White used a cobalt blue model designed for him by Van Halen as he played “Lazaretto.”
“Eddie was very kind to me and saw to it that this guitar was made for me to my specs,” White wrote on Instagram earlier. “I won’t 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.”
As “Saturday Night Live” concluded, the program flashed a clip of Van Halen shredding his guitar while performing with the Robert Cray Band on the show in 1987. Van Halen’s then-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, was hosting and introduced the musicians at the time.
“Rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen,” Saturday’s host Bill Burr said.