Entertainment

Jack White honors Eddie Van Halen during 'SNL' performance

Posted October 11, 2020 4:38 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2020 10:09 p.m. EDT

FILE - Musician Eddie Van Halen poses with his "Frankenstein guitar" before the "What It Means to Be American" program at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington on Feb. 12, 2015. Van Halen, who had battled cancer, died Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. He was 65. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

— Jack White performed Saturday as a last-minute musical guest on "Saturday Night Live," where he paid tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen by using a guitar designed by the iconic rocker.

The performance included a medley of hits featuring The White Stripes' hit song "Ball and Biscuit," Beyoncé's "Don't Hurt Yourself" and Blind Willie Johnson's "Jesus Is Coming Soon."

White didn't actually perform any of Van Halen's songs, saying, "i wont even insult the man's talent by trying to play one of his songs" in an Instagram post hours before the show.

But he did switch guitars during the performance, finishing the set with his 2014 solo hit "Lazaretto" on a blue guitar designed by Van Halen. "Eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs," White wrote.

The Dutch-American guitarist and cofounder of rock band Van Halen died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer, his son Wolf Van Halen wrote on Twitter.

White wasn't "SNL's" first pick for the musical portion of the show, though.

Morgan Wallen, a 27-year-old country music singer, was originally supposed to perform, but was dropped from the lineup after a video of him appearing at a party without a mask went viral on Tik Tok -- breaching "SNL's" coronavirus safety protocols.

Wallen told his fans on Instagram that he "respects the show's decision" and "has some growing up to do."

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