The Doors defined California cool in the ’60s. How does their legacy stack up 50 years later?

LOS ANGELES — The door to the Doors is numbered 420. A quirk of circumstance that feels comically ordained.

Technically, this is the entrance to the Doors Music Co., the licensed legal corporation in a fourth-floor suite of a flavorless glass rectangle in West Hollywood. Should you take 2,000 steps east, you'll find yourself at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go, the nightclub at which the Doors reigned a half-century ago as they became the sinistral emissaries of sex and death at the center of the Summer of Love.

This air-conditioned shrine is consecrated with artifacts of the past and faint reminders of its perpendicular intersections with the present. Platinum and gold plaques occupy almost every square inch of available wall space. Portrait photos depict the Doors at their Aquarian zenith, shaggy and seditious, without time to wallow in the mire. Jim Morrison, now dead 46 years, leers, taunts and preens from every angle.

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