Legendary rocker Neil Young continues to get tuned up over his ultimatum to Spotify that he would pull his music from the streaming service if popular podcaster Joe Rogan wasn’t censored for “spreading fake information” about vaccines and Donald Trump Jr. took the “godfather of grunge” on a journey through the past.
Young, a diehard leftist whose music has often been infused with politics made headlines after he posted a since-deleted letter to his management team demanding that Spotify remove his songs, writing that “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he demanded, “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” the letter read according to Rolling Stone.
Young wrote, “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,” he said. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
The letter was taken down with no explanation, leading some to suggest that it may have been because Young doesn’t even own the rights to much of his own music after selling 50 percent of his catalogue to a UK-based investment fund last year.
Don Jr. took to Twitter to jab the aging musician, posting a picture taken during Young’s visit to former president Donald J. Trump’s office where he was allegedly trying to sell his music portfolio to the billionaire businessman prior to his 2015 entry into the political arena.
Trump Jr. wrote, “So Neil Young pulled his letter to Spotify because it seems he doesn’t even own his music portfolio anymore & therefore has no control. That checks out because he was in our offices a decade ago trying to sell it. We passed! I know because I think I took this pic in DJTs office!”
So Neil Young pulled his letter to Spotify because it seems he doesn’t even own his music portfolio anymore & therefore has no control. That checks out because he was in our offices a decade ago trying to sell it. We passed! I know because I think I took this pic in DJTs office! pic.twitter.com/2cwYng8q0L
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 26, 2022
Young is just the latest left-winger to demand the silencing of Rogan whose popularity has exploded, largely driven by his willingness to converse about COVID and vaccines with guests whose viewpoints are in opposition to the official narrative of the Biden administration and authoritarian health bureaucrats led by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
However, Young was soon made aware of his fading relevance as he hasn’t had what could be described as a real hit in decades and many of those who tune in to Spotify likely view the 74-year-old as a relic from the past while Rogan’s appeal led to a reported $100 million multiyear contract to offer “Joe Rogan Experience” to the platform’s customers.
Spotify’s commitment to Rogan was seen when the company said that it would be removing his music as he requested.
A Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “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,”
Many took to Twitter to gloat over Young’s humiliation.
Bye Bye, Hey Hey
Neil Young is gone today
It’s better to boycott
Than to just obey
Bye Bye, Hey Hey
Even though Ohio is one of the greatest protest songs of all time, free speech is kinda important also.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 27, 2022
This is one for the history books….thank you Spotify for standing up for the principle of free speech in a free country.
Spotify to remove Neil Young's songs after Joe Rogan ultimatum | Fox Business https://t.co/KwshML8Trq
— Lara Logan (@laralogan) January 27, 2022
Literally dozens of people are beside themselves over Neil Young's removal from Spotify.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 27, 2022
Seems like Neil Young challenged @joerogan to a fight, entered the ring and then knocked himself out. Strange.
— Douglas Murray (@DouglasKMurray) January 27, 2022
Neil Young proved when you're really really woke, you can cancel yourself.
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) January 27, 2022
NEIL YOUNG: You can either have me or you can have-
SPOTIFY: The answer is whoever you're about to say.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 26, 2022
Neil Young canceled himself with cancel culture. The irony. 😅
— eve (@eveforamerica) January 27, 2022
Well I hope Neil Young will remember. Spotify don't need him around anyhow.
— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) January 26, 2022
A defeated Young posted another statement on his website admitting that Don Jr. was correct that he didn’t even own his music anymore, “Before I told my friends at Warner Bros about my desire to leave the SPOTIFY platform, I was reminded by my own legal forces that contractually I did not have control of my music to do that.”
He also sought to put a positive spin on being dumped, “I announced that I was leaving anyway, because I knew who I was. I was prepared to do all I could and more to make sure that happened.”
(Screenshot: Neil Young Archives)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Young said that Spotify represented 60 percent of his streaming revenue globally, which amounted to “a huge loss for [his] record company to absorb,” but that he moved forward with removing his catalog because he “could not continue to support Spotify’s life threatening misinformation to the music loving public.””
Like other icons of the anti-establishment 1960s whose fame was driven by their criticism of the government and big corporations, Young has settled into his ripe old age as a defender of that which he so fervently opposed or to put it sixties terms, he sold out to the man.
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