Jack White dedicated his Saturday Night Live performance over the weekend to Eddie Van Halen, who died of cancer last Tuesday at age 65.
In advance of taking the television stage, White took to social media to share that he would be playing one of his custom EVH Wolfgang guitars.
“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,” wrote White. “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 won’t 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.”
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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.
White’s salute to Van Halen came with his final performance of the evening, a blistering delivery of “Lazaretto,” complete with a bit of Eddie-esque tapping.
Although Van Halen was never booked to perform on SNL, Eddie did appear on the show back in February 1987 when his then-wife Valerie Bertinelli hosted the sketch series with musical guest Robert Cray Band. Right before Saturday’s curtain call, SNL featured a snippet of that performance with Eddie playing alongside G.E. Smith. Decked out in a Van Halen T-shirt, host Bill Burr ended the episode saying, “rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen.”
Watch White’s performance below …