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Scott Putesky, who earlier in his career was known under the theatrical moniker Daisy Berkowitz, has reportedly passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Putesky was the original guitarist for Marilyn Manson, who formed in Florida in 1989 as the shock rock outfit Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids before eventually signing to Nothing Records in the early 1990s.
Born on 28 April 1968, Putesky first met frontman Brian Warner at a house party and the wannabe singer was immediately impressed with the young guitarist’s knowledge of music, yet almost immediately their personalities began to clash. ‘Scott had been in several local rock and new wave bands before,’ revealed Warner, now known as Marilyn Manson, in his 1998 autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, ‘and almost everyone he worked with wanted to kill him because he was very pretentious and had deluded himself into thinking that he was much more talented than he actually was.’
Yet despite Manson’s later criticisms, Putesky became an integral part of the Marilyn Manson sound, which would also be developed through the work of keyboardist Madonna Wayne Gacy. After creating several demo tapes the band released their debut album Portrait of An American Family in 1994, produced with the assistance of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor who, at the same time, was in the process of recording his own masterpiece The Downward Spiral.
‘I think we were one of the last bands of the nineties to really make the kind of impact that people talked about when they talk about pop culture,’ Putesky told the Broward Palm Beach New Times in 2011. Yet despite the minor success of their debut album, Putesky would part ways with Marilyn Manson in 1996 during the recording of their breakthrough album Antichrist Superstar due to creative differences, with Chicago-born Zim Zum – the first band member not to adopt the beauty/killer moniker – replacing him as guitarist for the subsequent tour.
What would follow would be a lawsuit filed by Putesky for thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties, publishing rights and performance fees which would finally be settled in June 1998, shortly before the release of the critically acclaimed Mechanical Animals. ‘According to Manson’s manager, Tony Ciulla, ‘The matter is closed and the terms are confidential,” reported MTV in the wake of the settlement. ‘Ciulla also claims that reports about Manson’s label, Interscope Records, pressuring the singer to settle the suit are untrue.’ Putesky would receive ‘additional guitar’ credit on three of the sixteen tracks featured on Antichrist Superstar, as well as writing credit on four, while bassist Triggy Ramirez would perform the majority of the guitar duties.
Putesky first publicly disclosed his illness in November 2013 after suffering with pains in his abdomen for six years. He underwent colonoscopy before doctors diagnosed him with having colon cancer, prescribing a six-month course of chemotherapy. ‘It’s become a huge annoyance. It really gets in the way,’ he told Noisey. ‘It doesn’t get in the way with the kind of work I do, but the amount of work I do. When I started chemotherapy in September 2013 I thought I would have down time where I could relax and work on music or artwork. But I quickly realised that downtime would mean extreme fatigue where I didn’t really feel like doing anything. The most I could do was catch up on movies. I didn’t realise how much it would take out of me.’
After struggling with the illness for four years Putesky finally lost his battle and passed away at the age of forty-nine. The news was first revealed via Jack Off Jill, a band he had briefly performed with following his departure from Marilyn Manson, who announced that, ‘Saying good bye to Scott, friend, band mate, artist, hero..RIP Scott – ‘always touched by your presence dear.”