Review of the Atlanta SMiLE Gathering II
Saturday, May 22, 2004 at Circle Sky Records
By Ronnie

Right: The fans that attended the Atlanta SMiLE Gathering II - Tom Ekwurtzel, Ronnie Dannelley, Jez Graham, Jim Gray, Bill Graham and Rasmus Skotte (Photo courtesy of Circle Sky Records)

Although the turnout for the Atlanta SMiLE Gathering II was smaller than the 2003 ASG, there was a great surprise in a visitor that we had from Copenhagen, Denmark! Circle Sky had contacted me via e-mail a few days before the event to say that they got a phone call from a gentleman in Denmark that planned on attending and would be bringing his "SMiLE film". Very cryptic indeed, but I was very curious! And more than a little puzzled that someone would fly all the way from Europe to attend what we always advertise as an "informal" gathering (not to be confused with a full-blown "fest").

When I arrived at Circle Sky a few minutes before the scheduled start time, there was only one person in the store besides Doyle and Donnie (the ever helpful owner and staff of Circle Sky). As this stranger was quietly browsing through records, Donnie whispered, "that's him…the guy from Denmark" - so I walked up an introduced myself. Rasmus Skotte was decked out in a Brian Wilson tour shirt and jacket and had a "Brian Wilson Smile" satchel. When I asked him about all his Brian gear, he mentioned that he saw Brian the first week that SMiLE was performed in London and attended several shows. After talking about these historic concerts I asked him about his film. He actually had two Brian Wilson related films that he had made and had brought both of them on DVD for us to see at the SMiLE Gathering!

No one else had arrived yet, so we went ahead and put the first film in, DUMB ANGEL FAIRY TALE. As if on queue, this is the moment that everybody started to arrive - including "regulars" from the last ASM: Ray Taylor, Tom Ekwurtzel, Jez Graham, Jim Gray and Bill Graham. Of course the discussion flowed, with topics ranging from the speculation on what form the official release would take…to all the little nuances that can be heard on the myriad of the recent live bootlegs that have been floating around the internet.

And of course we listened to one of the London shows, the concert of February 24th. Then the Ant Bee version of "Do You Like Worms" was played for those who hadn't heard it yet. We then had door prizes for some SMiLE prizes (including a plastic fireman's helmet with the new SMiLE logo) and like the last ASM, everyone got commemorative SMiLE CD-ROMS. After a couple of hours everything started to wind down and people started to filter out, with our parting words being: "we'll do this again with the official release of SMiLE!"

Unfortunately, I hadn't had a chance to view Rasmus' SMiLE movie once people started showing up. And I had to leave promptly because my daughter was graduating and I was expected at some of the numerous activities. But, Rasmus wasn't heading back to Denmark until Monday, so I got his hotel info and we planned on getting together on Sunday. Meanwhile, showing great southern hospitality, Tom Ekwurtzel entertained Rasmus Saturday evening taking him to a party/cookout.

But what about the film? Well, on Sunday afternoon I had Rasmus over to my house and we watched both of his films: DUMB ANGEL FAIRY TALE and THE DAFT BEACH MOVIE. Let me tell you, DUMB ANGEL FAIRY TALE is going to be a "must see" for SMiLE fanatics. It is imaginative and creative and I hope that someday soon it gets an official release. [And for our SMiLE-issue of EAR CANDY in August, we will do an in-depth review of the film and feature an interview with Rasmus Skotte]

Although there were smaller numbers at the ASGII, it was good to see everybody again and do that thing that is so hard to do with the uninitiated - talk about SMiLE! And of course Rasmus' two Brian Wilson films were icing on the cake! See you guys again around September with the official release!