Dierks Bentley, ‘5-1-5-0′ — Story Behind the Song
Dierks Bentley co-wrote '5-1-5-0' with Brett and Jim Beavers for his album 'Home.' While it's not a reflection of his own experience with the law, the title of the song is California's police code for a person involuntarily confined by officers after being deemed mentally unstable and potentially dangerous. Bentley explains that the whole idea for the song may have been planted in him as early as 13 years old.
I was at a birthday party, and this kid had an electric guitar. Up to that point, music had always been something I listened to. We went back to his room and listened to Van Halen, and I dropped everything, and that's all I listened to for a while. They had an album titled '5-1-5-0,' which featured them on the cover in straitjackets. I found out that it was the police code for a crazy person.
Now come forward to the current time, and in my 'Country and Cold Cans' song, I had a line that was, "Are y'all with me? / Let's go 5-1-5-0." I told Jim Beavers about it, and the next day, I saw him at the gym. He started singing to me, "5-1-5-0 / Somebody call the po-po." I thought that was just about the stupidiest thing I'd ever heard. But he kept after me all the time. Every time I'd see him, he'd sing it to me. He told me his kids loved it and sang it all the time.
So one day we were at a writing session. We were stuck, and I said, "OK, let's write '5-1-5-0.'" So we wrote it, and it caught on.
It's a fun song to come back with after 'Home.' 'Home' was such a heavy song and had so much depth to it. It's nice to have something out there to help lubricate cold beer going down real easy! It's good to have something out there that is a fun song for the summer. It will keep fans excited, and they can crank up their cars when it comes on the radio. It's not gonna change the world, but it is a fun song.