Neil Young demands his catalogue be pulled from Spotify, says the platform spreads false information on vaccines

Neil Young onstage at Farm Aid in 2019
(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Neil Young has written to his management and record label to demand they oversee the removal of his catalogue from Spotify, stating that his reason for doing so is his belief that the platform is helping spread disinformation about vaccines. The 76-year-old musician singles out Joe Rogan’s podcast - which is hosted exclusively on Spotify - for sharing anti-vaxxer propaganda and conspiracy theories.

“Please immediately inform Spotify that I am actively canceling all my music availability on Spotify as soon as possible,” Young wrote in a since-deleted-message posted on his website. “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.”

“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.” 

Joe Rogan recently interviewed medical doctor Robert Malone, who believes that Americans have been “hypnotised” into wearing masks and getting vaccines, and said America is suffering from “mass formation psychosis”, a claim also recently made by Eric Clapton. The interview led 270 members of the science and medical community to write an open letter criticising the podcast host, calling his actions “not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous”.

The letter added: “By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.”

At the time of writing, Young’s music, including his recently-released Barn album, remains accessible on Spotify. The company has not commented on Young’s statement.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.