Monday, April 22, 2024

Neil Young’s Anti-Spotify Screed Disappears from His Website as Fast As It Was Posted


Big day today for Neil Young, the house contrarian.

The famed rocker announced on his website, Neil Young Archives, that he was withdrawing his music from Spotify. Why? Because Joe Rogan, crazy right wing anti-vaxxer, is spouting misinformation on his Spotify podcast.

Rolling Stone was either alerted to this or someone there spotted it. Either way, they reported the news and linked to it. Funny thing is, there’s no sign of this screed on Neil Young Archives. And everyone who links to it finds a blank page with the click.

Young apparently wrote: ““I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he added. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both. 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. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

Uh huh. Well, that’s nice. But it’s not so easy. First of all, it’s unclear what Young can mandate to be removed. And second, who cares? Young is not a big streaming artist on Spotify. His biggest hit is “Heart of Gold (2009 Remaster)” with around 232 million streams. I was actually surprised by his low numbers. “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is at around 20 million. This is chump change for streaming. If he does leave not many people will care or notice.

Not that I disagree with Young. But Spotify diversified a long time ago into podcasts with all kinds of opinions. And frankly, there was a time when Young himself was a Reagan Republican and not so enlightened. So I hope he takes a deep breath. My guess is his lawyers told him that, too, seeing as his music is still on the service and the announcement is gone from site.

Neil, keep on rocking in the free world. We need you. But count to a thousand the next time before you post something.

PS Kind of funny to think of Neil as the anti-Eric Clapton. I like it!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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