Actually I know of three bands called The Pranks. One based out of St. Louis formed in 1996, a 2006 version from Sweden and the version we chat about here.
Sometime in probably the mid-1970's (some sources say '75 and others '78), The Pranks was formed by Jeff Foskett, Randell Kirsch and Bo Fox, and had a following along the West Coast. Sometime after this, Robby Scharf was added as a bass player. From there, Robby met John Cowsill (via mutual friend Randell) who went on to replace Bo Fox in the band in 1982 (see update below).
I've read The Pranks described as a cross between The Byrds, The Beatles, Buffalo Springfield & The Smother's Brothers.
All these years later, most of The Pranks recordings are left in a vault for the most part. I did find a compilation CD from Sweden in 1999 that contained a Pranks song, but the liner notes indicate that Bo Fox was the drummer on this song. John Borack in his book called Shake Some Action says, Attention label owners: Someone needs to dust off and release the power pop recordings that Foskett and Randell Kirsch tracked with The Pranks back in the 1980s “killer stuff."
Robby Scharf once posted that he remembers recording, "Roll The Window Down", "Scared To Be Alone", and "One Reason", so perhaps John is also on these tracks.
Update 1/6/13: An email from a friend of these musicians add the following info:
From talking with FosQ & Kirsch, it's pretty much my understanding that Cowsee was more of a "fill-in" drummer when Bo wasn't able to make a gig. I had dinner with Bo last week in Texas after a Papa Doo Run Run concert and he has led me to believe that once FosQ left for the Beach Boys in '82, that was the end of The Pranks, outside of an occasional gig or recording once in a blue moon. So there's a pretty good chance that none of what I have features Cowsee at all.
Jeffrey Foskett - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Randell Kirsch - Guitar, Vocals
Bo Fox - Drums
Robby Scharf - Bass
John Cowsill - Drums
|Recording ||Date / Company ||Comments|
|1970's / Warners ||Not officially released.|
Pop Under The Surface Vol. 3
|1998 / Yesterday Girl Records ||From Sweden - includes The Pranks "Ab"|
Note: Pranks song on Volume 2 is the group from St. Louis, not this version of The Pranks.
Here's a little combo including "One Reason" and "What's The Point?"