Marsha’s influence in the Thrash Metal genre is far reaching. Under Marsha’s creative direction the genre was born and artists like Metallica, Anthrax, Testament and Overkill were given a platform in which to create their art which then influenced the entire metal community. Without Marsha being an initial patron and advisor to Metallica and Anthrax the music the world now knows as Heavy Metal would not exist.
Adrenaline PR mourns the loss of a legend in the world of hard rock music, Marsha Zazula, who lost her battle with cancer on Friday, January 10, 2021. Survived by her husband Jon and daughters Danielle, Rikki and Blaire, and five grandchildren, Marsha left an indelible mark on every life she touched.
As co-founder of Megaforce Records, Marsha shattered the glass ceiling in the male-dominated world of Heavy Metal. Also running Crazed Management, Marsha and Jon discovered so many of the hard rock scene’s superstars. The label released classic albums from Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Ministry, Ace Frehley, Disco Biscuits, Kings X and Raven.
Marsha was a galvanizing and calming force in the chaotic music scene and nurtured many careers – musicians and industry pros alike. Their success was her joy – and her joy was shared with all those she met.
Most telling of Marsha’s nature are the comments from her friends and family upon her passing. She will be greatly missed!
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to Broadway Cares in Marsha’s name.
“She was a mother and mentor to many, and a role model as a woman breaking the glass ceiling in an industry run by men. She had balls, beauty, brains and vision.” – Jon Zazula via Variety
“Marsha Z is the Metal Matriarch of the East Coast. She was our mother when I had none. She made great sacrifices for Metallica to grow. Thank you Marsha. Love and positive energy to the Zazula family.” – James Hetfield, Metallica, via Instagram
“Marsha was an incredibly selfless matriarch who had an enormous impact on my life and the lives of countless others… I will forever be grateful to her, Jonny and the entire Megaforce family for taking a chance on a gang of misfits and outsiders like ourselves and for helping connect us to a larger and like-minded audience.” – Lars Ulrich, Metallica, via Variety
“She kept things balanced. She was this steady hand, a calming force, during these intense moments — and there were intense moments! Jonny and Marsha were really a team; she was there for every decision. Jonny, bless him, was the stereotypical hot-headed, East Coast label executive — patience and calm may not have been his strong suits — and she balanced him out.” – Alex Skolnick, Testament, via Variety
“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.” – Anthrax ,via Facebook
“My life would be very different without her. We worked very closely for the love of Music and Art, we built our relationship on those 2 things. I am saddened to wake up to the news of her passing. My love to the family and the people she touched.” – Charlie Benante, Anthrax, via Facebook
“There will no doubt be tributes and outpourings of love from far and wide for this wonderful lady, and rightly so, she was most definitely one of a kind.” – Jeff Dunn aka Mantas, Venom/Venom Inc, via Facebook
“Never will you not be near me in my heart Marsha…I love you ..sleep well..” – Tony Dolan, Venom Inc, via Facebook
“There are no words…. Rest In Peace Marsha….” – John Gallagher, Raven, via Facebook
Maria Ferrero met Marsha and Jon Zazula at the age of 15 and the Zazulas channeled her considerable energy into her work with Megaforce / Crazed. “I was their first customer and first employee. They took me in and took a chance on a suburban punk rock girl with no direction,” said Maria. “Marsha Zazula had an incredible impact on my life – I am forever grateful to Marsha, Jon and their daughters. Marsha was a wonderful friend who brought out the best in me. In our 40 years of friendship, Marsha welcomed me into her family, guided my career and encouraged me to be my authentic self – like she always was. There is never enough time with those we love – the times we had the good fortune to share were of LEGEND – traveling the world, experiencing culture, appreciating nature and so much more. Every person Marsha met was better for knowing her. I cherish these memories and am incredibly grateful for the time we had. I would not be the woman I am without you!”
Read more about Marsha Zazula’s life and career: