Jon Zazula, cofounder of Megaforce Records, died on Tuesday (2/1) at his Florida home. He was 69. "The world of rock and metal would not be what it is today without Jon Zazula," Megaforce wrote on Facebook. "Jon's love of music and musicians was unwavering. A giant was lost today."

Known as "Jonny Z," Zazula co-founded the pioneering metal label 1982 with his wife, Marsha (who died last year). After releasing the first two Metallica albums (1983's Kill 'Em All and 1984's Ride the Lightning), Megaforce became a force in the industry and went on to release classics by Mercyful Fate, Anthrax, Overkill, Testament, Vio-lence, and more. The label wasn't all metal either, releasing albums by Bad Brains, Meat Puppets, and other groups.

Jon wrote about his life in the rock and metal biz in his 2019 memoir Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness.

Rest in power, Jonny Z.

More From Brooklyn Vegan