5150

Album: 5150 (1986)
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Songfacts®:

  • 5150 is police code for an escaped psychiatric patient. It is also the name of Eddie Van Halen's studio. In 1983 the 5150 Studio was built; it begins as a 40-foot-long room with an adjustable ceiling height of up to 18 feet. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA. U.S.A
  • This is the title track to Van Halen's first album with Sammy Hagar as lead singer, taking over for David Lee Roth. As a lyricist, Hagar was less feral and more considered. This song is about taking a chance on love; the title "5150" never gets mentioned.

Comments: 10

  • Ladd from 59106Greg House from Columbia, 5150 is the radio code for the mental person. Codes were put in place to not say deragotory terms over the radio. Scanner land was a concern even back in the 80's when I started as a cop. Some of us referred to rookies as 5149s.
  • Jose from Puerto RicoProbably my fav song from the Sammy Era. Eddie is literally on fire with his guitar playing in this tune!
  • Englishjello from LondonEddie and studio engineer Donn Landee where hanging in Eddie's newly built studio listening to a police scanner. They heard a officer say "5150". They soon found out it's a Los Angeles police code for a escaped mental patient. Eddie decided to name the studio that (He also put stickers of it on his striped guitars). Eddie did come up with the music for this song and it's a killer song. One of the Van Halen's best songs in the Hagar era!
  • Joe Bloggs from Trinidad And TobagoThe number 5150 and "meet you half the way" in the lyrics made me think it was a reference to a Senate tie breaking vote-- implying a failure to reach a compromise between 2 sides.
  • Joe from SfIn the film "Collateral" Tom Cruise shoots a guy who later appears in the morgue with "5150" tattooed on his eye lid. Two possibilities: the Van Halen song or the 72-hour psychiatric hold. Based on the guy's career choice, I'll go with the latter... Greg House is correct.
  • Greg House from Columbia, ScActually 5150 is the code for involuntary psychiatric hold.
  • Jason from Florence, KyThe version Simon is speaking of is by a band called Charge. They were based out of New Orleans, I belive. I think they changed lead singers and moved to Vegas.
  • Jason from Florence, KyA great song off a great album...one of VH's best of either era (don't even bring up Gary), IMO. By the way, the version Simon is referring to (the one that sounds like Axl Rose singing) is by the band Charge.
  • Simon from Nijmegen, NetherlandsOn the internet there is a fake going 'round that would like us to believe that axl rose is singing with ed and the guys.. No dice. Don't know who these guys are but it's pretty good
  • Eric from Salt Lake City, UtI love this song. It was the song that sold me on Sammy Hagar replacing Dave. The rest of the album was great, but this was the clincher.
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