The White Stripes frontman was announced as the last-minute musical guest for this week’s show yesterday, replacing country artist Morgan Wallen, who was removed from the line-up earlier this week after video emerged of him not wearing a mask while attending a crowded house party.
White has now announced that he is set to honour Van Halen, who died from cancer on Tuesday (October 6), during his performance.
Sharing a photo of the guitar Van Halen designed for him on his Facebook 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.”
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…
Following his death earlier this week, tributes have poured in from the musical world to remember the legendary Van Halen guitarist.
Metallica wrote: “We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in ’88, a friend.”
The likes of Muse, Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready, Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Flea, Gene Simmons of KISS, AC/DC‘s Angus Young and Lenny Kravitz have also shared messages of tribute on social media this evening.
“Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart,” Flea wrote. “I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother.”
An NME obituary called Van Halen “a colossus who turned guitar solos into a firework display,” adding: “Eddie Van Halen’s magnificent fingerwork remains embedded in rock and pop culture, from his iconic riffs on Michael Jackson‘s ‘Beat It’ to the generations of metal’s fretboard ninjas and math rock boffins who emulated his ground-breaking solos. Countless are the faces melted in his name.”