To this day, Eddie Van Halen is still regarded as one of the best guitarists in rock history, with Rolling Stone ranking him as the fourth greatest of all time. Van Halen, who died in 2020 at the age of 65, proved himself time and again, but perhaps one of the most memorable performances of his was when he was on SNL back in the 1980s. The episode in question, which premiered in '87, was the variety program's 226th episode, hosted by none other than Valerie Bertinelli, who at the time was married to Van Halen. A chance and fateful visit and series of connections helped make Van Halen's presence on SNL a big victory for eveyrone. Eddie Van Halen was recruited to perform on 'SNL' Eddie Van Halen found himself performing for SNL through Valerie Bertinelli / ©NBC / courtesy Everett Collection Before her long foray into the cooking show scene, Bertinelli was an actress known for television and film in equal measures. In '87, she was in the film Number One With A Bullet and the miniseries I'll Take Manhattan. Both premiered within days of one another. To promote Number One With A Bullet, Bertinelli hosted SNL, originally with the Robert Cray Band slated to act as that episode's main musical attraction. RELATED: Valerie Bertinelli Shares Last Words She Spoke To Ex Eddie Van Halen But Van Halen was the one who brought Bertinelli to the studio and the SNL writers, always ready for last-minute changes, seized on this unique opportunity. Van Halen held a great appreciation for the music office, according to house band leader GE Smith. There, he smoked and drank among "his people, band guys." It was an incredibly relaxing environment for Van Halen while his wife did her work and his contentment would show plain as day in the performance he ended up putting on for the show. Van Halen pulled out all the stops and then some Van Halen performing on SNL / YouTube screenshot Smith made up his mind: he wanted Van Halen to perform on SNL. The two artists talked it over and agreed on a blues number they titled "Stompin 8H," named after the studio. Smith was on rhythm guitar, which left Van Halen with full reign over his areas of expertise: all of them. The environment was one Van Halen greatly enjoyed / Devin Simmons/AdMedia Viewers will remember the style with which Van Halen played, showing himself to be a master of all existing guitar techniques and the ones he created from scratch. At one point, he made an obscure mistake, one Smith was sure three people, at most, would notice. But to Van Halen, it was a frustrating hangup. In spite of this, however, the great time viewers had was shared by the fun time the musicians had, with Smith able to fondly recall, "At dress it was fantastic – it was ridiculous how good it was. He’s a master, he really is. At air it was great. It was super high quality it was great."