In a video posted to his official X account, Sammy Hagar discussed his peculiar first meeting with Jack Nicholson at a party after the movie “5150” came out. Many band biographies and interviews with members have extensively documented Van Halen’s reputation for throwing wild parties during their peak in the 1970s and 1980s. Hagar remembers meeting Nicholson in one of these: “My favorite celebrity encounters were… Van Halen was throwing a huge celebration in Hollywood to celebrate the release of our debut album, “5150.” Jack Nicholson was one of the cool guys we invited. Jack Nicholson is a wonderful character, and I love him. He smiles broadly as he stands there. I approach him immediately and tell him, “Oh, Jack, I love you.” The singer went on to describe the actor’s response to him, saying: “Hey, man, I love you too,” he says. “I watch all of your movies,” I say. And he responds, “Yes, indeed.” I listen to every record you have. For over five minutes, he simply repeated what I said to him.
I quickly become a f*cking moron. To a gut like Jack Nicholson, what do you say? Sammy proceeded, revealing how they spoke for the remainder of the evening: “I thought, ‘You are my hero.'” Yes, you too are my hero. It was the most peculiar thing. I wouldn’t say that we became pals. That was how he remained that entire night. He was always grinning broadly. Then, we were all acting strangely. As a rock star, Hagar had the chance to interact with a number of well-known people in the entertainment business. He often shares anecdotes about these interactions on his social media accounts. In a different story, the lead singer remembered meeting jazz great Miles Davis under the most peculiar of circumstances, stating: “I recall walking into a doctor’s office in Malibu and seeing Miles Davis slumped in a chair with a guy next to him. The doctor then left the room and motioned for the next patient to come in. The doctor asks, “Oh Miles, have you met Sammy Hagar?” at that point.
The former member of Van Halen went on, revealing Davis’ surprising gesture: “And he asks, ‘How are you, young man?'” (Davis). I move to shake his hand, but he grabs onto it, and I let out a loud “Whoa, whoa.” I’m sort of hunching over. He then takes hold of my hand, yanking it from my other wrist with his other hand, and begins to get himself off the couch. I feel a little uncomfortable. He was somewhat… In actuality, he was nearing the end of his life. During one of his several previous interactions, Hagar spoke about the day he saw Britt Ekland and Rod Stewart at a concert. He was too scared to approach them because they appeared to be superstars. Feeling a bit like movie stars, Sammy and his drummer avoided being near Stewart for fear that he might ask them to do something for him. Below is a recording of his encounter with Nicholson.