap metal mashup.
Zazula, is the visionary known the world over as Jonny Z, has lived an intense life. Born in 1952, he 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 metal music’s royalty.
From humble beginnings with a record shop called Rock N’ Roll Heaven, located in Clark and then East Brunswick, NJ, Zazula went on to establish the iconic Megaforce Records and Crazed Management in 1981. The offices were originally based out of the Zazulas’ home at 60 York Street in Old Bridge, NJ, before moving shop to suburban East Brunswick, Manalapan and eventually Morganville, NJ. Zazula then later moved to New Hope, PA, where he continued to run Megaforce and operate the Great Jones World store.
October 24 @ The Cutting Room Back Story – Interview Presentation w/Journalist Brad Tolinski & Book Signing
44 East 32nd Street New York, NY 10010
Doors: 6 p.m./Event: 7 p.m.
October 26 @ Vintage Vinyl Record Store Book Signing and Q&A Session
51 Lafayette Road Fords, NJ 08863
Pre-order book in-person at store online at www.vvinyl.com to guarantee book signing