Young last month demanded that his music be removed from Spotify, asserting in a since-deleted open letter to his management that content like the Joe Rogan Experience podcast “spread[s] false information about vaccines”.
The saga drew mixed reactions from the wider music industry, while many seemed to side with Young, including Joni Mitchell who also announced she would be pulling her discography from Spotify over its conduct surrounding vaccine misinformation, as did Young’s former bandmates Crosby, Stills & Nash, comedian Stewart Lee, Crazy Horse and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren, and cult alternative rockers Failure, among others.
Now, controversial right-wing rocker Ted Nugent has spoken out about Young’s decision, calling the ‘Harvest Moon’ singer-songwriter “a complete punk”.
Speaking on his ‘Friday Free For All’ edition of The Nightly Nuge on Friday (February 11), he said: “Well, Neil Young, God bless him. I’m sure that there’s many people that appreciate Neil Young’s creativity and his talents and his creation of wonderful music for those people who love that kind of music. I’m not a big fan. I happen to know that he’s got a lot of soul… But now that I’ve praised him for all the positives, the guy is a complete punk.
“If you’ve done that much mind-altering chemicals throughout your life, then you can proudly claim in one moment that you should be rocking in the free world but then in the next moment witness all the evidence supporting everything that Joe Rogan’s been saying, that I’ve been saying, the truth, logic, common sense, the indisputable evidence to support it, and then claim that we’re guilty of misinformation when actually the stoner birdbrain punk, he delivers misinformation.”
Ted Nugent has been “banned” and “censored” more than almost any artist so you might be surprised to hear the good things he has to say about Neil Young and Joni Mitchell after they tried to get Joe Rogan’s podcast “cancelled”. Of course, he also has some scorching takes on their outlandish stand that goes against everything America stands for.
Posted by The Nightly Nuge on Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Nugent continued: “So this is a funny moment because he made an ultimatum to Spotify – whatever that big tech is – and he said, ‘If you don’t take Joe Rogan off Spotify, then you have to take my music off Spotify.’ That’s a pretty easy decision, Neil. Thanks for making it so simple, because Neil Young on Spotify – adios, mofo.
“Now Joni Mitchell’s doing the same thing, and, again, God bless her. I can’t stand folk music, but I know there are a lot of people that love that kind of stuff and I salute them and thank them. And I appreciate any music that makes people happy and fortifies their American Dream, or whatever dream they might have. Is there another dream? I don’t think so. The Mexican Dream is to get the hell out and go to America.”
Nugent went to claim that the things Young and Mitchell are saying “are just stupid”, before adding that “with all due respect… I’m sure Joni… I’ve seen Joni Mitchell do interviews; she’s a smart gal, and her musical dreams she literally has perfected. And on behalf of those people that love that kind of music, I can only salute them and celebrate the happiness that Joni Mitchell and Neil Young’s music brought them.”
The controversial rocker has been in the news a lot this past year. Last month, he labelled Bruce Springsteen “a dirtbag” for his political affiliations. He also criticised Joan Jett’s inclusion on a list of the 100 greatest guitarists,
In May, he then claimed that systemic racism does not exist in the US. In a video posted by he and his wife Shemane, he described “systemic racism” as a “lie”.
Elsewhere, Spotify has reportedly removed 70 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience that sees the comedian using racist slurs.
Following the news, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent a letter to company staff saying he “strongly condemns” Joe Rogan’s use of racial slurs, and that while the platform wouldn’t be severing ties with the controversial figure, they would be adding content advisories to podcast episodes which discussed COVID-19, directing users to their dedicated information hub.
Joe Rogan has since addressed the furore, both on-stage and during an episode of the podcast itself.
Meanwhile, Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Will Butler has penned an op-ed piece in which he discusses the issues surrounding Spotify and its current situation with Joe Rogan.