Jack White dedicated his “Saturday Night Live” musical performance to another fellow rocker: Eddie Van Halen.
In a touching tribute to the late Van Halen who died of cancer at 65 on Tuesday, “The White Stripes” frontman abandoned his own guitar to instead use a cobalt blue model designed by Van Halen for White himself while performing his song, “Lazaretto.”
The show then featured a short clip of Van Halen’s guitar performance in February 1987 on “Saturday Night Live.” Host Bill Burr ended the show by saying “rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen.”
Hours before his appearance, White, 45, teased that he would be using his “Saturday Night Live” performance to honor the musical legend, whom he described as “very kind.”
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“i (sic) 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,” he captioned a photo of his guitar on Saturday. “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.”
Earlier this week, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels announced that White would join host Burr as the musical guest after country singer Morgan Wallen was disinvited after violating COVID-19 protocols.
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Wallen attended an Alabama college football game last Saturday in Tuscaloosa, per his Instagram feed. Multiple videos posted to TikTok show the singer posing maskless for photos, kissing women and playing guitar in a close circle of onlookers. Although he is “not positive for COVID,” Wallen said he “respects the show’s decision” because understands that he put those involved “in jeopardy.”
Contributing: Nashville Tennessean