E Street Band Guitarist Lofgren Pulls Music From Spotify

NEW JERSEY — Rock guitarist Nils Lofgren of the E Street Band has joined Neil Young and other musicians who have pulled their music from Spotify over the streaming company's contract with podcaster Joe Rogan.

Rogan, host of the "Joe Rogan Experience," has been accused of spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine through his podcast. In an open letter to Spotify on Dec. 31, 270 health care professionals and scientists asked the service to stop allowing Rogan to spread "baseless conspiracy theories" on its platform.

Last week, Young demanded his music be removed from the streaming platform in a letter that has been deleted, Rolling Stone reported. "They can have (Joe) Rogan or Young. Not both," Young wrote to his management and record label, that report said.

Young said his decision was in response to the open letter in a follow-up letter on his website.

Lofgren, longtime friends with Young and who performed with him as part of the band Crazy Horse, tweeted his support of Young's stance on Jan. 24. On Saturday in a post on the Neil Young Archives and also on Lofgren's own website, the guitarist said his music was being removed from Spotify as well.

"A few days ago, my wife Amy and I became aware of Neil and Daryl standing with hundreds of health care professionals, scientists, doctors and nurses in calling out Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people," he wrote; Daryl is actress Daryl Hannah.

"When these heroic women and men, who’ve spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help you don’t turn your back on them for money and power. You listen and stand with them," said Lofgren, who joined the E Street Band iin 1984 for Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" tour and has released 28 solo albums.

Folk singer Joni Mitchell also had announced she would be removing her music, saying “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” according to a CNN report.

Spotify has removed the music, and on Monday published a notice regarding its content policies, saying it will add content advisories to any podcast discussing COVID-19 information: "This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources."

"This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days," the Spotify notice said.

Rogan, meanwhile, posted a commentary on Instagram, defending his podcast.

"Many of the things we thought of as misinformation eight months ago now are accepted as fact," he said.

"I'm interested in having interesting conversations with people who have differing opinions," he said. "I'm interested in finding out how people come to these conclusions."

Rogan said he agreed with Spotify's move to put a disclaimer telling listeners to talk to their doctors.

"What I could do better is having more experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones. I am certainly open to that," Rogan said, later calling his podcast "an out-of-control juggernaut that I barely have control of."

"My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints," Rogan said, adding that he would do more research and try to be more prepared for the conversations with his guests.

Spotify did suffer a financial backlash from the controversy, according to Variety, which reported the music service's stock fell 6 percent, about a $2.1 billion decrease, from Jan. 26-28.

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This article originally appeared on the Toms River Patch