Television

Jack White Pays Tribute to Eddie Van Halen on 'Saturday Night Live' With a 'Nice Gesture'

Jack White
Will Heath/NBC

Jack White on 'Saturday Night Live,' Oct. 10, 2020.

Jack White remembered a legend during his last-minute appearance as Saturday Night Live's musical guest on Oct. 10.

Ahead of the show, The White Stripes frontman -- who replaced previously scheduled Morgan Wallen after the country musician broke COVID-19 protocols -- shared that he'd be remembering Eddie Van Halen during his performance.

"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 captioned an Instagram gallery of a blue guitar ahead of his set. The musician added that the instrument was designed by the late guitar legend. "Eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made to my specs."

But White did not play a Van Halen song to remember the artist. "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 rocked the guitar during his second song on NBC's sketch comedy show, playing "Lazaretto," the title song to his second solo album. He was joined by Dominic Davis on bass and Daru Jones on drums.

For his first performance, he started with the riff to "Don't Hurt Yourself," his collaboration with Beyonce, then transitioned into "Ball and Biscuit" from The White Stripe's Elephant, before turning the medley to Blind Willie Johnson's tune about the 1918 flu pandemic, "Jesus Is Coming Soon." The lyrics of the latter were especially timely as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, with White singing, "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."

The show also remembered Van Halen at the end of the program. "Rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen," said host Bill Burr, who was wearing a Van Halen T-shirt, as the cast and guests gathered on stage to close the show.

Watch Jack White's performances below.