BEST JUKEBOX Miami 2005 - Duffy's Tavern
Walking into Duffy's Tavern is like entering some kind of marvelous Twilight Zone, where the whole place seems able to transform, to transcend time and space, according to the whims of the computerized jukebox that rests unobtrusively against a wall near the bar. According to owner Wayne Russell, the box is stocked with about 2000 songs. "Some I like, some I don't like. But mostly rock," he explains. An obscure track from Metallica's thrash classic Kill 'Em All segues into a disconcertingly jaunty ode to the Emerald Isle, "Irish Jaunting Car," by Leo McCaffrey. The regulars don't bat an eye, and looking around at the Irish collectibles -- the ceaseless digital countdown to St. Patrick's Day, the Guinness brewerania, and shillelaghs (knobby Irish walking sticks dangling from the ceiling amid ornate steins and ancient beer bottles) -- the jig feels oddly appropriate. After a moment of rest -- chatter, the clink of glasses, and the shouting of sports announcers from twenty TV sets filling the void -- the opening strains of Led Zeppelin's "Goin' to California" twinkle in the background. The bartender brings you another ale, the customers continue on their individual journeys to pleasant intoxication, and Zeppelin flows into Aretha Franklin's shimmering soul song "Ain't No Way." Way.
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