Going cold turkey on Spotify

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, January 29th, 2022 - 166 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Media, music, Social issues - Tags:

I have always enjoyed music.  During the 1980s and 1990s I would religiously buy one or two CDs a week. Technology slowly changed that.  I can recall discovering Napster and the ease in which music could be transported across the globe.  Clearly the CD as an art form’s days were then numbered.

A few years ago I said goodbye to them and my CD cupboard which was overflowing was suddenly empty.

It did not matter because I had a Spotify account that I used for 90% of my music listening.  It has pretty well everything that I had on CD.

I have always however had reservations about Spotify as an institution.  It was yet another example of the commodification of parts of the Internet to create personal profit.  The entity made large amounts of money but paid its artists poorly.  CEO Daniel Elk is said to be worth US $4.7 billion, built on the back of paying artists 0.004 cents for each stream of their music.  Spotify is certainly in the same club as Amazon and Uber.  Instead of a free market we have dominant corporate entities who have managed to create a near monopoly in their particular area of activity.

Recent events have made me reconsider my choice.  Neil Young, whose music I have had a deep and abiding respect for since purchasing Decade in the 1970s, has objected to Spotify highlighting Joe Rogan podcasts and told Spotify that they need to choose between either Rogan or his music.

I don’t understand the success of Joe Rogan.  Even Rogan personally thinks that he is an idiot.  His success shows all that is wrong with the United States.  He has nothing to add to discussions concerning important issues, apart from chaos.

Eamon Foote at the Guardian describes the issue in this way:

Neil Young this week issued Spotify with a blunt ultimatum: it’s me or Joe Rogan. The Canadian-American musician criticised its exclusive hosting of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in a letter to his manager and record label published online, which asked his music be removed from the streaming service. Spotify chose Rogan, removing Young’s entire back catalogue.

Young’s objections were based on what he saw as “life-threatening Covid misinformation” being pushed by Rogan. This claim was supported in a letter sent to the streaming service earlier this month, signed by 270 medical and scientific professionals who called for Spotify to stop spreading Rogan’s unfounded point of view. Young had the courage of his convictions – and the backing of his long-term label Reprise Records (part of Warner Music Group), because, as he said in a statement on his website, removing his music would mean “losing 60% of my worldwide streaming income in the name of Truth”.

The decision from Spotify draws an entirely new battle line for the service when facing down artists. In the past, fights tended to be around commercial issues, with artists arguing the micro-payments it made for streams were unfairly low; this new conflict is remarkable for being entirely ideological. These recent moves feel like a grand betrayal of Spotify’s roots in liberal Sweden, where it was founded. This is a company where diversity is applauded, paternity leave is encouraged, the mental wellbeing of staff is deemed paramount and efforts to promote artists from outside of a heterosexual and Caucasian orthodoxy have become part of the raison d’etre – such as the Unlike Any Other initiative around Pride 2020 and the Frequency campaign in 2021, which was intended to help elevate Black artists.

What is unfolding is a complex ethical and financial conundrum for Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder and CEO. Is he happy for Spotify to amplify medical misinformation through, among others, its crown-jewel podcast, a show it paid a rumoured $100m (£75m) to have on an exclusive basis? Or will he have the company tightly police and factcheck what its podcasters say? The rapidly curdling, and inherently Faustian nature of the Rogan deal should not surprise anyone. Rogangate says a tremendous amount about Spotify’s new priorities. No longer just a music streaming service, Spotify now regards itself as an audio platform and podcasting as its new centre of gravity.

Trevor Noah has this very funny take on Rogan.  He is not only an idiot about Covid but also about race.

So what are the alternatives to Spotify?  There is Apple Music which is well designed and slick.  Youtube has a music exclusive alternative that also pays miniscule amounts to artists.

I am tending towards Tidal.  It has a similar functionality to Spotify, has pretty well every song I have in my spotify account that I have searched for so far, but it has noticeably higher audio quality.  And it has a policy directing part of the subscription to the artists they listen to the most.  And it has Neil Young in blistering high fidelity.

Other artists that have recently pulled the plug on Spotify include Barry Manilow (yes he is still around and no I can’t stand his music), Peter Frampton and Lloyd Cole.  I suspect that a number of others will follow.

Republicans, the same ones who are trying to ban certain books in schools, are decrying this as a terrible example of cancel culture.  For me I think that Neil Young, who as a child suffered from Polio and is a firm believer in the utility of vaccines, is entitled to refuse to have a corporation pedalling an idiot’s views on Covid profit from his intellectual property.

And finally something for you to enjoy, which you will no longer be able to enjoy on Spotify.

166 comments on “Going cold turkey on Spotify ”

  1. Ad 1

    Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Barry Manilow and Lloyd Cole.

    Is Engelbert Humperdink next?

    Joe Rogan has the most successful podcast in history. He is not a threat to civilisation, and he won't be banished with a boycott, open letter or magic wand.

    • I Feel Love 1.1

      I hadn't heard of Tidal til now so will check it out. Fuck Joe Rogan, he's the biggest podcast now, until one day he isn't, such is the way of the internet. Whereas Young will always be one of the best.

    • smileyA little unfair Ad…I've seen Neil Young in 4 countries and in grunge mode he is a long long way from Engelbert.

      • Anker 1.2.1

        Haven't hear Engelbert, but attended Neil Ys concert a few years back.

        I am a big fan of Neil. One of the first albums I bought was After the Gold Rush.

        Hated his concert. Felt it was completely self indulgant. Played all new stuff with the exception of Like a Hurricane. I wanted to hear the music of his I knew and loved.

        This comment has nothing to do with the issue of Joe Rogan, Spotify etc.

    • Robert Guyton 1.3

      But he is an idiot (self-proclaimed).

    • swordfish 1.4


      The casual authoritarianism of this censorious army of dogmatic Woke offence-takers & their timid fellow travellers on the Brahmin [Fake] "Left" is absolutely jaw-dropping.

      If Joe Rogan's podcasts have been grounded in anything over the years – it's in defending the fundamental precepts of Liberal Democracy, the free expression of ideas & Enlightenment Values against this nihilistic onslaught of the Year Zero Critical Theory Cult.

      The fact that someone who endorsed Sanders in 2020 & is essentially a traditional left-libertarian … is smeared & demonized as Alt-Right or Far Right is so revealing of just how warped the bloated self-interested elitists who've slowly captured parties of the Left have become.

      That the virtue-signalling 300-buck-an-hour Professional Middle Class routinely employs derogatory terms like “Freeze Peach” says it all.

      • Robert Guyton 1.4.1

        D'ya reckon Rogan gets it right all of the time?

        D'ya reckon he could be wrong about Covid?

        I reckon he is.

      • Anker 1.4.2

        Hope you are doing ok Swordfish. Good luck with your on-going treatment

        • swordfish


          Cheers, Anker … really appreciate the moral support. heart

          • Anker

            Swordfish, I have a very close relative going through similar. It is such a rough process and full of ups and downs.

            She is doing much better than predicted and I hope that will be the case for you too.

            Take care. Appreciate you still posting

      • Bearded Git 1.4.3

        Sword- I didn't know he endorsed Sanders. But that doesn't automatically exonerate him. Why would somebody smart enough to back Sanders endorse an anti vax message?

        The 150 million NZ dollars he has been paid by Spotify may be a factor?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Joe Rogan isn't anti-vax

          • Anker

            PR what makes you say Joe Rogan isn't anti vax? I haven't come across him too much and geniunely interested to know. Whenever someone gets cancelled now, I pause before I jump on the bandwagon.

            • Puckish Rogue

              He talks to a lot of different people which is part of his appeal, something for everyone.

              Hes also naturally curious and intelligent but as to him being not anti vax theres this:


              "I'm not an anti-vax person," Rogan said. "I believe they're safe and encourage many people to take them."

              "If you're a healthy person, and you're exercising all the time, and you're young, and you're eating well…like, I don't think you need to worry about this."

              • He encourages "many people" to vax but not if they are fit and healthy.

                That is anti-vax. Healthy people still die when they catch Covid.

                One of the central principles of Covid vaccination is that the whole population gets vaccinated so that there is less transmission and so that the health service doesn't get overwhelmed.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Hes pro choice, his body his choice but he still isn't anti-vax and you haven't shown me any other vaccines hes, supposedly, against.

                  If hes anti-vax then surely there'll be other vaccines hes against, show me a link.

                  I'll wait.

                  • "Pro-choice" has been synonymous with "anti-vax" throughout the pandemic, See also "free-thinker".

                    Robert Malone, the guy Rogan guested on his show, has been banned from Twitter for spreading vaccine misinformation.

                    Did Rogan challenge him on this Pukish?

                    • felix

                      The question could also be did you challenge Twitter on this? Or do you think Twitter is rightfully some sort of arbiter of truth on their own say-so?

                      You're very wise to use the term "free thinker" in a derogatory way. Very wise indeed. This approach will serve you very well.

      • mickysavage 1.4.4

        If Rogan did support Sanders he has gone backward at a pace of knots.

    • Blazer 1.5

      Some collection you've got there…Ad….the first honest,laugh person regarding ,a huge selling artist…Barry Manilow.

    • mickysavage 1.6

      Joni Mitchell has joined as well. It is all of the old timers that made their fortunes back when records and CDs provided certainty of income and a degree of IP protection. Young artists have to cope with an entirely different business model.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    cancer culture

    Spelling correction required in penultimate paragraph.

    I wonder if Neil's moral stand will snowball amongst other musicians. I'd be surprised if it didn't but perhaps money talks louder than morality. If it does there could be some change in Spotify policy.

    I'm aware there are two sides to the morality issue – freedom of speech & opinion lies on the side opposite to the public health governance side. Any contentious issue must be weighed via consideration of pros & cons.

    [Bugger. Now fixed – MS]

    • mpledger 2.1

      Sportify are under no legal, ethical or moral obligation to give anyone a platform for whatever views they want to spout. There is no freedom of speech issue. Their problem with Rogan is that they chose to give him a platform and paid for it.

    • Agreed Dennis. It would be excellent if people like The Beatles and Taylor Swift pulled their songs.

      The Stones, especially Jagger, are probably too greedy to do this.

  3. Sabine 3

    Poor progressives, so vulnerable that if they don't cancel what they don't like they fear they will get the cooties and die or something.

    How about not clicking on Joe Rogans podcast and be done with it. Oh, that is not left enough?

    Good grief. The world is drowning in idealized stupidity. In the meantime everyone who never heard of Joe Rogan clicks on his podcasts and boom, Spotify makes money.

    • Anker 3.1

      100% agree Sabine. What do you think would happen to the people who tune into Joe Rogan and listen to this vacinne stuff if he was cancelled? The ones who went along with the his anti vaccine stuff would likely feel very f…ing angry and more entrenched in their position. That's what people tend to do if they get shut down.

      I took the time to google Joe and found him being confronted by a medical specialist on the rates of myocarditis in vacinnated versus people with covid. They then fact checked the information there and then. Rogan made a comment about where are peoplle getting information from then……..

      I think it would be best for Spotify to dialogue with Rogan about having more balanced speakers on his show.

      • Anker 3.1.1

        I watched the Trevor Noah clip and found it funny. However it brought to mind the issue of ethnicity and whether people are categorically white or black. I read an article recently about this issue (if required will trawl through stuff to try and find it).

        It was saying that ethnicity is on a spectrum. People, such as my husband, who looks Maori, but is about an eighth Maori and on public documents eg electoral roll identifies as Maori. A lot of Pakeha looking people (? white but we are not stricktly speaking white, which I think was the point Peterson was making) have Maori "blood" and identify as Maori. So it is more than possible to argue to race and ethnicity are on a spectrum and people can identify on that spectrum. I have no Maori ancestry. I cannot, nor would I ever say I identify as Maori, cause I feel like I am Maori and expect my husbands tribe to accommodate me, including land titles, access to special payments etc that the tribe give out. I think that would be highly disrespectful and I am sure his tribe wouldn’t have a bar of it! Rightly so. They may welcome me to some things, but not everything.

        The arguement that sex is on a spectrum, which gender ideologists argue and insist everyone accepts, is not true. The overwhelming majority of people are born xx or xy (even the majority of intersex). Yet I noted Deborah Russell on the sub committee for the BDMR Bill informing a number of submitters, that the fact that there are only two sexes was wrong and that sex was on a spectrum (she quoted an article from Scientific American on this, a magazine that has recently been discredited in terms of its scientific standards slipping. (will provide link if required)

        B'TW in my opinion, Deborah Russell came across as a complete fool on this issue.

        • Blazer

          Hell I had high hopes for Deborah…the reality…just another Chardonnay sipper.

          • Anker

            Don't know what wine Ms Russell drinks but really unimpressed with her.

            Especially after she posted on her personal twitter account during the submissions "would my friends understand if I felt like saying do fuck off?"

            Someone asked her why. And she replied that she had been listening to submissions on BMDR bill. BTW the quote is not exact, but close……

            Not acceptable. Her job (and she gets paid very well) is to listen to the publics point of view, even those she disagrees with and manages whatever emotions she has privately. Imagine if we saw this from other professionals

        • felix

          Trevor Noah getting upset about something Rogan and Peterson never said is a beautiful example of what most of the criticism of those two men consists of.

    • mpledger 3.2

      It's not that people fear for themselves but that they fear for other people who will make fatal decisions based on bad information.

    • weka 3.3

      Poor progressives, so vulnerable that if they don't cancel what they don't like they fear they will get the cooties and die or something.

      How about not clicking on Joe Rogans podcast and be done with it. Oh, that is not left enough?

      Good grief. The world is drowning in idealized stupidity. In the meantime everyone who never heard of Joe Rogan clicks on his podcasts and boom, Spotify makes money.

      Imagine if all the news outlets in NZ were telling us that covid is a hoax and we shouldn't bother getting vaccinated and that the government is secretly trying to control us. How do you think that would affect the pandemic response?

      Rogan is essentially a news outlet, in that there are whole swathes of people that get their news and sense of what is happening in the world from him or similar. The problem we have isn't Spotify being cancelled (honestly, who gives a fuck), it's how can neoliberal societies not eat themselves or their young (handy pun). Cancel culture is what is arising because the big social media companies are socially incompetent and the rest of us won't take the toys from the boys and put people in charge who have empathy, social intelligence, an eye on the collective good.

      • Stephen Doyle 3.3.1


      • Bill 3.3.2

        Rogan doesn't run a news outlet and didn't promote any of that stuff – he's no Alex Jones.

        • weka

          I didn't say he runs a news outlet, I said functionally he is where many people get their news and information about what is happening.

          I don't think he's like Alex Jones. My comment was more about the social media platforms being actually incompetent at social good. They're highly sophisticated money making machines, and we (society) let them be that. Trying to get them to be ethical now is tinkering.

          • Bill

            Chicken and egg. Are many people getting news(?) and info from him? Or does he simply have his finger on the pulse and so discuss topics people are interested in, in an engaging way and with interesting guests?

            Facebook, google, youtube and now twitter too, are just willing extensions of state propaganda, what with all their "fact checking", banning, demonetising and (youtube's) two track algorithm that promotes corporate sources and relegates independent ones.

            They all ought to have been treated like public utilities some while back and furnished with transparent mechanisms of oversight, but hey….

            • weka

              Facebook, google, youtube and now twitter too, are just willing extensions of state propaganda, what with all their "fact checking", banning, demonetising and (youtube's) two track algorithm that promotes corporate sources and relegates independent ones.

              if you take all that away, they're basically highly powerful capitalist orgs that don't give a shit about society and who have huge influence over how society functions.

              Not so much willing extensions of state propaganda as adept at doing what they can to keep doing what they want.

              Like I said, cancel culture is arising because neoliberalism is eating itself. Two sides of the same coin.

    • mickysavage 3.4

      How about not clicking on Joe Rogans podcast and be done with it. Oh, that is not left enough?

      The problem is that part of my monthly payment is being funded to Rogan. Tidal offer to fund it instead to the artists that I actually like. I think this is preferrable.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    I see Forbes are wondering what investors will do: https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2022/01/28/investor-concerns-amid-neil-young-spotify-controversy/?sh=71ac93122152

    Pulling his music from the popular platform means that he’s expected to lose 60 percent of his streaming revenue, according to a post he shared on his website explaining his exit to fans and thanking them for their support.

    After all, his most popular songs, including “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon,” have attracted hundreds of millions of listens on Spotify. His other songs have attracted many more, as well. He’s been creating world-renowned music for decades.

  5. joe90 5

    Who woulda thunk Napster was going to be the good guy.


  6. Tiger Moutain 6

    Neil Young is no Lenin in terms of political skills, and he has had various publicised run ins over the years. You are likely to have a miserable time–with some honourable exceptions–if you trust musicians for political guidance. Iggy, Chrissie Hynde and many other ageing rockers have played apartheid Israel for instance. Lorde did not, yay!

    But on this occasion I support Neil’s position, partly because of the corporatisation of the internet as Micky notes, and because of the existential nature of COVID. Rogan is free to be a dick but not free to put others lives at risk with his huge media reach.

  7. Anker 7

    Tiger Mountain lets mention Eric Clapton why we are at it.

    And dare I raise it (hope its not too soon) Meatloaf (RIP)

    • Bill 7.1

      That would be the same Eric Clapton who got smeared and generally slated for merely speaking to the adverse reaction he had following injection?

      And the same Meatloaf whose death, some around here seemed to take a certain glee from on the premise that he wasn't vaccinated?

      • Anker 7.1.1

        I had know idea about Clapton stance on vaccines. My reference was to a racist rant that Clapton made in 1976 which prompted the movement rock against racism. I know of this through a progressive friend.

        No glee for me about Meatloaf. Didn't realize people had been commenting on him on the Standard. Sad. But likely preventable. I hope people might think again about vacinnes because he died of covid and was unvaccinated.

        I am pro vaccines. Triple dosed. I don't engage much with arguements, including pros and cons re vaccinnes. I think the number of people in NZ choosing not be be vacinnated is tiny. It is probably less than people who refuse treatment for other medical conditions e.g anti depressants, cancer treatment. I would hope that with their choice they hunker down when the virus is rampant in the community as I am concerned about immunocompromised and the health system and staff. I don't think cancelling people wh o are anti vacinne does any good at all. A good critique of their views is a better approach.

        Am in touch with friends across the ditch. One friend had to queue for her booster amidst florid outbreak and was scared they would run out of vacinne. She and partner went away for a break and partner dislocated his shouldter. Had to wait many hours to be seen (I know with this, it is imperitive that within two hours of accident, the shoulder is manipulated back into place. Otherwise there can be significant complications). His shoulder was eventually manipulated by a student Dr who has never done this proceedure before. She is worried there will be long term damage to the shoulder. It highly likely this is what omicron will look like here.

        • Bill

          A good critique of their views is a better approach.

          I had quite a few amicable and constructive conversations in pub land before I was no longer allowed in pub land…food for thought on both sides. 🙂

          • Anker

            But Bill you can still come on the Standard and discuss your views.

            I saw a clip of Rogan interviewing an Australian medic who very assertively challenged him about mycarditis and vaccine versus covid itself. They fact checked it together on Rogan's show and Rogan was wrong.

            Perhaps this was a one off, but good the view got challenged.

  8. Anker 8

    I watched the Trevor Noah clip and found it funny. However it brought to mind the issue of ethnicity and whether people are categorically white or black. I read an article recently about this issue (if required will trawl through stuff to try and find it).

    It was saying that ethnicity is on a spectrum. People, such as my husband, who looks Maori, but is about an eighth Maori and on public documents eg electoral roll identifies as Maori. A lot of Pakeha looking people (? white but we are not stricktly speaking white, which I think was the point Peterson was making) have Maori "blood" and identify as Maori. So it is more than possible to argue to race and ethnicity are on a spectrum and people can identify on that spectrum. I cannot, nor would I ever say I identify as Maori, cause I feel like I am Maori and expect my husbands tribe to accommate me, including land titles, access to special payments etc that the tribe give out.

    The arguement that sex is on a spectrum, which gender ideologists argue and insist everyone accepts, is not true. The overwhelming majority of people are born xx or xy (even the majority of intersex). Yet I noted Deborah Russell on the sub committee for the BDMR Bill informing a number of submitters, that the fact that there are only two sexes was wrong and that sex was on a spectrum (she quoted an article from Scientific American on this, a magazine that has recently been discredited in terms of its scientific standards slipping. (will provide link if required)

    B'TW in my opinion, Deborah Russell came across as a complete fool on this issue.

  9. joe90 9




    Having finished at $193.52 per share on Monday, Spotify stock was worth $184.04 per share when the market closed on Tuesday – a 4.92 percent decrease on the day, a 13.59 percent decline across the last five days, and a full 23.50 percent falloff over the past six months.

    Furthermore, as mentioned at the outset, SPOT’s present value represents a 24.62 percent slip since 2022’s beginning, when the stock was worth north of $244 per share.


  10. Robert Guyton 10

    “losing 60% of my worldwide streaming income in the name of Truth”.

    60% might not be a worry…to Neil.

    He's doing' alright!

  11. weka 11

    Micky, can you transfer your Spotify lists to Tidal or do you have to start again?

  12. Corey Humm 12

    Haha oh good lord. Prior to COVID cable media who hates Rogan because he's more popular than all cable media combined, was constantly attacked for being a Bernie bro.

    Why doesn't Fauci go on his podcast? Debate him. Fauci going on his podcast won't be giving Rogan a platform Rogan already has as big a platform as Fauci and arguably Biden.

    Rogan regularly has some of the world's top political, scientific, philosophical minds on that podcast from Bernie to Neil Tyson Degrassi

    You know he's more popular than all those music artists combined too.

    I don't like podcasts but what's funny is that this guy is getting brutally attacked for using old information in a continuously changing environment and when his guests called him up on it he didn't get all angry.

    Rogan has people from across the political divide on and rips them all out.

    A few lefty's and musicians taking their musicians taking their songs off Spotify won't change Spotifys position and it won't make any real dent in Spotifys pockets because my generation streams.

    Making an enemy out of Rogan is dumb, debate him. I forgot our side can't debate anymore so we shut down people, disappear them and ban them.

    All this is doing is making Rogan even more popular.

    As for disinformation Neil Young spreads it himself: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/neil-young-starbucks-spotify-joe-rogan-1290247/amp/

    Even if this incredibly ill advised tactic of trying to disappear people like Rogan who mostly are left wing btw just socially libertarian, if it did work all it would do is create and even more divide and underground internet.

    The left has some of the greatest minds in the world, why are we so afraid of debating bad ideas?

    The American "left" have the most unpopular first term president of all time have as per usual done nothing with all three houses of government and are steering down a catastrophic defeat in the mid terms which will only result in Biden getting impeached (and he doesn't have supporters he was everyone's least worst option) and more republican judges and the American left are picking battles with Joe Rogan.

    Ay carumba.

    • It's "caramba"….he is spreading anti-vax lies Corey. He screwed up by thinking he was bigger than this issue. End of.

      • Fran 12.1.1

        Ok, I listened to the podcast that caused the issue. Rogan had a conversation with a senior vaccinologist (who still works for various Govt. agencies around the world) who has a contrary view of the current covid vaccines. Where is the problem? Why are we no longer allowed to have a different view? How is science misinformation?

        Malone (an expert) is saying the science isn't strong enough to justify vaccinating children. Experts all over the world, and here in NZ agree with him. How is this misinformation?

        There is a court case currently in the High Court to stop the vaccine rollout for children, where is the reporting on that?

        When discourse is shut down because someone disagrees then science stops happening. It is alarming how quickly many on the left think a contrary view is "wrong" and "dangerous". I think we are in real trouble as a nation if we can't have the conversations or entertain other ideas. This whole cancel culture thing is very dangerous to my mind.

        • Anker

          100% Corey

        • Anker

          Actually I am now curious. Was Rogan spreading an anti vax message (prepared to accept that is the case). or has been interviewing a range of people about vaccines and the science behind covid? Has he had non scientists, conspiracy theorist types on his show? Or is it merely a range of sciencetists with different views? I saw him get shut down by a medic re covid vaccines and on the show they fact checked the evidence and Rogen was wrong and he didn't dispute that.

        • Bearded Git

          Fran-Pull the other one.

          Robert Malone is spreading vaccine misinformation. Read this.


          I assume from your defence of Malone and Rogan that you are not vaccinated Fran?

          • Shanreagh

            Yes, agree BG…when she mentioned the scientist I was looking forward to seeing a science based scientist instead we get referred to Malone. Is this a joke from Fran?

            • mauī

              Are you serious? How does one get both a Masters in Science and Doctorate in Medicine while not being a "science based scientist" ?

          • mauī

            So instead of forming your own opinion on Malone, by reading or listening to his original material – https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30-01-2022/#comment-1856347

            You've instead outsourced your opinion to a third party, which I'm sure comes with its own bias. Come on, man!

            • Bearded Git

              It looks like a pretty reputable souce to me maui.

              Instead of complaining why don’t you post a contrary view on Mr. Malone if you can find one.

              Are you anti-vax maui?

          • Fran

            Wow, what a nasty hit piece. If that is the sum total of your investigation into Malone then your views are fully understood. Have read recently that he actually holds the patent to the base mRNA technique that the vaccines are based on which kind of nullifies the hit piece. However I am not defending him, I am interested in hearing all views and am really concerned that we are only getting one lot of information through our media.

            No medication is 100% safe and effective for everyone but we never hear that. Why don't we know that Sweden has refused to OK the vaccines for children because there is insufficient safety data? Why can't we even have a real conversation about this?

            Constantly screaming that someone is an anti-vaxer because they ask questions or have concerns is not behaviour I personally would expect to see from educated, thinking adults.

    • Anker 12.2

      100% Corey

  13. weka 13

    now Joni Mitchell is removing her songs from Spotify.


      • Robert Guyton 13.1.1

        Joni's out – wahoo!

        Now it's getting interesting…

        • Puckish Rogue

          I believe a clip has been found of Joe Rogans reaction to Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removing their songs from Spotify:


          • Dennis Frank

            On Friday, the singer-songwriter posted a statement, titled “I Stand With Neil Young!”, to her website announcing the decision. “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell wrote. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

            Mitchell is the first major player to follow Young in leaving Spotify — though Peter Frampton and David Crosby have both shown public support for Young alongside his wife, Daryl Hannah. That Mitchell would openly back Young’s stand against the streaming giant should come as no surprise; the singers, who both got their start in the Canadian folk scene, have been friends for nearly six decades.


            • Puckish Rogue

              Thats good to hear, I thought Joni Mitchell had passed away years ago.

              Neil Young: 76

              Joni Mitchell: 78

              Pete Frampton: 71

              David Crosby: 80

              Not saying they're old, irrelevant and out of touch…

              • Dennis Frank

                Crosby was a Byrd & the best Byrds song from '65 went to #1 (Mr Tambourine Man) but nowadays I reckon another Dylan song they did that year is equally good! Always fires me right up when it comes on my playlists from iPod or SD card.


                Sparkling lead guitar features & McGuin reminds us of the ubiquitous '60s turtle-neck style. The first version you see Crosby on rhythm guitar.

                Let it autoplay and you get another film version of the same song where Crosby is doing back-up harmony vocals more prominently. In those days lip-synch was the norm so the music is identical – live music didn't get televised.

                But the main reason you ought to let youTube roll through the second version is to check out the go-go girls! And go-go boys, believe it or not. Really going for it!

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Not too shabby

                • Obtrectator

                  Agree with everything you say about that track, but it wasn't by Dylan. Gene Clark wrote it, one of the first compositions by any member of the Byrds to appear on record.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Thanks for the correction. I did a scan of the lyric sites, which often don't include the composer, and encountered one which referred to it as a Dylan song – erroneously, I presume. yes

              • gsays

                "I must try this spotify, does it play 78s?"

          • weka

            lol. Woody Boyd would have been a Rogan fan no doubt.

          • Anker

            Joni Mitchell. Greatest ever singer song writter. Far outshines Dylan, Cohen and Young.

            A profound poet

      • Anker 13.1.2

        Joni Mitchell. Greatest ever singer song writter. Far outshines Dylan, Cohen and Young.

        A gifted lyricist.

  14. weston 14

    Gotta say i like joe rogan . I dont care if his vacine ideas are different to mine surely its caveat empor all the way round this merrygo round isnt it ? The last show i watched of his he was interviewing ed snowden i cant remember how many views that got but it was huge there was 35 k comments when i saw it .As others have said he is very engaging and his range of interviewees is across the board i dont watch him that often but im glad he,s there .

    Spotify sound like a pack of corporate cunts but oh well i dont patronize them .

  15. Muttonbird 15

    I don't like the framing which has been established that Neil Young 'gave Spotify an ultimatum'.

    I think the letter to his management, now deleted from his social media, instructed them in no uncertain terms to remove his music from Spotify immediately. The ultimatum part latched onto by most media seems to have come from the secondary language he used saying, 'there's no room for him and me' or words to that effect. This wasn't the main thrust of his request to management, the main thrust was that Spotify can go fuck themselves for promoting Rogan and his dense, anti-vax misinformation.

    Right now the media have made it look like Neil Young gave Spotify an ultimatum and Neil Young lost.

    That is not the case, imo.

    • gsays 15.1

      Thanks MB, that was my understanding of how it went down but couldn't be arsed scrolling back through last weeks Standard to find out.

      Ironic that is the case, and this post is about misinformation and written by a lawyer…

    • Puckish Rogue 15.2


      It was less an ultimatum and more like a lovers triangle, Neil Young overestimated his desirability and Spotify chose Joe Rogan.

      • Muttonbird 15.2.1

        Yeah, that response is exactly what I was afraid of. Dense people believing the dumbest influencer in the world won a battle of popularity with Neil Young.

        I’m not criticising mickysavage’s post by the way, I’m criticising the highjacking of this incident by organisations an individuals who are keen to develop and promote a conflict between Covid sceptics and normal society for financial, political, and culture-war reasons.

        • Puckish Rogue

          'Dense people believing the dumbest influencer in the world won a battle of popularity with Neil Young.'

          Its pretty funny considering most people probably thought Neil Young had passed away years ago

          Lets face it, a battle of popularity between Joe Rogan and Neil Young would be a pretty short battle

          • Muttonbird

            Reckon history will remember Neil Young fondly. Joe Rogan not so much.

            Neil Young is a gifted artist who has produced an extraordinary catalogue of music over many decades.

            Joe Rogan is an interviewer.

      • Muttonbird 15.2.2

        Also, I think there's a back history between Neil Young and Spotify unrelated to Joe Bogan, and it relates to what MS has been talking about with regard to sound quality issues. Apparently Neil Young has never been happy with the Spotify platform.

        • gsays

          He tried and didn't quite get there with pono, that might contribute to the aggro.


          And, I just found out Ol Shakey sold the rights to half his music, or half the rights to his music last year.

          Shock horror! Manilow has sold to Hipgnosis too.


        • Rucklands

          When this all started I noticed that my Spotify playlists with Neil Young songs were suddenly bereft of Neil Young songs. One of my favourite artists. No heads up – no nothing. When I saw in TS what was happening I gave it some thought. I'm with Neil on vaccines. I had classmates who died of polio. Oddly enough no more after the vaccine was introduced. The fact that Spotify pays artists poorly and is not necessarily the best quality as outlined by MS gave me cause to delve deeper. Hello Tidal. They are on to it – currently have a good 2 month deal on their premium platform. Given that I have high quality headphones (XMAS this year lucky me) why wouldn't you. They have Neil Young songs and pretty much every other artist – and are probably less likely to lose more. They pay the artists better and the sound quality (at premium) is such that IMO listening to Spotify is like listening to music with a condom on (albeit a high quality condom). Thanks MS.

          • fender

            That last sentence is funny, I didn't know hearing could be altered by wearing a condom lol. I've heard of dicks doing the thinking, but not the listening lol.

            I liked your reasoning for making a change of platform though.

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    Spotify lost $4 billion in market value this week … As of Friday, Jan. 28, shares of Spotify were down about 12% from where they closed last week, according to data from Nasdaq. The hashtags #DeleteSpotify and #CancelSpotify also gained traction on social media, with many websites offering step-by-step instructions for users to remove the app from their devices. https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/music/spotify-loses-4-billion-in-market-value-following-neil-young-controversy

    Rogan attracts 11 million users per episode, while Young brings in 6 million users per month.

    In a follow-up letter posted to his website on Friday, Young clarified that the point of his protest was not to censor the podcast host.

    “I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information,” Young said. “I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care worker who risk their lives every day to help others.”

    He added that his music was still available to stream on Amazon, Apple Music and Qobuz — with better sound quality. “As an unexpected bonus, I sound better everywhere else,” Young said.

    Before moving to the Malibu hills home owned by his wife, actress Daryl Hannah, in 2014, Young lived on a ranch in Woodside in the Santa Cruz Mountains for nearly four decades. For more than 30 years, he and his late wife Pegi hosted the all-star acoustic Bridge School benefit concerts at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, featuring performances by stars such as Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, Norah Jones, Metallica, Elvis Costello and others.

    The concerts benefited the school he co-founded to help children with severe speech and physical impairments, including his son Ben, who is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy who is unable to speak. His son Zeke also has cerebral palsy.

    I recall reading in his autobiography how he had a specially constructed seat up the front of his tour bus for Ben. It helps to be rich when you have disabled folk in the family.

    Young was diagnosed with polio in 1951, four years before the vaccine for the life-threatening disease became available… Not only did he have to relearn how to walk, but the experience also left him with a lifelong limp and required him to frequently wear a back brace while performing live.

    The musician also suffered from type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, according to his memoir. His daughter with Pegi, Amber Jean, also developed epilepsy.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    I'm currently screen-shoting my Spotify playlists before I delete my account and move to Apple music.

    I got an Apple Homepod for Christmas so Siri is in the house!

  18. Ross 18

    Like the guys at Enron, Young doesn't seem to be the smartest guy in the room.

    It's been reported that Young had polio as a kid and his stance against Rogan has its roots there. But polio is caused by poor sanitation, which I suspect has improved somewhat since the mid-1950s.

    Poliovirus…enters the body through the mouth and spreads through:

    • Contact with the feces of an infected person.
    • Droplets from a sneeze or cough of an infected person (less common).

    You can get infected with poliovirus if:

    • You have picked-up minute pieces of feces on your hands, and you touch your mouth.
    • You put in your mouth objects like toys that are contaminated with feces.

    His apparent anger at Rogan could be displaced anger or aggression at his parents, who didn't protect him from polio (notwithstanding that he recovered from the virus). He can’t take out his aggression on his parents, so he’s taking it out on another.

    What hasn't been reported is that the number of polio deaths fells significantly prior to any vaccine being used.

    From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk killed-virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 47 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Statistics show a similar decline in other European countries as well.





    • UncookedSelachimorpha 18.1

      Hilarious. So now the polio vaccine doesn't work! As shown in a paper from a notorious and debunked antivaxxer (Neil Z Miller), published in a journal set up by antivaxxers because mainstream science wouldn't publish their crap.

      The introduction of the polio vaccine coincided with a remarkable decline in polio. Multiple lines of evidence prove it works brilliantly.

      • Ross 18.1.1


        I'll try again. I understood that Miller cited someone else's figures about polio. But if that's a problem, maybe Britannica will be your friend.

        Here's stats showing the dramatic fall in the number of polio cases and deaths (among adults and children) in the US prior to the vaccine being rolled out. From peaking at nearly 60,000 cases, the number fell to about 15,000 a couple of years later. Similarly, the number of deaths fell from about 3,200 to 1,000 within a couple of years. I mention this as it seldom gets told despite it being a good news story.


        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          There is waxing and waning levels of polio (as happens with any disease). This waxing and waning is more obvious when you look at a longer dataset.

          Then there is a sustained and profound reduction following the introduction of the vaccine. A pattern repeated world wide.

          You are grasping at a short-term pattern (1-2 years) in one country within the usual course of the pre-vaccination epidemiology, and discounting the decades of high disease, followed by decades of very low disease, pre-post vaccine.

          Not to mention the trials showing the efficacy, and the biological studies etc etc.

    • weka 18.2

      Complex systems. There is no doubt that improvements in sanitation, housing (warmth, dryness and space), and diet have made major improvements to human health in the past 100 years or do.

      So have vaccinations.

      It's an utter nonsense to infer that polio was reduced to what it is now without vaccination and simply by improving sanitation. No idea if you would go quite that far, but that is a common argument from people running the lines you are running here.

      Casting Young's parents as to blame for not protecting him from polio makes you a supreme fuckwit. And another one who apparently doesn't understand what public health is. It's complex, a set of interrelated dynamics and context, and treating it as a set of individuals who can look after themselves undermines what it is.

      • Ross 18.2.1

        Casting Young's parents as to blame for not protecting him from polio makes you a supreme fuckwit.

        Thanks for that sophisticated and erudite comment lol. And sorry you missed my point.

        • weka

          yeah, I decided to skate past the amateur psychoanalysis. I'm assuming you don't know his parents, or his situation as a child, and are just making stuff up.

    • Peter 18.3

      "His apparent anger at Rogan could be displaced anger or aggression at his parents."

      His apparent anger at Rogan could be because he thinks Rogan is a fuckwit sucking in other people.

  19. Descendant Of Smith 20

    I'm continually amused at all the faux outrage about cancel culture from the right and find it odd that supposed left leaning people are buying into this and allowing the right to control the narrative (just like they did with the notion of political correctness).

    The fact is that the right have always cancelled people and cancelled history and we all know this.

    In my lifetime I've seen constantly across all my employers for very good people overlooked for management jobs and positions because they were part of a union. I've seen people not employed because of something they may have said on Facebook that was left leaning, I've seen blacklists of workers being circulated amongst local employers (even had a copy of one such list I found in a drawer from a employer who went bust) who have been blacklisted for a range of reasons from taking personal grievances, to saying something an employer didn't like to simply having a particular family name.

    I've seen in Taranaki an absolute refusal to not only write about and acknowledge what happened at Parihaka but strong efforts to dissuade people from looking into it or discussing this further.

    You can go back a little while to see the attempts to cancel the Dixie Chicks – or back further The Beatles after John said they were bigger than god. Ellen de Generes when she came out as a lesbian had her show cancelled. When France opposed invading Iraq conservative restaurants in the US cancelled 'french fries" renaming them "freedom fries".

    Go back even further and you can see things like the vitriol Billie Holliday got for singing the song "Strange Fruit".

    "According to writer and journalist Johann Hari, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics under Harry J. Anslinger, had been targeting Holiday since at least 1939, when she started to perform "Strange Fruit".

    The right enjoy exerting this power on people – they get their kicks from it to a large extent, but it reflects the fact that the world needs to be shaped in the way they perceive it. That their version of the world is the truth. Their version of history is the superior correct one. Freedom of speech in their context is their right to say whatever racist, misogynist, sexist shit they want without any fear of consequences – but god forbid you challenge their view of the world.

    Even the simple things they promulgate like "perception is reality" or "it is what it is" are designed to inculcate a sense of (their view is the one ) – of powerlessness and that you can't change things.

    They have exerted their power for a long, long time with little fear of consequences – often enforced by the power of the state. Portland police are a good example of this not even caring that they were using Proud Boy memes in their training material for dealing with black protests. But you know cancelling black protests isn't a thing is it!

    “Woe be unto you, dirty hippy… I shall send among you, My humble servants with hat, and with bat; That they may christen your heads with hickory, And anoint your faces with pepper spray.”

    What they are really upset about is that they things they have traditionally used to exert their power are increasingly being used by the public against them. Economic power and at times the power of the state is now being exerted against them instead of for them. They don't like the shoe being on the other foot – even though with their wealth and opportunities most of the will barely be touched.


    • Ross 20.1

      The fact is that the right have always cancelled people and cancelled history and we all know this.

      Well, yes, and it was bad. Just as it's bad when people not on the left – whoever they may be – are cancelled. It might be useful if we move away from left and right, which isn't terribly helpful, and simply discuss the importance of free speech. I'll leave it to Jonathan Rouch to explain why free speech is a minority's best friend.


  20. adam 21

    Sad as argument from the usual morally weak woke retobates, who can't even get up the courage to fight child labour exploitation.

    But you will moan about a yank who interviews people you don't like. The answer, go join another exploitative platform as some form of social justice.

    A sad, weak, and morally bereft response as usual.

    • Descendant Of Smith 21.1

      lol I'm commenting about the outrage when it is done back or are somehow the left supposed to be beyond reproach while the capitalists can carry on doing the what the fuck they like?

      The fact that is is being done back is a better alternative than what happened in the French Revolution for instance. Keep treating people like shit, abusing your power and your wealth and sometimes it will be given back.

      Nowhere did I say I agree with it but outrageous – no it isn't.

      And this isn't really about free speech is it – you are still free to say what you like. It's about there being consequences.

      "Well, yes, and it was bad."

      What is with the past tense? It isn't like it has stopped – the Portland example just being one of many that continues today. Look at all those employers saying New Zealanders are useless – yet a large chunk of them were working pre-COVID and now are not. Did COVID suddenly make them useless even though they didn't catch COVID? Good worker one day – useless no-hoper the next.

  21. Ross 22

    And this isn't really about free speech is it – you are still free to say what you like. It's about there being consequences.

    Tell me the all the positive consequences that come from speaking freely?

    It sounds like you oppose vaccine mandates. You're in good company.


  22. Descendant Of Smith 23

    Tell me the all the positive consequences that come from speaking freely?

    There's plenty. Done it all my life – been praised, been vilified but have a total reputation for honesty and can be trusted. Had bosses who liked that, had bosses who certainly didn't. That's the point though – if I can be vilified and emoted for being free and frank and honest without all the outrage that seems to be going on here then why can't those on the right with the same lack of fuss. If those workers can be black-listed by employers for years without anyone doing anything about it – it isn't even illegal in New Zealand to black-list someone.

    It isn't a binary situation. not everyone who speaks out whether left or right will be vilified or not – some will be some won't be, some will be both at the same time – the boundaries of what is acceptable will shift over time as the public shifts and as different generations move through.

    What is happening is a shift in power – time will tell how this pans out. Certainly those in power are trying very hard to retain it and I think not winning. The state of the National Party reflects that – the Judith Collins double down approach is no longer acceptable.

    It is the outrage that is non-sensical – part of the normal change process though. Denial then anger.

  23. millsy 24

    As I said before, Rogan is a fascist, racist, homophobic, evangelical Christian bigot who should be cancelled with extreme prejudice. The guy thought George Floyd deserved to die, and wants creationism taught in schools.

    That said, Spotify is a total rip off and that needs to go the way of the dodo as well. Streaming is a stupid way of listenuing to music.

    I also note that this site's hero, Glenn Greenwald, now favours pulling LGBT themed books from school libraries. Already the scene is set for mass progroms against minorities in US schools. Twitter is alive with Trump supporters calling for mass book burning and for the percecution of LGBT's. We have a rough few years ahead. There will be a second civil war in the US before 2030. One might say that there has been a cold civil war since the late 1960's.

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