A string of artists have come out in support of Neil Young over his stoush with Spotify.
The Harvest Moon legend made headlines earlier this week when he demanded his music be pulled from the streaming service over their support for The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast on which he frequently discusses medically dubious COVID-19 theories and treatments, including a discredited theory embraced by Eric Clapton claiming that ‘subliminal’ messages in YouTube videos are hypnotising the masses.
“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,” Young wrote in the since-deleted open letter.
“I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Spotify respected Young’s ultimatum by scrubbing his entire catalogue.
Shortly after doing so, Spotify is now dealing with a surge of criticism over their seeming backing of Rogan.
BREAKING: Spotify has shutdown its live customer support due to an unprecedented number of complaints after they doubled-down on their Joe Rogan anti-vax campaign pic.twitter.com/yscw97xTkt
— LeGate (@williamlegate) January 27, 2022
Now, various artists have also come forward in support of Young, most notably Nils Lofgren, former member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who also had his music removed from Spotify in an act of solidarity.
“We will miss the $3.28 we get a year, but we will forge ahead righteously,” his wife said via Twitter.
— Amy Aiello Lofgren (@azsweetheart013) January 27, 2022
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) January 28, 2022
Right on Neil https://t.co/6xu0R8LfBK
— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) January 25, 2022
Catherine Mayer, widow of Gang of Four’s Andy Gill who died early in the pandemic, wrote an open letter to Spotify condemning the streaming company’s decision.
— Catherine Mayer (@catherine_mayer) January 27, 2022
“If my beloved husband, Andy Gill, hadn’t died at the start of the pandemic, he’d have strong and clear feelings about your decision to remove Neil Young’s music in favour of a podcast that has spread anti-vax misinformation,” she wrote.
“If vaccines had been available at the start of the pandemic, he’d be here to have that conversation with you. Instead, I must speak for him. And I have to tell you, as his widow, I feel sick about the business decision you’ve made.”
Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach also weighed in.
“Imagine calling yourself a rocker yet siding with some dude who has a podcast over Neil Young,” he said.
Imagine calling yourself a rocker yet siding with some dude who has a podcast over @Neilyoung 😂 you can stick to listening to your podcast and I will stick to listening to Neil Young ✌️
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) January 27, 2022
People who are saying Joe Rogan “won” because Spotify decided to remove Neil Young’s music are missing the point. Neil Young got what he wanted–to draw attention to misinformation and how it’s commoditized. #Spotifydeleted
— Rex Zane (@rexzane1) January 27, 2022
Spotify chooses Rogan over Neil Young because they are not in the music business – they are a tech platform, and however they can get people to spend more time on the platform, that’s where they will go. Amazon is not a bookstore. Spotify is not interested in the future of music
— Damon K (@dada_drummer) January 27, 2022
In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said: “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-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
There are many joe rogans out there but there’s only one Neil Young.
— Covie (@covie_93) January 28, 2022