NJ rockstar leaves Spotify as Joe Rogan says he’s open to balance
E Street Band member Nils Lofgren has pulled his music from Spotify amid controversy over COVID-19 misinformation and the popular podcasts of Newark native, Joe Rogan — who now is saying he is open to presenting a more "balanced view" on certain issues.
“Misinformation is dangerous and deadly,” Lofgren said in a series of tweets since late last week, as buzz grew that he had joined Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in their actions.
Peter Frampton similarly pulled his music from the streaming service, as Spotify has scrambled to balance false information being spread by a number of Rogan's interviews, regarding the pandemic and credible medical treatments, including vaccination.
Rogan was born in Newark and spent his early childhood in New Jersey, before moving to Massachusetts.
On Monday, Rogan addressed the growing backlash with a selfie-style video posted to Instagram, vowing to try and "talk to some people who have differing opinions on the podcasts, in the future."
“If there’s anything that I’ve done that I could do better, it’s having more experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones. I would most certainly be open to doing that," Rogan said in the video posted Monday.
In the nearly 10-minute video, the former stand-up comic said "I do all the scheduling myself and I don’t always get it right.” Rogan also said that he barely has control over the podcast, as it has grown into “some out-of-control juggernaut.”
Speculation continues over whether other musicians would follow suit in taking down their songs — as another Twitter user pointed out that Bruce Springsteen might not have control over his catalog, after reportedly selling it to Sony.
Longtime collaborator Little Steven Van Zandt was asked about the idea on Twitter, to which he said he's not even sure the Springsteen catalog sale was finalized.
"Haven’t spoken to them about it so I’m not even sure those deals went down. If they did, there may be a clause in there that gives them some control while they’re still alive maybe. But when somebody pays hundreds of millions, they probably want their money back any way possible," Van Zandt said on Twitter.
"The podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation, specifically about two episodes, a little bit about some other ones, but specifically about two," Rogan said on Monday, referring to interviews with Drs. Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, whom he said are very highly credentialed and accomplished in their respective medical fields.
More than a thousand doctors, scientists and other health professionals have disagreed.
"The problem I have with the term misinformation especially today is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact," Rogan said, pointing to such evolving issues as being vaccinated and still contracting COVID, the effectiveness of cloth masks and the possibility that COVID came from a lab.
"I do not know if they're right, I don't know because I'm not a doctor, I'm not a scientist. I'm just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely, I get things wrong — but I try to correct them," Rogan said.
"Whenever I get something wrong I try to correct it, cause I'm interested in telling the truth, I'm interested in finding out what the truth is and I'm interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions," the podcast host said in his video.
Rogan also said he remains a Neil Young fan and always has been.
"One of the things that Spotify wants to do that I agree with is that at the beginning of these controversial podcasts, like specifically ones about COVID — is to put a disclaimer and say that you should speak with your physician, and that these people and the opinions that they express are contrary to the opinions of the consensus of experts which I think is very important - sure, have it on there."
Rogan reactions in NJ
Some podcast fans, in turn, have voiced dismay at the idea of Rogan "apologizing" to critics.
A few New Jersey natives are among those applauding Rogan's latest video.
Toms River native MMA fighter Frankie Edgar commented "We stay rocking with Joe!"
Jersey Shore reality star JWoww commented "Perfectly said."
"Much Respect," was written by Ian Smith, Camden County gym owner turned political hopeful.
Smith — who racked up more than $1 million in fines for ignoring COVID protocols at the Bellmawr gym he co-owns — recently announced he's joining the fray of republicans looking for the party bid to challenge U.S. Rep. Andy Kim in his reelection campaign.
Rogan's video, which has two profanities toward the end, is here.