Late one night in 1971, a caller who would give his name only as "Hans", contacted DJ Ed Ventura who was broadcasting live on the pirate radio ship Radio Clementine. "Hans" had an astonishing story. He claimed that Furk Zhenk had actually died in Norway on September 21st 1966 and that, subsequently, an elaborate deception had been carried out on Kilopop! fans.

Furk, he said, had been decapitated in a horrific accident while ski-ing home from the studio in Trondheim after a recording session which went on into the early hours of the morning. Angry and frustrated after the 23rd take of "I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do" proved to be no better than the previous 22, Furk stormed out of the studio shouting, "Gut habe ich etwas besser zu tun!" ("Well I have got something better to do!"). The local Police had arrived at the scene only to see his body sinking into the fjord. Kilopop's manager and record company, anxious not to lose the fortune they stood to make from the band, replaced Furk with an unknown look-alike named Franz Zuber (note the same initials) who, after plastic surgery in an exclusive Swiss clinic, took the place of the dead band-leader.

Trynka, "Hans" said, was very young and easily persuaded to go along with the deception by Andrea van Kuijk who told her that they must consider the possible effect that the news of Furk's death might have on thousands of fans - most of them impressionable and highly-emotional teenage girls.

According to "Hans" the deception had worked but both Trynka and the guilt-ridden fake Furk, finding the deception difficult to live with, had inserted numerous clues, hints and revelations both into their songs and, indeed, on their record covers.

Refusing to say any more, the mysterious "Hans" rang off and Ventura immediately repeated all of this to his listeners. Thus began what has become known as the "Furk Is Dead Saga", or the story of "The Fake Furk"

Kilopop! fans, stoned students and conspiracy theorists have been searching for, and arguing over, clues for years. At least one doctoral thesis has been written on the subject ("O Orpheus Desaparecido - Desejo Certo Que Estava Aqui" - Manoel Santana, University of Lisbon, 1979). And this quest for clues continues; it would seem that hundreds have been found.

So, did Furk Zhenk really die on that icy Norwegian morning? Is the whole thing a hoax? If so, who started it, and why? We don't know, but we wouldn't be presenting the whole Kilopop! story if we failed to list at least the most frequently-quoted "clues".


2001 Chris Butler/2001 Future Fossil Music. All rights reserved.