I believe that it is possible to live an entire lifetime in one day. I met Scott Putesky (sometimes better known as Daisy Berkowitz, founding member and original guitarist for the band called Marilyn Manson) in 2015 at mutual friend Mark Kostabi’s semi-annual Jazz Art Brunch. Mark, an accomplished musician himself, knows a ton of other musicians, and people always get up and jam with the band. At one point Scott played keyboards and sang a couple of cover songs. After he finished his set, I introduced myself, since I had written extensively about his band back in the day and I knew we had a few other mutual friends. Scott turned out to be very down-to-earth guy, and a terrific conversationalist, so we drank and laughed, talked about art and exchanged cards for a possible future meet up.
I already new from hearing it in the media that Scott had been diagnosed stage 4 colon cancer, and in one of our first conversations he told me how he was undergoing chemotherapy sessions every other week to keep it in check. He wasn’t shy about discussing his treatment because he wanted people to understand that he was fighting as hard as he could, and that he was also determined to live his life to the fullest. At this point, his prognosis did not include the probability of a cure and recovery. He was just trying to buy as much time as possible.
Scott was not only a musician, he was also a fine artist who had a voracious curiosity about art history. The annual Frieze Art Fair (which takes place on New York’s Randall’s Island) was coming up and Scott had never been, so we made plans to attend together. I thought it was hilarious when he asked me what he should wear. “You’re a Rock Star,” I reminded him. “You don’t need me to tell you how to dress.” Scott showed up to the dock wearing a bespoke kilt made from Clan Scott Tartan along with the complete traditional accessories. It should not surprise anyone that once we arrived at Frieze, everyone asked “the guy wearing the kilt” to pose for photos. I took a few myself and will now share them with you, because I think they show a fun-loving side of Scott, and he would appreciate being remembered in this way.
One of the works that Scott most wanted to see at Frieze is this Red Plank by minimalist pioneer John McCracken.
Sadly, I have neither any knowledge of the title of this work, nor the artist’s name.
This work is entitled It’s the Buzz, Cock by artist Linder Sterling. The image was famously used as the sleeve artwork for the Buzzcocks‘ 1977 45 RPM single release, Orgasm Addict.
This piece is by an artist whose work I know, and whose name I should remember, but I just can’t recall it right now. Scott’s expression is hilarious to me.
Scott and I wore ourselves out at Frieze and took the ferry back into Manhattan around 5:00 pm to attend another hyped-up-the-ass exhibit opening, which turned out to be a bust. Not to be deterred from continuing our Art Safari into the night, we moved on to another exhibit just up the block, and then took the party to a place that was once the home of Manhattan’s longest bar for snacks and drinks, and more conversation. Later, we walked in a light rain from Houston to Union Square, stopping in at the occasional curiosity shop like this place (where Scott purchased a large bag of assorted Gummy Candies) before I finally dropped him off at the subway on 14th Street and then continued on to my home.
We had an entire lifetime in one day.
Even above all of the times I saw him onstage with Marilyn Manson, my favorite memories of Scott are of the day we spent at Frieze and then prowling downtown Manhattan like two friends who just loved art and NYC. Now, you have those memories as well. RIP Scott. You are very much missed.