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Jonny Z Recalls Venom's first shows in U.S.A. with Venom's Unregulated Pyro in the 1980'

Jimmy Kay spoke to Jonny Zazula (also know as Jonny Z) via Zoom on May 9 2020. In the interview Jonny Z talks about the new audio book 'Heavy Tales' which will be released on July 21 2020.

Watch complete interview here

The Metal Voice asked Jonny Z about bringing Venom to America for the first time in the early 80's and the challenges he faced. Jonny Zazula told the Metal Voice, "Venom were booked in the USA before Metallica were even a thought. My wife Marsha and I were bringing Venom over to do some shows at the Paramount Theater in Staten Island, New York for their first time in America. The shows were booked and we thought that would be a great launching pad for Metallica on the East Coast with Venom. Nobody By the way knew who Metallica were but the word got out very fast. "

Zazula continued," Venom came to America with Nine people and I had no money or room in my house to put up nine people and they all came from Newcastle England and stayed at Casa Z (my house) and it was really rough. Venom wanted pyro, so they brought a guy who wasn't a pyro guy but knew how to run a board. So they brought a board that was used by the IRA that would set off bombs in England. They smuggled it on an airplane and brought it to my house and left it in the middle of my living room and then they were waiting for the dynamite to come. Then I said what are you doing? Then when the show came, Venom were delayed for hours after Metallica played cause they didn't know how to hook up the flash pods and the dynamite caps and all that pyro. The flash pods looked amazing in 1982 but what is funny when the flash pods went off the whole audience was covered in sud. Venom also blew about a 6 foot hole in on the stage of the Paramount Theater. The whole thing was dangerous, totally unregulated. And when the shows were over on Sunday I was sitting up on the balcony and right below my feet was the bottom of a flash pod, the pan, which could have taken someone's head off right up in the balcony."

Photo credit: Eddie Malluk

Heavy Tales details the stories of how Jonny Z worked miracles by managing and releasing albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Mercyful Fate, Overkill, Exciter, Stormtroopers of Death, Method of Destruction, Raven, Ace Frehley, King’s X, Minisrty. Mindfunk, Nudeswirl, Warren Haynes, Disco Biscuits and others.

An audio edition of Megaforce Records founder Jon Zazula’s acclaimed autobiography, Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula, read by the author himself and featuring more than two hours of bonus material, will be available July 21 via Audible.

Like the print edition, the Audible book contains Testament vocalist Chuck Billy’s foreword, also read by Billy himself. The bonus material expands upon the book, with Zazula - known the world over as Jonny Z - offering further insight into his life and career, and more behind-the-scenes stories, through material culled from a never-before-heard question and answer series with the Brothers Grimm radio show on

“When asked why I decided to record this audio book myself and not use a professional actor it was as simple as could be to answer - I am from the Bronx and the whole story would be weird if told by another, more well-spoken person,” Zazula laughs. “It wouldn’t be the same. We used a good studio and production team to bring my story to life. The bonus 147 minutes of live Q&A on the radio is lots of fun and makes this a very complete package.”

For a sneak peek,

visit and listen to samples from the audiobook and bonus Q&A.

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