UPDATE, 11:47 AM: And just like a hurricane, Neil Young’s music is no longer on Spotify.
Less than 24 hours after the streaming platform said it would comply with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s clamorous request to choose between “Rogan or Young. Not both,” classic Young albums like his Harvest, Rust Never Sleeps and Harvest Moon are gone.
In fact, the only Neil Young songs on Spotify now are the artist performing other people’s songs on a Bob Dylan tribute, a sample of the Bright soundtrack with DRAM and “The Needle and The Damage Done” and “Nothing Is Perfect” from the songwriter at Live Aid in 1985.
Additionally tunes from Young’s old bands Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are still on the subscription music service — for now.
In protest against Spotify golden boy Joe Rogan’s “spread of misinformation” over Covid-19 vaccines, polio survivor Young penned an open letter to the Swedish company earlier this week to make a choice between him or the ex-Fear Factor host. Spotify is “potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young bluntly said in the now-deleted open letter. Having handed over $100 million to Rogan a couple of years ago for the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience, Spotify pulled the plug on the Godfather of Grunge.
Having declined to provide a schedule yesterday on when Young’s tunes would be trashed, the music streamer had no comment today on Young’s music disappearing. As for Rogan — he posted a new podcast Thursday. However, despite a more than 2 and half hour convo with UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Julianna Pena and talking about “dancing around” topics, the longtime UFC commentator had zero to say about the controversy.
Or to quote Rogan from his podcast Thursday: “What’s wrong with my brain today?”
PREVIOUSLY, JAN 26 PM: You can still hear Neil Young classics like “Heart of Gold” and “Rockin’ in the Free World” on Spotify, but not for much longer.
The music streaming platform confirmed that the Godfather of Grunge’s music will be leaving soon. With no mention of Joe Rogan or Young’s problem with the podcaster’s “spread of misinformation,” to quote the songwriter’s since deleted open letter of yesterday, Spotify putting the decision on Young’s shoulders in a statement today:
We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.
Reps for Spotify did not specify when Young’s tunes would exit the platform. As of right now, the Canadian-born musician’s massive catalogue is still available on the service.
While it is technically true that Young asked to have his music pulled off Spotify, the move did come without conditions. Conditions that the pervasive music streamer choose to sidestep publicly today in a clear bow to the bottom line over public health.
“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,’ Young wrote to the Swedish company on January 25. “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” the singer continued of Spotify’s $100 million-dollar man and his Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Polio survivor Young added. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Rogan was actually schooled by Dr. Anthony Fauci last spring after the host threw shade on the need for young and healthy adults to get vaccinated. “This is the thing about this whole thing, people being upset at me,” Rogan said on his show in late April 2021. “I’m not an anti-vax person. I’m not a doctor, I’m a f*cking moron, and I’m a cage-fighting commentator who’s a dirty stand-up comedian. … I’m not a respected source of information, even for me.”
On another note, Rogan tested positive for Covid in September 2021.
Forced to cancel several shows with pal Dave Chappelle, a pretty ill-looking Rogan took to social media to proclaim that he was treating the disease with a mix of monoclonal antibodies, the steroid prednisone, a Z-Pac, a vitamin drip and ivermectin. The latter is the controversial drug which is used to deworm horses that has been touted by some conservative pundits and politicians and rejected as useless by almost everyone else.
Young’s poignant letter earlier this week follows a previous missive from a group of 270 scientists, professors, doctors and healthcare workers in an open letter to Spotify expressing concern about “false and societally harmful assertions” made on The Joe Rogan Experience. The January 12 letter pushed Spotify to “establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.”
That request, like Young’s, seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
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