Scott Mitchell Putesky (born April 28, 1968), more famously known as Daisy Berkowitz, is an American musician, and was the lead guitarist and co-founder of the heavy metal group Marilyn Manson. He left the band on May 8, 1996, halfway through the recording of Antichrist Superstar.
Putesky's first instruments were the flute and the snare drum, and in 6th grade joined the school's chorus, for which he apparently had a talent. His early interests were drawing, movies and Star Wars. His first record was the Star Wars soundtrack, and the influence that it had on him can be seen in much of his original artwork featuring aliens and spaceships. In the late 1970s, when Scott was in his preteen years and punk had given way, he found admiration for artists such as David Bowie and Talking Heads, influences that are apparent in his later work. His stage name, Daisy Berkowitz, is derived from the Daisy Duke character from 1970s sitcom "Dukes of Hazzard" and David Berkowitz, serial killer nicknamed "Son of Sam".
Putesky's discovery of MTV after moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1980 gave him the inspiration to save up to buy a small Casio keyboard. He taught himself to play, and later, in 8th grade, took guitar lessons. Influenced by his early favorites, Putesky learned to play songs by The Cure and U2, leading to his development of an odd personal style sometimes described as a fusion between blues and grunge. Putesky's first band, "The Flying Eggbeaters" featured schoolmates Tom Wolf and Jim Neuman as drummer and bassist. This gave him the experience needed to later go on to other bands, such as "Blue China" and "Ear Wacks".
A period of drifting followed, in which Putesky attended a local art college where he majored in advertising design. Though his musical abilities were sidetracked, he began to visit local metal clubs such as The Gutter and The Cell. In 1988, after being given a small 4-track recorder by his parents, he bought a bass guitar and drumkit to record his music with a full ensemble. At this time, Scott also played with a surf-rock band called "The Hodads", and later formed a band named "Kinetic Ritual" with Hodads' bassist Rick Waters and future "Spooky Kid" Fred Streithorst on drums. Another drifting period soon set in, however, as Putesky was unsure where to take his unique style.
Putesky and Brian Warner met at a Fort Lauderdale club called The Reunion Room and later at a local after-party in December 1989. The two created the concept of Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids poking fun at American media hypocrisy and its obsessions with serial killers and beautiful women.
Putesky, who had at this point developed his own poetry but not yet worked lyrics into his music, began to meet up with Warner and brainstorm character and show/event ideas, after Warner asked for help starting a band as a creative outlet for his poetry writing. Putesky played guitar, bass and keys, programmed a Yamaha RX-8 drum machine, and taught Warner about vocal performance, recording and arranging. Input from both parties gave the band its darkly psychedelic style, and as early as January 1990, they began to record songs like "Red (in My) Head", "White Knuckles", "Cake and Sodomy" and "Dogma" on Putesky's 4-track. By March they had assembled a band with Warner's Broward Community College schoolmate Brian Tutunick and Perry Pandrea. The band played its first show at Churchills, a club in Miami April 28, 1990, opening for the popular local band "The Goods".
Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids, with its fusion of psychedelic industrial rock and mixed metaphors, quickly built a cult following, due in part to flyering parking lots long well before show-dates, playing at clubs such as Squeeze and The Reunion Room, and later opening for several national acts such as Danzig. The group also won a number of Slammie Awards, Florida's version of the Grammy, for metal acts. In August 1992, Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids played their last show and shortened their name to Marilyn Manson. The line-up had by that time changed to include Fred Streithorst as Sara Lee Lucas on drums, Brad Stewart as Gidget Gein on bass, and Stephen Bier as Madonna Wayne Gacy on keyboards.
Warner had interviewed Trent Reznor years before and remained in touch - Reznor, when asked to come and see a show, was suitably impressed and offered them a contract on the spot. After signing with Reznor's label Nothing Records in the summer of 1993, they began working on their first album, Portrait of an American Family. Though Marilyn Manson built up a strong local fanbase during its early years, it was not until their 1995 release Smells Like Children that they caught the ear of the world with the darkly gothic cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams". In February 1995, after opening for Danzig, having two headlining tours, and making three more music videos, the band headed back to the studio to begin work on Antichrist Superstar".
At this point, creative differences between Warner and Putesky peaked and Putesky left the studio before Antichrist Superstar was completed, however he is credited for six songs on the record.
While being interviewed by Aaron Réne in an online radio show in 2010, Putesky spoke about his experience of leaving the band. "I was asked to leave. They only kept one song I wrote for Antichrist Superstar and I was starting to get pissed off. Twiggy and Pogo pretty much penned the whole album and I resented it. So when I approached the band on the matter, they basically said they were going in a different direction and they weren't sure I 'got it'." Putesky opened about about the matter again in November of 2014 on The SDR Show.
Post-Marilyn Manson work:
Abandoning the Daisy Berkowitz moniker in favor of his own initials SMP, Putesky began recording demos for his first solo project, Three Ton Gate was named for the massive coral gate at the entrance of the Coral Castle in Homestead, FL. A three-song demo,3x3 was his first musical undertaking post Marilyn Manson. The tape featured rough tracks written and performed entirely by Putesky, under the name Scott Mitchell(his first and middle names). Shortly thereafter, Putesky hired Tyreah James to handle the vocals for the full-length Three Ton Gate release, "Vanishing Century" based on the 3x3 demo tapes. Putesky produced James's vocals in the studio for all the basic tracks at the now defunct Digital Beach Recording Studio in Fort Lauderdale. The album was released in 1997 in limited quantities, and sold out its entire run of pressings. At the same time, Putesky was playing live shows in a whimsical side project called the Linda Blairs created by Jack Off Jill singer Jessicka as an opening act for her band's shows. The Linda Blair's featured several unknown South Florida musicians who performed cover tunes previously recorded by female fronted 80's rock bands and did several live performances dressed in drag. Three Ton Gate and the project with Tyreah soon faltered and was put aside.
In late 1998 Scott joined up with longtime Marilyn Manson collaborators Jack Off Jill, replacing departing member Ho Ho Spade and playing live guitar on their 1999 West Coast tour which lasted for only a handful of gigs. His first recorded work with the band was the 1998 EP Covetous Creature, to which he lent guitar and some production. By early 1999, SMP was no longer a member of Jack Off Jill. Putesky himself is vague, but he tells MTV News that the parting was amicable. He returned once again to Ft. Lauderdale to resume work on his own music, primarily seeking a live band to perform his Three Ton Gate material. In the meantime, he successfully sued Marilyn Manson for what he claimed were unpaid royalties for his contributions to Antichrist Superstar. In the same lawsuit, Putesky was also awarded the rights to 21 unreleased recordings by Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids.
Following his settlement with Manson, Putesky kicked around several solo and collaborative projects, including continuing to develop Three Ton Gate as a vehicle for film soundtrack work, joining the backing band of Israeli-born musician Michal Towber, and lending his songwriting skills to Washington, DC, industrial-rock band Godhead (who would later, ironically, become the first and only band on Marilyn Manson's record label, Posthuman Records). He also reestablished the Rednecks on Drugs project with friend and fellow Linda Blair contributor Rich Penny.
Eventually, Rednecks on Drugs evolved into Stuck on Evil a hard-rock band with gothic, Southern rock, and early rock & roll influences. Stuck on Evil recorded a 10-song full-length album, Suntanic, produced by Scott Putesky, in 2001. Their plan for a national tour starting in August of that year was ruined, however, by September 11 and a bone-breaking accident on the part of vocalist John Cain Riley. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the subsequent condemnation of "evildoers" by President George W. Bush, the band decided to drop the word evil from its name. Explained Putesky: "Stuck on Evil - it's a joke! And then nobody got the joke, and therefore it became a silly name, and all of a sudden having evil in your name wasn't so funny." Riley agreed: "With the whole nation up in arms about evildoers, it just wasn't a good name to have."
Reverting to the original name of Three Ton Gate, Putesky recorded the album Lose Your Mind for his own Scorpion Rising label in 2003.
In September 2008, it was reported that Putesky had sided with Stephen Bier (ex-Marilyn Manson keyboardist Madonna Wayne Gacy) in the latter's lawsuit against Manson. Also in his official My Space he has stated that he will have collaborations with Bier making music in 2009.
In July 2010 Putesky officially joined electro-punk band Kill Miss Pretty after collaborating with them on their single "Judy Garland". Following this the band began working on new material including a cover of the Spooky Kids' song "She's Not My Girlfriend" however this came to a premature end as Kill Miss Pretty broke up in mid-2011.
Putesky revived Three Ton Gate shortly afterwards and will be playing live under that name for the first time ever in 2011 in a series of dates across America starting in New York City on October 15. He has also stated that the second remastered Spooky Kids compilation Deform School will be made available at these dates. It has also been confirmed by Putesky that he is working on a new Three Ton Gate album which will be called These Messages.
Announced in April 2013, Putesky has created a new band with !PAUS3, called "The Daisy Kids". More information to be added soon.
In September 2013, Putesky was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license