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Why Wasn't This a Huge Hit: Flickerstick's 'Beautiful'

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Most people only know Flickerstick as the winner of VH1’s best reality show ever, 2001’s Emmy-nominated Bands on the Run. Why is that?Full disclosure: This question comes from someone whose friends still fondly recall the episode where the band’s Rex James Ewing, a.k.a. “El Dangeroso,” screamed “You can’t rock like me, motherf—er!” during a competitive Soulcracker set. Who saw them nine times in concert (in five different states) before they lost any original members. Who was one of many journalists hanging out with them in NYC on Sept. 10, 2001, the night before they were to play Irving Plaza. (To the best of my inebriated knowledge, I was, however, the only one singing “Big Pimpin'” with Fletcher and Cory as we walked from bar to bar.)

So here’s what I’ve always wondered: Why did these guys, who rocked as hard as they partied, get so little love when they released their debut album on Epic? Keeping in mind that timing is everything, would their fate have been at all different if their first single, “Beautiful,” hadn’t been released right around Sept. 11? Remember, some stations had banned songs with certain lyrics, and I’m guessing that “Beautiful”‘s  repeated use of “I’ve got to fly” wouldn’t have flown. Nor would the closing word battle:”And I know/ And I feel/ That I could learn to hate just like you/ And I know/ And I feel/ That you could learn to love just like me.”Do me a favor: Watch the video here and tell me whether or not the song sucks. Even now that I’ve lost track of the band — still apparently together to some degree and touring — I think it’s good.