The skeptical cardiologist revealed his immense respect for Neil Young and his intense love of Young’s ongoing musical creativity, range, and depth in a 2019 post entitled “Neil Young’s Harvest Moon Gathering Should Be Awesome.”
Here’s what I said then:
For multiple reasons, Neil Young is the skeptical cardiologist’s favorite musician. I love everything he has done from work with Buffalo Springfield to CSNY to Crazy Horse. His solo work is simply amazing.
I last saw him at the Fabulous Fox Theatre here in St. Louis last summer and at the age of 72 he was still mesmerizing as he ambled from grand piano to acoustic or electric guitar singing in his inimitable and still powerful voice and telling stories behind his brilliant iconic songs like Ohio.
He continues to create relevant and beautiful work to this day. On top of all this, he handles his musical catalogue with tremendous integrity. You will not find a Neil Young song in a Bud, Chevy or Uber commercial.
Therefore, when I heard about the benefit concert he was putting on in September I bought tickets even though it was going to be just outside of LA.
The August 2019 skeptical cardiologist would have been shocked to know that after playing Farm Aid in September 2019 (another benefit project Young has long led) Neil would be sidelined by a coronavirus pandemic for over two years. Young cares about his audience and has said: “No gigs planned until I am sure the audience is safe.”
Neil is passionate. He’s passionate about music and he’s passionate about the environment. He was passionate about the futility of war in 2006. So passionate, according to Rolling Stone he risked his life to say in song what he believed:
When Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tore into “Let’s Impeach the President” in Atlanta in August 2006, they faced an overwhelming chorus of boos and raised middle fingers. The band seemed calm onstage, but today Neil Young says he feared for his safety throughout the entire Freedom of Speech Tour.
He’s long been critical of the low quality of the music available digitally. He felt so strongly about it that he tried to get an alternative and higher-quality music system going (Pono). Apparently, most people don’t care too much about the quality of the music they are listening to and Pono was a flop.
He’s also disturbed by the misinformation that is circulating regarding vaccine safety. In particular, he, like many were disturbed by Joe Rogan’s platforming of several individuals who are clearly spreading misinformation about the safety of COVID vaccines.
He is so passionate about this issue that he informed Spotify (which pays millions to Rogan to carry his hugely popular podcasts) that he didn’t want his music on their platform. Per the Rolling Stone:
Neil Young posted a since-deleted letter to his management team and record label demanding that they remove his music from Spotify. “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,” he wrote. “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 continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” Young is referencing the steady stream of misinformation about vaccines that Joe Rogan has peddled on The Joe Rogan Experience. Last month, 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators signed an open letter asking Spotify to stop spreading Rogan’s baseless claims.
Spotify has removed Neil Young’s music. This is fine by me as I never use Spotify (although all 4 of my adult children have subscriptions) and I have all of Neil’s music on CD and/or vinyl. And of course,
Neil isn’t bothered by this. He’s never put the almighty dollar in front of what he feels passionately to be the right cause.
When I left SPOTIFY, I felt better.
Digital music has been with us about 40 years now. Digital, rather than reproducing copies of the music as we did back in the analog day, reconstitutes it from 1s and 0s and plays back data that you hear as music.
This allows business people like those who run SPOTIFY to cut the quality right down to 5% of the music’s content. It’s just math. It’s easy to do that with digital, thus allowing more songs and less music to stream faster. That’s because 95% is missing. Thats what SPOTIFY the Tech company does. SPOTIFY then sells you the downgraded music.
When I started everyone got to hear all the music. 100%.
AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz deliver up to 100% of the music today and it sounds a lot better than the shitty degraded and neutered sound of SPOTIFY. If you support SPOTIFY, you are destroying an art form. Business over art. SPOTIFY plays the artist’s music at 5% of its quality and charges you like it was the real thing.
AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz now deliver the real thing. SPOTIFY is ripping you off and has been since day 1. No goosebumps from SPOTIFY sound!
Switch to one of the alternatives – companies that support the arts. Real sound is available there. AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz You just have to leave Spotify and go to a new place that truly cares about music quality.
I met Danile Ek when he started SPOTIFY. it sounded to me like he was really going to be getting into it. That was a long time ago. I wonder what happened.
When I left Spotify, I felt better.
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. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.
As an unexpected bonus, I sound better everywhere else.
So, if you stand with Neil on this issue, here is your opportunity to stop listening to crappy music and discover better sources.
Interestingly, just a few hours ago Joe Rogan and Spotify indicated that Young’s actions (and others) have caused them to reconsider their approaches. This likely is related to the 25% drop in the stock of Spotify. According to Financial Times:
“I’m very sorry this is happening to [Spotify] and they’re taking so much heat for it”, Rogan said in a 10-minute post on Instagram. He said he would try to “balance things out” with “experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones”. “If I pissed you off, I’m sorry,” he said. Spotify’s decision to keep the podcaster’s content spurred criticism online, where some social media accounts called for people to #DeleteSpotify. Twitter users last week reported that Spotify had temporarily shut down its live customer support, as users tried to cancel their accounts. Chief executive Daniel Ek said on Sunday: “Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time.”
And if you are a huge fan of Neil’s music consider paying $19.99 per year to subscribe to his website and application upon which all of his music is available to stream in high-resolution audio. The NY Archives also include The Hearse Theater, which shows all manner of interesting films by and about Neil plus off-the-cuff NY music videos made during the pandemic (typically filmed by Darryl Hannah) His immense musical output is organized uniquely with associated lyric sheets, pictures, and a helpful timeline.