NILS Lofgren, the guitarist of Crazy Horse and E Street Band, has become the latest artist to show solidarity with Neil Young in his battle against Spotify and Covid-19 misinformation.
Young demanded the removal of his music from the streaming platform last week over baseless claims regarding vaccines made on Joe Rogan’s $100m podcast the Joe Rogan Experience.
Eight-time Grammy winner Joni Mitchell then followed suit on Saturday, writing on her website: “I Stand With Neil Young!”
Lofgren is now the third high-profile artist to make the move. Writing on the Neil Young Archives, he said: “A few days ago, my wife Amy and I became aware of Neil and Daryl standing with hundreds of health care professionals, scientists, doctors and nurses in calling out Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people.
“When these heroic women and men, who’ve spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help you don’t turn your back on them for money and power. You listen and stand with them.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer continued: “As I write this letter, we’ve now gotten the last 27 years of my music taken off Spotify. We are reaching out to the labels that own my earlier music to have it removed as well. We sincerely hope they honour our wishes, as Neil’s labels have done, his.”
Meanwhile, Joe Rogan has broken his silence on the issue when he addressed his followers on Instagram during a ten-minute video, available at this link.
Rogan framed his podcast – which reaches an estimated 11 million listeners per episode – as “just conversations” which “started off as … having fun and talking”.
“It’s become what it is today, which is some out-of-control juggernaut that I barely have control of,” he said. “Oftentimes I have no idea what I’m going to talk about until I sit down and talk to people.”
The comedian also pledged to “try harder to get people with differing opinions on” and to “do my best in the future to balance things out”.
Rogan’s video was released hours after Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek made a statement, promising to “do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities”.
Ek also said that Spotify will now be adding new content advisories that will direct listeners of any podcast that discusses Covid-19 to a dedicated website that “provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources”.
Spotify has lost billions in market value since Young made his initial statement, and the more artists follow in his footsteps, the bigger the problem becomes for the streaming giant.