The sad case of Neil Young v. Spotify

Photo © Sergey Klopotov |

So the guy who wrote “Keep on rocking in the free world” generated a kerfuffle the other day when he decided freedom is a dangerous thing.

Neil Young didn’t agree with what Joe Rogan was doing on the Spotify platform, so he demanded that his music be removed from the platform: “You can have Rogan or Young, not both.”

I don’t know much about Joe Rogan other than Young is apparently unhappy that Rogan gives a voice to “misinformation” about the experimental medications that are generally called COVID-19 vaccines. This is exactly what I was talking about the other day when I said we’ve reached the point where it’s risky to say 2 + 2 = 4.

If a doctor tries using a generic drug that has worked against other viruses, and announces success, then Big Pharma and its allies with a stake in costly new medicines declare the doctor unfit to be heard or perhaps even unfit to practice medicine.

If unusual numbers of people start dying of non-COVID maladies, and the surge in deaths coincides with mass distribution of the above-mentioned experimental medication, you point out the “coincidence” at the risk of your own reputation as a sane and credible source.

In a free world ideas get aired, the sound ideas survive, and the unsound ideas report to the dustbin of history. In an unfree world ideas get muzzled or throttled, and a central power decides what is a proper idea. The rest is proclaimed misinformation or disinformation, even if it’s 2 + 2 = 4.

I’m going to keep rocking in the free world, because it’s clear Mr. Young had a better idea 30 years ago.

UPDATE: And now Joni Mitchell, too. This also reminds me of another fact of life: It’s better to own your music, whether via CD or vinyl or download. A stream can be edited or removed, as these incidents show. I can still listen to Neil or Joni anytime on my turntable or digital players.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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