Graham Nash has chimed in to support his former CSNY bandmate Neil Young in the latter’s public spat with Spotify over COVID misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
The dispute between Young and Spotify began last week, when Young released a statement decrying disinformation that has been spread by Rogan, whose podcast is exclusive to Spotify as part of a $100 million deal signed in May 2020. Young demanded that his catalog be removed from the streaming service, which happened last week, in a move that was also made by Joni Mitchell; over the weekend, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek released a statement saying the streaming service would introduce an advisory on podcasts that discuss COVID. Rogan then issued a semi apology.
Others, including Mitchell, Nils Lofgren and Indie.Arie, have come out in support of Young by also demanding their catalogs be pulled from Spotify; David Crosby, another former bandmate, tweeted his support for Young though added he no longer controls his catalog. (Last year, Crosby sold his rights to Iconic Artists Group, run by Irving Azoff.)
Similarly, Nash’s statement says that he “completely agree[s] and support[s] my friend, Neil Young,” without explicitly mentioning his own catalog’s placement on the service, though a rep confirmed he is asking for his solo recordings to be removed.
Nash’s solo catalog, which spans six studio albums, remains available for streaming on Spotify as of Tuesday afternoon. He launched his solo career in 1971 with Songs for Beginners, which includes protest anthem “Chicago” and the love triangle ballad “Better Days,” his most popular solo track on Spotify at over 22 million streams. In addition to CSN and sometimes Y, Nash was a member of British Invasion group The Hollies and in the 1970s partnered with Crosby for several albums and tours.
“There is a difference between being open to varying viewpoints on a matter and knowingly spreading false information which some 270 medical professionals have derided not only false but dangerous,” Nash wrote on Instagram. “Likewise there is a difference between misinformation, in which one is unaware that what is being said is false, versus disinformation which is knowingly false and intended to mislead and sway public opinion. In this case, in a way that could cost people their lives.
“It should also be acknowledged that many younger musicians, and many musicians of all ages, rely on platforms like this to gain exposure to a wider audience and share their music with the world.
“Not everyone is able to take steps like this which is all the more reason that platforms like Spotify must be more responsible and accountable for the content they are obligated to moderate for the good of the public at large.”
No word from Stephen Stills, the only member of CSNY to not weigh in on Young’s Spotify stance.