There is hardly a more pivotal figure for the development of the thrash metal scene than Jon Zazula. The owner of the Rock and Roll Heaven record store, he started booking bands like Raven, Anvil and Venom, and his life changed after a demo tape of a band called Metallica fell on his hands. Initially skeptical about the demo, as soon as he played, he felt he should do something with this band. That changed the life of Lars, James, Cliff and Dave forever.
Jon went on to form the Megaforce Records label, and managed bands like Anthrax, Testament and Overkill, among others. He also helped propel Ace Frehley‘s career when he left Kiss, and as time went on and tastes changed, he promoted acts like King’s X, Warren Haynes and Ministry, to name a few. All this was done in parallel with raising a family and having artists crash at his place and create havoc, while he and his wife Marsha scratched heads and raised eyebrows and did their best to pay the bills.
With so many ups and downs, misfortunes and big wins, it’s no wonder that Jon has a lot to tell. Helped by Harold-Claros Maldonado, Jon tells his story on a brand new book called “Heavy Tales – The Metal. The Music. The Madness”, to be released on October 29th. Thrash metal fan and contributor Rodrigo Altaf recently spoke with Jon, and they discussed the origins of thrash, the success and failure of certain bands, and what was the force that drove him to create the soundtrack of a whole generation of metal-heads. As usual listen to their talk below and remember to subscribe to our Podcast in several platforms to listen and be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.