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Jack White to honor Eddie Van Halen on 'SNL' with touching tribute

Hours before his performance, White described the special bond he shared with the late guitar legend, who died from cancer Tuesday at the age of 65.
/ Source: TODAY

Jack White is honoring the late Eddie Van Halen on "Saturday Night Live" this week with a touching tribute.

Hours before his performance, the 45-year-old musician took to Instagram to reveal some of his plans for the big night, sharing a gallery of images featuring a gorgeous cobalt blue guitar.

"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," White wrote on Instagram Saturday afternoon. "The guitar was designed by eddie (with a few customizations i had added)."

Next, White described the special bond he shared with the late guitar legend, who died from cancer Tuesday at the age of 65.

"eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs," White said. And even though he promises to pay tribute with the sweet gesture, that is where his tribute will end. But it's all out of love and respect for the musical icon.

Van Halen III Live in Chicago
Eddie Van Halen.James Crump / WireImage

"I won't even insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs tonight," he added. "Thanks again eddie for this guitar and rest in peace sir."

Fans seemed to really love the gesture by taking to the comments section of the post to express their appreciation.

One person wrote, "It is a thing of beauty 🙌 Such a lovely tribute to Eddie, Jack 💙💙💙 He is greatly missed by so many, but his gift to the world is eternal. May he Rest In Peace."

Another added, "You’re such a classy human Jack. Have a great show. RIPlaying Eddie."

2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival -  Night 1 - Show
Jack White performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Sept. 21, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Rich Fury / Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Earlier this week, "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels announced that White would be this week's musical guest after country music star Morgan Wallen was removed for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

The former member of The White Stripes most recently performed on the sketch comedy show back in 2018, when he played a pair of songs from his solo album, "Boarding House Reach." White actually recorded that album with Van Halen's guitar, and during the promotional tour of the record, he often spoke about him as an inspiration.

When asked by Guitar World if he admired Van Halen, White responded, "Of course."

"It’s absolutely insane the things that he invented that we take for granted today," he continued. "And I know he’s always been a guy like me, who likes to work in the garage and mess with things. So I know his style of design was coming from the garage.

"That inspired me."