Neil Young Debunks Theory That Pfizer Has Invested in His Music Publishing
"Clever but wrong"
Published Feb 15, 2022In lieu of sending out valentines, Neil Young has done what Neil Young does and penned another open letter for the Neil Young Archives to "clear up some things" regarding the wild rumour that Pfizer — the maker of one of the world's foremost COVID-19 vaccines — has ownership over his music publishing, and has thus dictated his views on vaccination.
Yesterday's (February 14) now-deleted correspondence clarifies that the pharmaceutical industry company is not invested in the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which owns 50 percent of the musician's catalogue.
"But a past Pfizer CEO is a senior advisor for Blackstone," Young wrote of the asset management corporation that launched a partnership with the song management company this past October to invest in recorded music and royalties.
"The publishing share Hipgnosis has in my copyrights is in the Hipgnosis Songs Fund that is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange," he clarified, adding: "The Blackstone investment went into a separate Hipgnosis Private Fund and none of that money was used for the Hipgnosis Songs Fund."
Young also made an amend to his initial letter asking Spotify to remove his music, which was prompted by a plea from a conglomerate of 270 medical professionals — not all of whom were doctors, as he'd previously stated.
The artist explained, writing [via Stereogum]:
The letter that prompted me to act on Spotify was written by 270 hundred [sic] medical professionals, not doctors. I erroneously said they were doctors after having read disinformation on the internet. About a third of them were doctors. But many of the rest were nurses and hospital assistants. I respect and honour all those people and the work they continue to do as I write this.
I read their whole letter.
I still support them. My mistake was calling them all doctors. I read and usually believe the Guardian and the Guardian made a rare mistake:
The Guardian: "Menace to public health: 270 doctors criticize Spotify over Joe Rogan's podcast" and Rolling Stone: "A Menace To Public Health: Doctors Demand Spotify Puts an End to Covid Lies On Joe Rogan Experience"
So I was misinformed too!
Glad it wasn't a life and death decision for me.
I still stand beside the medical professionals and others who signed that great letter. I stand with them, at their side.
To clarify more bad misinformation online that is used to make points against me in some of the letters included here:
The publishing share Hipgnosis has in my copyrights is in the Hipgnosis Songs Fund that is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The Blackstone investment went into a separate Hipgnosis Private Fund and none of that money was used for the Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Pfizer has not invested in Hipgnosis but a past Pfizer CEO is a senior advisor for Blackstone…
So much for big Pharma!
So much for PHARM aid!
Clever but wrong.
This follows the latest in the Spotify exodus saga, wherein Young told employees of the streamer to "get out before it eats up your soul" in another letter. The likes of Joni Mitchell, India.Arie, Graham Nash, David Crosby and Stephen Stills have joined the singer-songwriter's protest by removing their music from the service, which continues to platform Joe Rogan despite reportedly removing multiple episodes of his podcast and adding content warnings.