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Megaforce was founded by Marsha and her husband Jonny Zazula in 1982 out of sheer devil-may-care enthusiasm. By that point, the pair had already established Rock’n’Roll Heaven, the legendary shop originally based in a flea market in Old Bridge, New Jersey, which soon became the focal point for the entire East Coast metal scene.
As its name suggests, the store was initially geared towards selling classic rock but, under Marsha’s watchful eye, it began to stock an increasing number of imports – most specifically New Wave Of British Heavy Metal releases from the UK.
When Kerrang! magazine launched in 1981, Rock’n’Roll Heaven was one of the first outlets in the U.S. to stock the magazine. Around that time the Zazulas also began promoting shows by the likes of Anvil, Exciter and Manowar, as well as visiting UK acts including Venom and Raven. The latter pair signified a sea-change in metal towards a more aggressive, streetwise sound that would spawn its own underground scene in the U.S. within a year.
When the couple heard Metallica’s No Life ‘Til Leather demo in the summer of ‘82, Jonny flipped and offered to manage the band, inviting the four-piece to head to the East Coast to record, and welcoming them into the Zazula family home.
“They gave American headbangers something to hang their hat on,” quipped Marsha years later, discussing the band’s impact during those early days.