Scott Putesky, the former guitarist of Marilyn Manson better known as Daisy Berkowitz, has died after a battle with colon cancer. He was 49. Putesky co-founded the band originally known as Marilyn Manson And The Spooky Kids with his friend, Brian Warner, in the late 1980s, the concept growing out of conversations the two had about America’s sick fascinations with serial killers and beautiful women. The two adopted stage names that reflected that idea—Putesky combining Dukes Of Hazzard character Daisy Duke and “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz—and created the theatrical, industrial-rock project that briefly became the scourge of mid-’90s parents’ groups for its embrace of grisly, Satanic imagery.
Putesky wrote most of Marilyn Manson’s earliest music and reportedly even schooled Warner in how to sing, with their combined talents eventually landing them on Trent Reznor’s Nothing label for 1993’s Portrait Of An American Family. He played guitar on singles like “Dope Hat” and the band’s cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” the Smells Like Children breakout that landed Marilyn Manson in heavy MTV rotation and made the band a cult phenomenon.
Unfortunately, the recording process for the follow-up Antichrist Superstar—marked by the group experimenting heavily with drugs and maintaining a constant aura of hostility to better suits its sound—took its toll on Putesky’s friendship with Warner, and he left the band before the album was finished. He would later sue the group over royalties from the six songs he completed before leaving.
“Scott Putesky and I made great music together. We had our differences over the years, but I will always remember the good times more,” Manson wrote on Instagram. “Everyone should listen to ‘Man That You Fear’ in his honor. That was our favorite.”
After leaving Marilyn Manson, Putesky began the project Three Ton Gate and briefly joined the Manson-mentored act Jack Off Jill, appearing on its 1998 EP Covetous Creature. He continued to record and perform in projects such as Stuck On Evil, Kill Miss Pretty, and The Daisy Kids. Putesky was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.