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Jack White pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen on 'SNL'

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Will Heath/NBC

Jack White used his Saturday Night Live appearance this weekend to honored his late hero Eddie Van Halen.

The White Stripes frontman, who was a last-minute replacement for country artist Morgan Wallen, who was dropped from the show after breaking COVID-19 protocols, played a cobalt blue Eddie Van Halen model guitar designed especially for him by the late guitar legend on his second song of the night, “Lazaretto,” the title song to his second solo album.

“I thought it could be a nice gesture for me to use this blue eddie van halen model guitar for one of my songs tonight on SNL,” White shared on Instagram ahead of his appearance.  “Eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made to my specs,” he added.

As for his choice of songs, White explained, “i won’t even insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs tonight,” he explained in the post. “Thanks again eddie for this guitar and rest in peace sir.”

White kicked off his first performance with the riff to “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” his collaboration with Beyoncé, before launching into “Ball and Biscuit” from The White Stripe’s album Elephant.  He followed that with Blind Willie Johnson‘s tune about the 1918 flu pandemic, “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” which includes the timely lyrics, “The noble said to the people/ You better close your public schools/ Until the events of death has ending, you better close your churches too.”

SNL also remembered Van Halen at the end of the show with a clip from his 1987 appearance on the show, at the end of the program and the message, “Rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen.”

Van Halen died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

By George Costantino
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