Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Marsha Zazula, metal 'matriarch' and Central Florida resident, dies at 68

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 2:54 PM

click image Marsha Zazula, Lars Ulrich, Jon Zazula - PHOTO COURTESY LARS ULRICH/INSTAGRAM
  • Photo courtesy Lars Ulrich/Instagram
  • Marsha Zazula, Lars Ulrich, Jon Zazula
Marsha Zazula, a legendary metal maven, Megaforce Records co-founder, and Clermont resident, passed away due to complications from cancer at 68 last week.

If you, like us, spent any portion of your long-gone youth scouring liner notes on thrash metal cassettes, the names Megaforce Records and Marsha Zazula are no doubt familiar to you.

Independent label Megaforce was founded by Marsha and her husband Jon in 1982, for the express purpose of releasing a little album called Kill 'Em All by a then-unknown West Coast thrash band named (ahem) Metallica.

And though that's a lifetime of laurels right there, Megaforce and the Zazulas' Crazed Management would also boost other metal notables like Anthrax, Testament, Venom, King's X, Overkill and Raven from the underground into the mainstream.

Sincere and fulsome tributes have poured in for Zazula from metal icons not usually known for open-hearted sentimentality.

Metallica's Lars Ulrich called her a "selfless matriarch" in a tribute posted to his Instagram account. Ulrich thanked Zazula for "supporting us, for encouraging us, for advising us, for sheltering us, for feeding us, and most importantly for cheering us on and along with your husband Jonny, believing in the possibilities of how a gang of misfits and outsiders like ourselves could connect with a larger and likeminded audience."

Anthrax collectively hailed her on Facebook as "a true pioneer along with Jonny Z" on Facebook. "Those two were responsible for changing all our lives," read the band's statement. "Hard to put into words what a world this might be without their belief and dedication to metal and all of us."

  • Photo courtesy Anthrax/Facebook
If you're interested in more info on Marsha's life, her husband Jon's 2019 autobiography Heavy Tales, fills in the gaps on the couple's unlikely and all-star lives in metal.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation