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Jack White’s Eddie Van Halen ‘SNL’ Tribute Was Smart and Subtle

The former White Stripes-rocker didn't play a Van Halen song, but he did honor Eddie in a different way.

Jack White was a last-minute replacement on Saturday Night Live on October 10, after the previous musical guest — Morgan Wallen — was kicked-off for failing to be COVID-compliant. As the reigning king of Dad Rock, seeing Jack White on the New York stage of SNL was cathartic as hell. If Jack White can shred on SNL, then maybe everything is going to be okay, right?

In addition to his kickass performance, Jack White also paid subtle tribute to Eddie Van Halen, the guitar legend who recently passed away at the age of 60. White didn’t play any of Eddie Van Halen’s songs, but, he did pay tribute in a different way. On his official Instagram page, White wrote:

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

You can check out the full Instagram post right here.

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For his two songs on SNL, Jack White mostly played mash-ups. He played his own 2014 solo-song “Lazaretto,” but he also played a medley of three songs: “Don’t Hurt Yourself” (which he co-wrote with Beyoncé in 2016 for Lemonade), “Ball and Biscuit” (a White Stripes track), and “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” by Blind Willie Johnson.

You can watch that medley at the top of this post, and his performance of “Lazaretto” — which featured the guitar given to him by Eddie Van Halen — is the video right below.

Phew!, thank goodness for SNL and Jack White. We needed a jolt of rock and roll normalcy.