Moronic Officials Destroy Historic Landmarks


This mural is on the south wall of the condemned building on 2nd Street and Central Avenue (Old Route 66). It’s the same building that has the Route 66 mural on its north wall that I posted on January 19th. The depiction of the torn newspaper bearing the headline: Moronic Officials Destroy Historic Landmarks refers to the Historic Alvarado Hotel that stood along the railroad tracks from 1909 to 1970 when it was demolished. The site sat vacant, used as a parking lot, until 2002 when the first phase of the Albuquerque Alvarado Transportation Center was completed in the style of the Alvarado Hotel. A second phase was completed in 2006. While many historic buildings in downtown Albuquerque where torn down during the urban renewal craze of the 1960’s, it was the Santa Fe Railroad who demolished the Alvarado Hotel in 1970.

The south end of the Albuquerque Alvarado Transportation Center as it looks today.

When Owls Fly

The Average White Boys haven’t done a parody video in quite a while. I have several parodies in the works, and I finally finished this one I’m calling When Owls Fly. For anyone who has seen my other parody videos, When Owls Fly is quite different because

1) I arranged the music for the parody
2) I played all the instruments to create the music
3) Several parts of the video refer to the original video When Doves Cry by Prince, so it is more of a true parody compared to the other parodies I’ve done.

I started working on When Owls Fly last summer, collecting video and audio clips of the owls while out walking in the bosque. After I got an idea to make a parody based on Prince’s When Doves Cry, I had a problem because I needed to do my own arrangement of the music to make it work with the concept I had for When Owls Fly.

I hadn’t played my flamenco guitar for several years because of numbness in my fingertips from chemo, and pain in my hands from arthritis. Therefore, I couldn’t simply borrow an electric guitar and lay down guitar tracks — I couldn’t play guitar well enough. I don’t play the keyboard, so about all I could do was lay down percussion tracks.

While casually looking at cheap electric guitars on eBay last August, one of the guitars eBay’s auto recommendations suggested was to look at a Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar. The description said it was in very good condition, it was all black, and the price was right. I snatched it up thinking that an electric guitar would be easier to play for me to start relearning to play guitar, plus I would have an electric guitar for parodies like When Owls Fly.

After practicing the Les Paul for several weeks, which is much easier to play than my flamenco guitar, I started figuring out the intro to When Doves Cry. Over the next three months, I began to get a little better at playing the Les Paul, so I got out my flamenco guitar in mid-November. Those few months of work on the electric guitar paid off, as now the flamenco guitar was not quite as challenging to play. It is nice to be playing again, no matter how rough my playing is.

Last October I started making the video clips for the parody. I laid down the percussion tracks in November, and I finally got where I could play a reasonable facsimile of the introduction on my Les Paul, and recorded the introduction. Next, I laid down the rhythm guitar track using the Les Paul, and finally, I added the recording of the owls hooting. I mixed the intro guitar, percussion, rhythm guitar, and owls hooting together, ready for the vocal track.

After I recorded the vocal track, which is not even a close facsimile to Prince’s vocals — c’est la vie since I’m not much of a vocalist — everything worked well together; however, the arrangement was missing the keyboard in the original song. I don’t play piano or keyboard, so I got the idea to play my flamenco guitar in place of the keyboard that’s in the original song. I laid down the track playing my flamenco guitar last week. My flamenco guitar substitution isn’t anything like the keyboard in When Doves Cry, but I believe it works pretty well for the owls. After adding some finishing touches, I completed the final mix, put it all together with the video clips and produced the video below.

Since I’m using my darkroom for my recording studio, the music comes out a bit raw sounding from the confined space. Furthermore, my mic input doesn’t work on my MacBook Pro, therefore, I am using the microphones built into the computer. The built-in mics are okay for voice, but fall a little short for musical instruments, in my opinion, but that’s what I have to work with at the moment.

If you are not familiar with When Doves Cry and would like to see the video that inspired When Owls Fly, you can watch it on YouTube at

When Owls Fly
Inspired by When Doves Cry by Prince
Arrangement by Timothy Price
Lyrics by Timothy Price

Look and I will take a picture
See you engaged you never miss
The grass I lie in covers me
Oh I see a starling
Got a picture of it

Seems what I see from the backyard
Oh some yellow flowers in bloom
All insight with the roses
We feel the beat
The beat unseen but heard by you

Now I can see that you’re standing
To fend for yourself in a world so cold
Maybe it goes notwithstanding
That you look like your father, so golden
And also you look like your mother
Hooting never so tongue-tied
You hoot and peep at each other
This is what it sounds like
When owls fly

I stand back in a black trench coat
Feel how the sweat dribbles inside
I’ve got the dizzy eyes looking up
Can’t see to face you
You are up so high

Now I can see that you’re standing
To fend for yourself in a world so cold
Maybe it goes notwithstanding
That you look like your father, so golden
And also you look like your mother
Hooting never so tongue-tied
You hoot and peep at each other
This is what it sounds like
When owls fly

Now I can see that you’re standing
To fend for yourself in a world so cold? (A world that’s so cold)
Maybe it goes notwithstanding (Maybe you are like your father)
That you look like your father, so golden (Ya know he’s so golden)
And also you look like your mother (Maybe you’re just like your mother)
Hooting never so tongue-tied (She’s never tongue-tied)
You hoot and peep at each other (Why do you peep, why)
This is what it sounds like
When owls fly

Jimmy Smith


Meet Jimmy Smith — guitar player, guitar teacher, guitar repairman, and guitar builder extraodinnaire. Not only is he great guitar enthusiast, he’s a master craftsman, studio tech and all around nice guy who loves Fender Stratocasters and their shapely features.

After playing in a band through the eighties, where he maintained all the instruments and built sets for the band, Jimmy started repairing instruments, and building his own guitars. He opened for business in Olympia, Washington in 1999 before he and his wife, Lisa, moved his business to the Durango, Colorado area a couple of years later. They finally relocated to Corrales, New Mexico in 2009 as GRS Music.

Jimmy changed the name of the business to The StratAcademy around 2016, and moved to the current location on Corrales Road a year ago. The StratAcademy is made up of a small retail space, his repair shop, a music studio for practice, lessons and recording, and a larger shop where Jimmy builds guitars and holds seminars on building guitars where students build their own solid body electric guitars from scratch under Jimmy’s tutelage.


Jimmy likes to experiment with different woods and materials for guitar bodies and necks. He is experimenting with Oriented Strand Board (OSB), commonly known as flake board, to build guitars. This is the second OSB guitar he is building with a Les Paul style body. He built a Strat style guitar out of OSB which will have its own post after Jimmy finishes a video of him playing it so we can hear how it sounds.

Jimmy explaining the OSB process.

OSB neck for the OSB Les Paul.


This body is made of a hardwood that is very lightweight. It feels like a hard balsa wood. You can see neck and body templates in the shelves behind Jimmy.

A Texas Flag Telecsater body Jimmy got from a pawn shop.

Jimmy made this body out of 2x4s used to frame buildings.

Stay tuned for more about the StratAcademy.