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Jack White’s tribute to Eddie Van Halen on Saturday Night Live was a classy touch

Jack White
(Image credit: Third Man Records / XL)

Jack White might not have Eddie Van Halen’s technical skills, but the Detroit-born musician clearly has a big heart, as his rather sweet and classy tribute to the guitarist on iconic US TV show Saturday Night Live on October 10 proved.

Having taken his customised EVH Wolfgang guitar to the taping of the legendary NBC comedy sketch show, White paid a subtle tribute to the late guitarist’s influence during a performance of his 2014 song Lazaretto, by adding in a finger-tapped guitar solo on the instrument Van Halen designed. White had previously posted the  story behind the guitar on Instagram, offering his thanks to the guitarist, who passed away on October 6.

In addition to Lazaretto, White played version of the White StripesBall and Biscuit, incorporating a section of Blind Willie Johnson’s Jesus Is Coming Soon and a section of his Beyoncé collaboration Don’t Hurt Yourself.

Saturday Night Live also paid tribute to Van Halen by replaying a brief segment of the guitarist’s 1987 performance on the show.

Jack White’s Third Man Records will release a first White Stripes Greatest Hits collection on December 4.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.