Jack White Honors Eddie Van Halen on ‘Saturday Night Live’ [Watch]

By Stu Kelly / October 12, 2020

Earlier this week, Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels announced that Jack White would join host Bill Burr as the musical guest after country singer Morgan Wallen was disinvited after violating COVID-19 protocols. White stepped up on short noticed and used this opportunity to pay homage to Eddie Van Halen who tragically passed away last Tuesday.

Jack White teased that he would be paying tribute to Van Halen on his Instgram page when he announced he would be using a guitar that Van Halen designed specifically for himself. He also noted that while he wanted to pay homage to Van Halen he wasn’t going to “insult the man’s talent” by trying to play one of his songs. 

“i thought it could be a nice gesture for me to use this blue eddie van halen model guitar for one of the songs tonight on SNL. the guitar was designed by eddie (with a few customizations i had added). eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs. i wont even insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs tonight. thanks again
eddie for this guitar and rest in peace sir,” said White in his social media post. 

White fused together an unexpected medley, kicking off with “Don’t Hurt Yourself” — the song he co-wrote and performed on Beyoncé‘s Lemonade — before moving into a version of The White Stripes‘ “Ball and Biscuit” that teased lyrics from Blind Willie Johnson‘s “Jesus Is Coming Soon.” White churned out another career highlight with 2014’s solo hit “Lazaretto.” During “Lazaretto” White showcased some fingerpicking up the neck of the guitar, which was a trademark move Van Halen was known for.

Watch both of Jack White’s performances below. 

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Stu Kelly