Jack White is an amazing guitar player, singer, and all-around performer. I don’t think anyone familiar with his work is blind to that. He has shown his skills through the years with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather and his solo albums. Jack White proved it again when he joined SNL last-minute this past Saturday, October 10th. But how did he even end up on the show?
Simple. In the strangest of times, COVID affects everything. In the same week music lost the rock guitar great Eddie Van Halen, a video of country musician Wallen Morgan, who was originally scheduled to play the SNL show, surfaced of him partying without a mask and violating Saturday Night Live’s COVID-19 show conditions. Wallen Morgan was canned. Jack White was recruited.
Jack White on SNL
White did not disappoint. His first SNL performance of the night featured the White Stripes fan classic “Ball and Biscuit,” and included as a same-song production “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Jesus Is Coming Soon”, reimagined by the creative songwriter. The bluesy side of Jack White bled through the performance that rivaled most artists’ recordings, let alone live shows. During the song White seemed tentative, like a fledgling rock star still finding his way. But it cleverly disguised the perfectly-timed and smacking trill. For a fan of the artist known as “John Anthony White” in a former life, it left goosebumps.
But Jack’s second SNL act is what really thrilled. If you aren’t familiar with White’s solo work “Lazaretto”, now is as good of a time as ever to snuggle up to it. And through the voltaic hammering of the tune, Jack White found an enduring and genuine way to honor Eddie Van Halen by including fretboard techniques invented and developed by the late Van Halen lead guitarist and co-founder. I could go on and on about the skit show productions and how much I crush on Jack White as an artist, but I included the videos of the live songs below so you can experience them yourself. Enjoy!