Neil Young to Spotify Staff and Workers: “Get Out”

Neil Young isn’t done.

Videos by American Songwriter

In a new statement from the legendary songwriter and performer regarding Spotify, Young encouraged the streaming platform’s employees to quit their jobs and other artists, from musicians to more, to remove their work.

Young wrote (see the full statement below): “Join me as I move my money away from the damage causers or you will unintentionally be one of them.”

Young didn’t stop there, however.

He urged readers to divest from major American banks, naming a few—Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America.

He also blamed Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek for the problems, not Rogan.

This comes on the heels of Young and other artists like Joni Mitchell and India.Arie removing their work from Spotify due to what they believe is its airing of the Joe Rogan-created podcast of COVID-19 misinformation and racism. Others have followed in these artists‘ examples, from Nils Lofgren to Young’s old bandmates, David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Stephen Stills.

Since the removal from Spotify, Young has gone to Amazon, which is no perfect organization, either.

See Young’s full notice below, via Pitchfork:

In our communication age, misinformation is the problem. Ditch the misinformers. Find a good clean place to support with your monthly checks. You have the real power. Use it.

To the baby boomers, I say 70 percent of the country’s financial assets are in your hands compared with just about 5 percent for millennials. You and I need to lead.

In our age of Climate Chaos, I say ditch the companies contributing to the mass fossil fuel destruction of Earth.

For their continued funding of the fossil fuel damage even as the global temperature keeps climbing, I say take your money from the accounts of these American banks today:

Bank of America
Wells Fargo

Join me as I move my money away from the damage causers or you will unintentionally be one of them. You have the power to change the world. We can do it together. Your grandchildren will thank you in history.

To the musicians and creators in the world, I say this: You must be able to find a better place than SPOTIFY to be the home of your art.

To the workers at SPOTIFY, I say Daniel Ek is your big problem—not Joe Rogan. Ek pulls the strings. Get out of that place before it eats up your soul. The only goals stated by EK are about numbers—not art, not creativity.

Notice that EK never mentions the Medical Professionals who started this conversation. Look, one last time at the statements EK has made. Then be free and take the good path.

Neil Young (Photo: Henry Diltz/Warner Records


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  1. Uh, HELLO! You say: ‘removing their work from Spotify due to its airing of the Joe Rogan-created podcast of misinformation and racism.’ This is OPINION, not FACT. Probably you didn’t bother even listening to the Podcast with Dr. Robert Malone #1757 before you confirmed your bias against him and Rogan.
    So you the author is an idiot. Neil Young has always been self-righteous jerk and he’s not changing. The only thing thankfully that has changed is that NOBODY CARES anymore what NY thinks!

    • It’s a good thing we have artists like Neil, Joni, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Indigo Girls, Patti Smith and so many more to let some of these companies and people know how they feel while conveying the feelings of the common man. My daughter is a nurse with a master’s degree and says that the majority of the deaths and admissions to her hospital are the idiots who DO NOT believe in the vacination due to the misinformation that alot of the medis has backed up since this scourge started and was discounted by the right wing leaders of the country.

  2. Mr. Uitti,

    Interesting article on the Spotify issue. I enjoy reading American Songwriter as it keeps me up to date with the industry.

    I was a bit disappointed in the Neil Young-Spotify article, however. Of course, Mr. Young, Ms. Mitchell et. al. are songwriters of long-standing note. My concern is the political bent of the article.

    Seems like, lately, that everything after the first cup of coffee in the morning is political. I subscribe to American Songwriter, again, for news about the songwriting industry, not politics. Hoping that, in the future, American Songwriter will stick a bit more closely to its mission of presenting information on songwriter’s songwriting and not songwriter’s politics.

    Best Regards,

    • Funny how the world of journalism has turned into the judges, jury and executioners nowadays. The way they use words to condemn people in a subtle way without necessarily accusing them. Of course then Cancel Culture is always there like starving vultures ready to tear their pound of flesh from anyone.

      Maybe if more people understood what George Orwell was trying to say in his book 1984 they might just use their brains a bit to think for themselves instead of jumping into the hate wagon at the first sight of the keywords or the unspeakable words.

      The world is becoming more and more mean spirited and close minded and Neil Young is now infecting his colleagues one by one with a more insidious virus than is Covid 19. The one of GROUP THINK.

  3. Just want to say I very much agree with comments from Brian Colman and John Riggi. Listen up American Songwriter. As Bob Dylan wrote “These Times They Are A Changen”.

  4. This is about the third of these articles about Neil Young’s complaints against Spotify etc.. I get that American Songwriter has opinions and they want to write about it. I get it and sympathize. However in this case certain words are being emphasized and furthermore are links to other articles. All of them are opinions that further slander Rogan or Spotify.

    I used to regard American Songwriter as the only magazine that was free from political agenda or at least a one sided smearing type of articles. These articles have lowered you all to fall into the Left-Right split that has maligned much if not all of the journalism in this country. Shame on you for writing without any regard for the intelligence of the readers.

    What does this have to do with songwriting? What chance have you given Rogan and/or Spotify to speak their side? What do you think happens in a world where the media that wields a certain power of convincing writes articles (and several at that) which only propagandizes one side of the story? It’s akin to indoctrination and partisanship.

    Neil Young has said his piece as have India Arie etc.. Fine we’ve heard them. Now it’s up to us readers to make up our minds as to what action to take. I inform myself before taking actions. From that came the realization that Neil Young and his followers are the ones that are misinformed.

    Is this what our world has become? Anyone that has uttered an “unspeakable” word or has interviewed people with another point of view than the mainstream becomes targeted as “EVIL” and “RACIST”. Are we living in the McCarthyism years all over again? It would seem so if these kinds of cancel culture virus have infected even a magazine about songwriting.

    I have become infinitely disappointed in this magazine lately just as I have of much of what passes as journalism out there. I’m of Neil Young’s generation and have seen enough in my life to see that this is not a good thing.

    Maybe things will change but after reading all these articles (really editorials in disguise) I will consider not renewing my subscription to American Songwriter.

  5. It’s clear that some of the commenters here have forgotten that songwriting is not always abstract. The same commenters probably love their heroes The Beatles, but have long forgotten how politically active the Beatles were in their day. Art is inherently political, because it is made by people – people who live in a society that is regulated and shaped by policies and laws. To pretend that artists create in a vacuum is to take a rather rose-colored glasses view. Go listen to the anti-war music of the 60s, various versions of Strange Fruit, most of the rock and rap genres, and then try to pretend music is not a reaction to the world around us. If you can’t handle lyrical content that does more than talk about the weather, maybe you should reconsider working in songwriting and instead aim for classical music or a safer non-lyrical genre.

    • How condescending of you. It is not the art we talk about and not the artist’s opinion. Anyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion (and critique thereof), it is however this article from a magazine about songwriting and not politics. The artists can say anything they want. That means they can lie. In other words when an artist accuses someone else of a misdeed without even doing their just research then to me they are misusing their public power to push a personal agenda. Just because someone is an artist does it mean they are right about everything. Hitler was a painter, remember that? No one is arguing the lyrical content of these artists. Where did you get that idea from? We are arguing this article from a Songwriter magazine that has nothing to do with songwriting. It is an opinion piece and if you cannot see that then we agree to disagree.

      I will also add that if art is about politics for you that is fine but maybe it is not for others. The fact that you actually suggest that if artists are not political then they should do something else is exactly the kind of speak I am referring to. You or I or anyone in this world do not get to define what art is and more specifically songwriting is. To do so would be incredibly presumptuous.

  6. Pretty easy to see the political bias of the writer of the Neil Young article. Very disappointed that American Songwriter has decided to go down that road. Regardless of your political leanings the United States is a still free country where free speech has been a corner stone since our founding. You can disagree with every single word Joe Rogan says but he still has the right to say it. Offer a different view or debate the person you disagree with instead of supporting censorship. I see the word misinformation used nearly every day and I have to question who decides what is misinformation? Is it the Democrat party, the Republican party, the media, the President, or is it Neil Young? As a citizen of the United States I would hope you understand that we all have the right to make up our own mind. A few at the top do not decide for us. If you firmly believe free speech is wrong and censorship is the right path, I’d give China and Russia some thought. It won’t be an issue there.

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