The trio in February had joined a protest by former bandmate Neil Young, who demanded that his music be removed from Spotify because of the company’s distribution deal with popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who was accused of spreading false information regarding COVID-19 and vaccines on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
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On Saturday, in reply to a Twitter user who asked Crosby why his music was back on Spotify, the musician said, “I don’t own it now and the people who do are in business to make money.”
In March 2021, Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artist Group acquired Crosby’s catalog, which included his publishing and recorded music rights, including his solo work, as well as his work with the Byrds; Crosby & Nash; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
In May, the 80-year-old Crosby said he was retiring from touring because “I’m too old to do it anymore. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength.”
Crosby also explained why he sold his catalog. “Spotify doesn’t pay us. I had two ways of making a living, touring and records. Spotify comes along, and I don’t get paid for records anymore,” he said. “That’s half my income, OK? So I think, well, I should be grateful that I can still play live and pay the rent and take care of my family. And then along comes COVID and I can’t play live. The reason I sold my collection is that I didn’t have any other option. None. Zero.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash in February released a statement saying, “We support Neil and we agree with him that there is dangerous disinformation being aired on Spotify’s Joe Rogan podcast. While we always value alternate points of view, knowingly spreading disinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences. Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don’t want our music — or the music we made together — to be on the same platform.”
The solo recordings of Young — who in addition to yanking his music had exhorted Spotify employees to quit their jobs — remain off Spotify. Also mostly unavailable on the platform is the music of Joni Mitchell and India.Arie, who joined what was ultimately a limited-reaching protest against Rogan.
Last month, Spotify formed an 18-member council to advise the company on policies addressing harmful content on the audio platform “while making sure we respect creator expression.” The company didn’t cite Rogan or the controversy over COVID misinformation on his podcast in that announcement.
Pictured above (l. to r.): Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash in 2010
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