• Heavy Tales

  • The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula
  • By: Jon Zazula
  • Narrated by: Jon Zazula
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Heavy Tales is the detailed, never-before-told story as lived by Jonny Zazula. A riveting, tumultuous journey from renegade youth to metal music mogul, with detailed accounts of the struggles and successes along the way. How he created Megaforce Records and CraZed Management out of a flea market in New Jersey with his wife, Marsha, to discovering Metallica and launching a musical genre that forever changed the scope of music history. The hundreds of artists they worked with would go on to release some of the most prolific and important albums in heavy metal history, giving it its Golden Era.

Penned by Jonny Zazula and co-written by Harold Claros-Maldonado, Heavy Tales details the stories of how Jonny Z worked miracles by managing and releasing albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Mercyful Fate, Raven, Overkill, Exciter, Stormtroopers of Death, Method of Destruction, Ace Frehley’s Comet, King’s X, Ministry, Mindfunk, Nudeswirl, Warren Haynes, Disco Biscuits, and many more, and how one night in 1984, he jokingly created rap metal before anyone else conceived the idea.

With a foreword written by Chuck Billy, plus a bonus feature gallery with more than 100 rare photographs unearthed from the MegaVault, Heavy Tales is the definitive American story of a family man with a dream, determined to prove to the world that heavy metal belonged on the stage, on the radio, and in your living room.

Exclusive only to the Heavy Tales audiobook is a collection of Q+A’s taken from 10 live broadcasts from the Brothers Grimm radio show on Cranium Radio.com, where Jonny answers 89 unfiltered questions from listeners giving an even deeper look into his life.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Crazed Management LLC (P)2020 Crazed Management LLC

What listeners say about Heavy Tales

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Garbage

Johnny Z seems like a fun guy but he should have used his millions to edit this unenlightened exercise in cliche. No new info here for metal heads. Just the same rehashed stories.

4 people found this helpful

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Narrated by Jon Zazula? Bad choice!

Dude you should have had someone else read the book. Voice drove we crazy and what the hell was up with the heavy breathing and swallowing.........

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

bleh

I couldn't get into it. I wish he had someone else narrate it. As a Metallica fan I enjoyed the first bit, but I wish he went more in depth with Anthrax's early days.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AJ
  • 09-24-20

A memorable memoir for metalheads

If you're a fan of Metallica, Anthrax, Ministry, Overkill, Manowar (and a buttload of others) or '80s metal in general, this is the book for you! Megaforce label founder Jon Zazula's memoir Heavy Tales is filled with fun and fucking interesting tales of American metal's early days.

The book kicks off with a nice intro from Testament singer Chuck Billy. Then Jon (I'll use "Jon" rather than referring to him by his last name, because his wife Marsha was an equal partner in the business and I don't want to disrespect her work by acting like there was only one Zazula involved) goes into a brief history of his youth. This is mostly to set up the reasons for him striking out on his own at a young age. Details of his pre-music management days is colorful to say the least!

After a stab at the stock market, he went in for music production and management. He and his wife started the Megaforce label on a shoestring budget. Almost immediately they hit a home run, releasing Metallica's very first album. So, obviously that is a big draw here and Jon delivers the goods, giving great insider info about their beginnings and wild ways as kids.

His passion for all kinds of music is apparent. The care he took in managing his bands is clear. He admits it was trial and error to begin with, but even throughout his failures you can see he's putting his whole heart into it, and that's a beautiful thing to witness.

Now, Jon isn't a writer. That's no knock on the man. He's been plenty successful in his chosen field. I mention it for readers to let them know that they're going to find some funky sentence structures and occasionally a mistakenly used word. I listened to the audiobook and can't imagine what this free-ranging prose would look like on the page. description
Having said that, there is charm in the book's casualness. It's like having a beer with your grandpa and listening to him tell his interesting and rambling tales...only gramps is into metal.

The book finishes up with tons of radio show interview questions answered live by Jon. These are fantastic! Much of it is material already covered in the book, but still the answers are insightful and provide a great retrospective look at the man and his career in music. In a way, I wish Jon hadn't narrated his book, but rather simply told his stories off-the-top of his head. In these off-the-cuff interviews, you can really hear the difference between the natural flow of him speaking versus the hesitancy of him reading from a page. I don't know if the print book has these transcribed. If not, get your hands on the audiobook. Totally worth it!

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent adventure!

Since I was a teen I've known of John and Marsha's names on so many metal releases. It's fantastic to get the back story on these two incredibly important people. We can only wish they recorded another book or two worth of amazing memories. R.I.P. Zazula's Thank you both so much!

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A national teasure

Even if you don't enjoy the type of music Jon managed/produced, you have to admire the tenacity and passion. Jon and Marsha managed to stay above the mayhem and drag along the best of the early days of thrash metal. (BTW, please ignore the 'one star' ratings - clearly no tolerant losers) When I bought this book, I hadn't known Marsha had passed on, and Jon followed just this past February. Thank goodness they got their story out. The radio recordings provided at the end of the book are a treasure. RIP, or is it RIThrash?

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Booty

This story is BEYOND booty cheeks my guy. This is so much booty that but makes me go🤮

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For the Fans

The stories are amazing and it's great that he got the book done before his and his wife's untimely passing. Although I appreciate Zazula's narration, he struggled with the task and the production was terrible. If you're a metal fan, you need to read this.

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R.I.P. Jonny Z

Feels more like a podcast interview rather than a book but it's a story I'm glad was told before it got lost.

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Amazing!

Lived up to all my expectations. Legendary individuals. much respect for the contributions to metal music.

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  • andy
  • 07-18-22

badly read

i couldn't listen to this guy.
i would be interested in the story if someone else narrated.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-21

a inspirational individual

I found it interesting however I'm not a big fan of heavy metal? and did not peak my interest to start. respected jon and admire his dedication and talent. unfortunately not for me. personal taste

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  • Scott Marshall
  • 05-29-22

The Original

Thank you John & Marsha for bringing the music we love to the people. Great tales from the guy who was there at the beginning. R.I.P Jonny Z.