Popular and controversial podcaster Joe Rogan paid licensing fees over the weekend for the use of four Neil Young songs to use on his program The Joe Rogan Experience.
Rogan licensed 18 songs total, including popular rockers by the likes of AC-DC and Disturbed, but it was the Neil Young songs that really raised a figurative eyebrow.
Just last week, Young requested his music be removed from the Spotify platform on which Rogan’s podcast appears in order to protest Rogan spreading misinformation about COVID. Spotify, with permission from Warner-Reprise, acknowledged and granted the request. Yet, less than a week later, Young’s music has been licensed to air not only on the platform, but on the very program that he was protesting.
In all, Rogan paid Warner-Reprise for the rights to four songs on which Neil Young is credited as a musician. The songs are the legendary “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, “Teach Your Children” and “Find the Cost of Freedom” by Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, and “Shut It Down,” from the latest Neil Young and Crazy Horse album Barn. Of the four, only one (2021’s “Shut It Down) was written by Young, although he appears as a musician on all 4.
It is worth noting that only “Shut It Down” was ever removed from the platform at Young’s request; the other three remain available on Spotify as they are not solo works. Both the music of CSNY and Buffalo Springfield remain available to stream on the platform.
Rogan’s production staff said he liked the lyrical content from the selections. A production staffer said Rogan was personally impressed by the inquisitive nature of “Shut It Down”, a song with lyrics that include “What about the birds and bees? What about the bookshelves? What about the history?“
A spokesman for Warner-Reprise says that the company feels that licensing “Shut It Down” in this nature “works within the framework” of Neil’s request to have his albums and songs removed, as the song will not be individually available to stream nor download but can only be heard in snippets throughout the program.
Snippets of the songs should start appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience in the coming weeks.